alabama shakes - boys & girls (4.5/5)

Listening to Boys & Girls for the first time, relishing in it’s unabashed honesty and Howard’s androgynous vocal prowess, it’s nearly impossible to believe this is the band’s first release. Beautifully produced with Howard’s power shining through, she and fellow guitar player Heath Fogg drive the blues rhythms; bass player Zac Cockrell forces your hips to sway in their sockets; and drummer Steve Johnson will keep you dancing all night long.

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incidentally, my editor nathan and I got INTO IT about this review. he wasn't happy with the original copy and we had a pretty heated debated which led to me being a total child and turning this review in MONTHS later than i should have. if you are curious here is the original copy. i'd love some bigger and wider feedback:

Listening to Boys & Girls for the first time, relishing in it’s unabashed honesty and Howard’s androgynous vocal prowess it’s nearly impossible to believe this is the band’s first release. Beautifully produced with Howard’s power shining through, she and fellow guitar player Heath Fogg drive the blues rhythms; bass player Zac Cockrell forces your hips to sway in their sockets; and drummer Steve Johnson will keep you dancing all night long.

“You Ain’t Alone” is the album’s real stunner while the opener “Hold On” and the title track, “Boys & Girls” are nearly as strong. Relying on lyrical tradition deeply rooted in in soul and Americana The Alabama Shakes ask the real questions, asked for decades by popular music-questions of love, life, loss and loneliness.

But it isn’t perfect, nothing ever is, The Alabama Shakes are coming into their own and settling into their style and where Boys & Girls is occasionally one-note their future holds brilliant songs that will leave this already stellar debut in the dust.

As you listen to Boys & Girls for the first (or 11th time) imagine this: if “Dirty Dancing” was being remade in 2012 there would be no other possible for the scene that follows all that watermelon carrying business. The Alabama Shakes make music for the dirtiest of dancing!