90FM Album Review - “Boys & Girls” - Alabama Shakes
Taylor Christian - Music Director at 90FM
tchri473@uwsp.edu




 

If there’s one thing that can unite genres, it’s the power of an incredible voice. The Alabama Shakes formed when a progressive rock singer and guitarist Brittany Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell joined with a punk drummer at the local music store and started making a niche for themselves in roots rock, recording a series of singles in Decatur, Alabama. They pieced together a 4 track EP and attracted the attention of both major media and their fourth member, guitarist Heath Fogg, and began performing as The Shakes. While the band later added Alabama to the title to distinguish themselves, lead singer Brittany Howard’s could have done the job plenty well. Delivering wrenching, soulful vocals to match the Americana blues laid down behind her, Howard has quickly garnered comparison to legendary blues singers like Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday. With Boys & Girls, the four-piece put forth their first full-length studio album, and have been met with resounding acclaim, breaking the top ten in both the US and UK charts. Boys & Girls is 11 tracks long, and each one is astounding, from the rolling guitar hook below intro track (and previous single) "Hold On" to the gospel blues of "On Your Way," Boys & Girls presents something for fans of music from a sweeping spectrum of ages, and maintains a foot-stomping energy from start to finish. Fans of southern rock, Americana blues, gospel, jazz, or music in general take note, The Alabama Shakes are looking like the start of something great.

​Alabama Shakes - "Boys & Girls" 2012 Ato Records