- Best New Artist
- Best Rock Performance, "Hold On"
- Best Recording Package
You may know them like I do - the band Jack White discovered. You may also know them as a bit of a different sounding folk/blues/rock band that many folks are really excited to hear. No matter how YOU know of them though, I am ready to listen.
"Hold On" is probably the one you've heard before. Or, at least, I have for some reason. The beat, right from the get-go, is so awesome. It's steady and feels just so damn good. I don't love the vocal effects, but if you listen the right way, there's a throw back sound of old soul singers where there's a slight scratch the voice and almost over-done blow outs of the mic and speakers. I have no idea if my meaning is getting across at all, but it's my blog so you just get to deal with it! Ha, I love doing this for absolutely nothing. No constraints! Down with the man and his rules! Buahahaha. Okay, okay, sorry, I'll be moving on right about… now. I mean, the song ended after all.
It's funny. When I think Alabama Shakes, I think down-home band, mostly based in stinger instruments and Southern beats. "I Found You" is a song that could easily be heard in an old smokey club with a brilliant band going at it on stage. It's like a blast from the 70's or so with the sound of a club and band meshing this odd way I can't even begin to put my finger on.
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"Hang Loose" has a beach sound without going Beach Boys on us. It's kind of really cool, which is about the only adjective I've got as far as explanation goes. A lot of the melody in the vocals meshes together for me though. It's pleasant enough to listen to, but nothing I feel too strongly about one way or another. If it's meant to be a fun, care-free song, there's a definite heaviness in there. If it's meant to mean something, I missed the message.
Things slow down ever so slightly for "Rise to the Sun." I guess there's a sulkier groove to this one. Modes like this have a tendency to run in to each other and melt into one glorious distortion of noise. It's groovy baby, totally groovy.
"Goin' to the Party" reminds me of Jack White. I mean, obviously the band has their very own amazing sound, but I can't help the association naturally, let alone when the music/vocals are reminiscent of the rock god. This is an interlude in a different but really cool way. Fitting, yet stands on its own as a song.
And we're back in for the second half. The piano plays in and drums start going like a marching band. "Heartbreaker" still has that smokey blues element to it. Sort of just want to sway around to it and enjoy the sound a bit. I wish I was paying attention to the lyrics just a little more closely, but I'm catching the point. And it's exactly what you think it probably is.
"Boys & Girls" - yes, it's title track time! Slower than expected, and sort of just as heartbreaking. Somehow I always assumed this band would get me on my feet dancing. But this isn't a bad thing, it just means that they feel and emote more than expected and do a generally excellent job at it. Feel with them.
Oh sweet muffled guitar, have I ever told you how much I love you, despite normally hating the technique. It's hard and edgy, with a smokey, romantic side as well. Yes, yes, I'm a complicated woman and proud of it. I don't even entirely care what's happening with the lyrics, as they are what provides a good backing here to the music that's taking control of my heart and soul. "Be Mine" is something sweet.
"I Ain't the Same" finally picks it back up just a little bit. Sorry, but we did need a bit of a wakeup to happen on this album. She's still snagging her damn heart out and making us feel it non-stop, but the there's a beat to tap your foot to, if not all out groove and dance to. There's also this cool element of freedom in the attitude here that I guess comes with the growth aspect the song seems to portray. I just love the overall concept and feel of this song. It's something great.
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Final song time. "On Your Way" closes us out with a medium beat along the way. It's a solid ending for the band with a pretty final sound going on. From the harmonies to the build in the drums make it feel like there's movement toward something to be completed. The musical breakdowns even sound like something playing just at the end of the show when the band is giving you all they've got left.
- "Hold On"
- "I Found You"
- "Be Mine"
- "I Ain't the Same"
Ah, so this is sort of a middle-of-the-road album for me. Maybe I got too excited over the bit that I loved before this and went in with too high of expectations. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it was tiring in spots, and absolutely amazing in others. I want more though, but live, because I know form experience that this band knows how to put on a show for sure.