Alabama Shakes :: Boys & Girls

PrintBrittany Howard, the lead singer and primary songwriter of Athens, Alabama-based soul-rock group, Alabama Shakes, comes out strong on the band’s debut album, Boys & Girls.

The young singer emulates the soul and balls of Janis Joplin with the first few lines of their single ‘Hold On’, grabbing you with lyrics like,

“Bless my heart, Bless my soul / Didn’t think I’d make it to 22 years old / There must be someone up above / Sayin’ Come on Brittany, You got to come on up”

The lyrics are sung raw over warbling guitar riffs and constant symbol crashing. Howard sings of pain and heartache but her inner strength comes through the back-and-forth lyrics of being beaten and being ballsy.

The album was recorded live off the floor, and it is my opinion that this is the best and only way to capture the true push of soul and dank depths of damaged emotion that is present on the record.

One doesn’t have to be old and rugged to know true heart break and honest pain.

“I feel so homesick / Where’s my home”, Howard cries through the sultry beat of ‘Rise to the Sun’.

This is a true coming-of-age album, and the vocal talent is on the heels of Amy Winehouse and Marcy Grey.

The depths and heights of finding love, growing up and still being someone’s daughter are all explored through carefully crafted songwriting and effortless soul.

I would love to hear these guys in the studio with Jack White – that would a match made in gut-wrenching blues heaven!

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