It’s always a triumph when a band garners considerable hype and can actually deliver on it. In this case, Alabama Shakes does just that and throws in some panache for good measure. Already they have been raved about in the New York Times and awed audiences at SXSW. Now with the release of their debut album, “Boys & Girls,” they have shown that they are more than just hefty promotion and solid live shows.

The bluesy-rock group formed in 2009 and was originally known as The Shakes. They tacked on Alabama later on to pay homage to their geographic roots. Led by singer/guitarist Brittany Howard, whose sultry voice acts as a soulful backbone, the Alabama Shakes create modern southern rock that can be digested by more than just indie music aficionados.

It’s a dynamic compilation that focuses on honest storytelling that hums and explodes at all the right moments, while maintaining its garage band personality. “Hold On” is a folky self directed ode that urges Howard to keep plodding on. “Hang Loose” incorporates joyful guitar riffs and cheerful refrains. “Heartbreak” plays on vulnerability in this emotional ballad. “You Ain’t Alone” is possibly the best track, which emphasizes the power in Howard’s voice.  The album wraps up with “On Your Way,” a jam that ends with a crescendo and leaves you craving more.

What makes this album so accessible is its ability to transcend more than just one niche. It can be devoured by southern rock lovers who bemoan the times bygone and hipsters alike. It is also something that can easily be shared amongst diverse audiences and revered for its spirited sound.


About the Author

Aimee Mandle
Aimee Mandle
Aimee is another awesome member of the iSPY team.