Best Albums 2015: Alabama Shakes - 'Sound & Color'
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 08:02:58
Alabama Shakes Videos
In a year when female-fronted acts like Björk, Courtney Barnett, Elle King, Florence + the Machine, and Lana Del Rey are sweeping Grammy nominations left and right, Brittany Howard's Alabama Shakes stacks up some serious competition. The band, which was nominated for, and lost, the 2014 Best Rock Performance Grammy for "Alright Alright" is now nominated for four awards: Best Album of the Year and Best Alternative Rock Album for Sound & Color (ATO), and Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance ("Don't Wanna Fight").
In about a month and a half, the Recording Academy will announce the winners of those awards (and many more, at the Grammys on February 15, 2016), but in the meantime one thing remains resoundingly clear: Alabama Shakes are killing it right now, dominating year end "Best Of" lists, garnering awards like Billboard's 2015 Women in Music "Powerhouse" Artist, and generally ruling the "blues rock sweethearts under 30" category.
Rolling Stone had such succinct comments about the cosmic, "interstellar groove journey" that is the Alabama Shakes' sophomore effort Sound & Color, we decided to give them the floor here:
"Alabama Shakes' 2012 debut, Boys & Girls, was an instant-vintage roots-rock triumph. But that wasn't enough for these free-spirited, hot-blooded rock & rollers, and their follow-up is a different beast entirely: One of the year's most daring interstellar groove journeys. Lead singer Brittany Howard is still a one-of-a-kind stunner, and there's plenty of Memphis fire from guitarist Heath Fogg to go around. But the songs come wrapped in a heady blend of organs, vibraphones, strings and synths – rich new hues that tear through the dividing line between old-school soul and the newer, weirder stuff. This is the sound of a band with whole galaxies ahead of it. No wonder both Paul McCartney and Prince heard this album and wanted to get in on the fun."
Watch "Don't Wanna Fight" from Alabama Shakes (Live from Capitol Studio A):
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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