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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Having heard this band a fair bit on 6 Music, we just had to get the album. And what a great album. Funky, ear catching tunes with a unique style that grab the attention. From the opening jangly guitar of Hold On, that leads us into a distorted yet clear as a bell vocal, I was hooked. With the standard tales of love and loss, such as the rocky I Found You and the intense Heartbreaker, this doesn't break new ground in terms of songwriting, but it does deliver a layered, mature sound with some real depth to it. It's catchy, intense, foot tappingly good, and currently is rarely out of my CD player. A great start for this group, I look forward to hearing more.
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on 18 May 2012
I discovered this band by accident,rummaging around the internet. Had the CD ordered five minutes later. My taste in music is varied and I would describe myself as a sixty year old music fan who has never lost the love of good music, from any genre. To me the obvious attraction was Brittany Howards voice but that would sell the rest of the band short. They play their part fully in this and cook away with the best of them. "Hold on" "I found you" "You ain't alone" "Boys and girls" "Be mine" stand out. I don't know if this is their first album but it is a good start and I will be keeping an eye open for the next one. One thing I have noticed is that they appear to be a very "Live" band. A quick tune into you tube should prove me right. That "Live" sound is not captured so well on the CD. However I have enjoyed listening to it and am now converting my kids. Give the "Shakes" a listen.
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on 30 May 2012
I read previous reviews before buying, but although many suggest this is too refined compared to their live performances, I thought it was worth a try.
Brilliant album - really gets in the groove - different to live performances of course, but it still has a lot of power and great great soul. Buy it!
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on 8 May 2012
Brittany Howard's voice somehow reaches to the darkest part of your soul and pulls out something you never knew was there, this is an album to devote some time to, it's impossible to listen to this breath taking smash debut album without feeling it's roots, soulful and reticent and simultaneously provocative and honest this complex album has so much of what we like here. It's all about a connection somewhere, and this bluesy, soulful gem is impossible to ignore.

These songs are better live and some of the magic is lost in the record, but it's still great.

True southern soul, this album has so many clear influences that if you drew a line through soul, funk and blues they would cross at this album, which means it should be in your collection. Recorded in Nashville and rooted in their homelands of Alabama, this is familiar and original at the same time, every track is not just hooked, but barbed, I couln't make it though in a single play, i listened to most track twice over on the way through.

If your looking for hope, uplifting funk inspired tunes check out "I ain't the same" or the opener track "Hold On" which just fire along in the most satisfying way, I challenge you to listen to these to and not want to tap something in time.... If you want gut wrenching tear pullers that throttle the throat and claw at your heart, light candles sit back with headphones on and be carried somewhere blue by "you ain't alone" or "heart-breaker".... Do not miss playing this end to end and enjoy the ride.

This is a five star must own, and do yourself a favour, don't download this, go out and buy it in a box, and play it over and over, this will be hard to take out of my daily play....
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on 18 April 2012
The hype is enormous and, from their live performances, they are a shot in the arm - a raucous wail and driving rhythms. The problem is, someone in the control room of the recording studios decided they needed to smooth some of the hard edges and, as a result, the urgency, power and soul have been diluted. Such a shame as these kids are gonna go far! Maybe someone will have the bright idea of releasing a 'deluxe' version double CD which includes a live recording of the album. Hmmm!
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on 22 September 2013
A real gem of an album, lead singer has an amazingly bluesy, soulful voice. Best download for a while! Buy it now!
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Once in a while, an album that justifies all the hype comes along. Boys & Girls, Alabama Shakes' first album, is such a beast. A mixture of soulful, understated, echo-laden rock with singer Brittany Howard's timeless vocals providing the spellbinding focus of the music, this Alabama foursome are the real McCoy. Delivering her lyrics with passion, a world-weariness that one in her early twenties has no right to possess and the ballsy confidence of someone with utter belief in her material, she really does, rightly or wrongly, steal the show. This is far from a perfect début, but there are enough top quality songs to stamp their mark on the music scene and make the album, as a whole, a thoroughly enjoyable and frequently thrilling experience. Without a doubt, "Hold On" is the best thing on offer here and, although it's absolutely brilliant, you have to question the wisdom of putting their most astonishing song on first. However, perseverance rewards and tracks such as "I Found You", "Hang Loose", "You Ain't Alone", "Heartbreaker" and "Be Mine" reveal themselves to be strong contenders for everybody's second favourite cut on the album. I'd recommend Boys & Girls for any lovers of passionate, heart-felt soul with a rougher edge.
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on 28 September 2012
I've rarely felt compelled to write reviews about albums, but found the Alabama Shakes, Girls & Boys album absolutely stunning.

The howling vocals on the more up-tempo tracks like I Found You really get my head nodding, but my absolute stand out track is Hang Loose.

I'd been listening to this for several months on Spotify before deciding I wanted to buy it for ease of switching between devices, but it was only when I purchased it that I did more research into the band, started watching videos etc. I was quite surprised that the vocalist turned out to be female, I was convinced it was a bloke singing for several months, but wow - what a voice she has.

If only the gig tickets hadn't all gone so quickly
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on 25 April 2012
Another soulful presence joins the retro resurgence of 60s sounds, with Alabama Shakes and singer Brittany Howard's offering of Joplinesque vocals and Otis Redding timings, the latter sound echoed on 'You Ain't Alone' by the fine guitar work of Heath Fogg. Their live sound - seen on last night's 'Later....with Jools' - isn't fully captured on the album, especially the guitar licks Fogg played with such character on that session.

Opener 'Hold On' has a little of Creedence Clearwater ghosting in its rhythmic underbelly, Fogg again providing the subtle layers, and Howard's vocal is at one of its strongest efforts here. Title track 'Boys and Girls' gives Howard a slower showcase for her broader depth and tone, and those soul roots dig in deep on this gentle track. 'Be Mine', played on last night's 'Jools', is a favourite already, Fogg pleasing with his funky picking, and Howard pushes herself to emotive heights - it's a raucous climb.
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on 1 September 2012
I was a little unsure whether or not to buy this album as i didn't really have a lot to go on. I had seen them on Jules Holland and loved what i heared, but quite often with albums you hear the best track and the rest isn't so good. I really like this album, it's the sort of album that you play when you want to hear proper music from a proper band that hasn't been tweaked and enhanced. It's how music always used to be, and her voice is great, a bit of Janice Joplin in it definately.
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