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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 April 2012
Just taken the headphones off! Wow! What a great debut! Superbly tight and soulful band, whose first album starts off brillinantly, and holds it, keeping you impressed and nodding and finger snapping until suddenly you are rocking along, swinging around until it builds to an almighty crescendo by the superb track nine 'Be Mine' and holds it right through to the very last note. Haven't enjoyed an album so much in years. Can't wait to see what their summer live tour schedule is. Cannot recommend highly enough.
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on 9 May 2012
I guess Alamba Shakes are worth the hype that has surrounded them and Boys and Girls.
The sound is raw and sharp and distinctive. Brittany's voice will become a signature voice and will be a distinctive in its own way as Macy Gray's was.
Hold On and Hang Loose stand out but she/they is equally impressive in the slower tracks.
It is infectuous stuff and I have been playing it off and on ever since it arrved from the pre-order.
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on 19 March 2015
Promising debut mixing country, funk, rock and soul. A bit Amy Whinehouse, part Maverick Sabre, maybe even Plan B'Strickland in there somewhere. And it works for the most part. Heard their newer stuff - out in April - which sounds broodier and deeper and a welcome progression. But this is how they started and it's great that they seem to be building on this healthy foundation.
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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 3 December 2015
I came across these guys by accident, as an Amazon recommendation. I rarely pay any attention to computer generated advertising but on this occasion I'm am glad I did.
Stunning first album with a smattering of Winehouse/Joplin vocals from the very talented Brittany Howard who's powerful, soulful voice provides a front for the flair behind the sound/ The instrumental sounds are provided by guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, keyboard player Ben Tanner, and drummer Steve Johnson offer perfect contributions to complete the blues, soul sound. It is simple, powerful and hypnotic and I've listened to it back to back half a dozen times and have gone straight on to buy sound and colour
If you enjoy Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse Otis Reading and other full on, from the heart musicians you won't be disappointed - cracking music
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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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on 29 August 2015
I am so sorry that I had to return this album due to a technical fault as it is quite remarkable by anyone's standards. They call her the new Janis Joplin but that is to do Brittany Howard a disservice as I believe she reaches a whole other, higher level. And if you think this is one of the finest albums you've ever heard then just listen to the Sound and Colour follow up. I must go out and buy a good copy. Usual fine return policy by Amazon, and as I said before, so sorry to have to return this due to manufacturing error no doubt?

LATEST; tried cd on another player.. works fine - appears my player at fault - cancelled return and pleased about this
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on 10 May 2012
I'm very pleased with this purchase. The voice and talent of the band shines through, but there was one surprising disappointment and that was in the track 'Hold On' which the band perform brilliantly on the live circuit. It suffered badly from the anodyne surrounds of the recording studio, and it simply doesn't match up to the live versions. That apart, the whole album oozes class.

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on 13 May 2012
I spotted this band on Jools Holland's 'Later' a few weeks ago when they aired three tracks from this their debut album 'Boys & Girls' By the third song I was doing a search for any of their material on Amazon and found this. Musically there are a number of influences that become apparant, not least The Rolling Stones, Otis Reading style soul and The White Stripes. There are traces of Jazz, blues, country, rock and soul to be found throughout, and the overall feel musically is of the 1960s. Matters are kept simple with no flash lead but simple hooks with a 'clean' guitar sound and there is a strong core rhythm provided by Zac Cockrell on Bass and Steve Johnson on drums. Vocals are provided by Brittany Howard whose voice comes across as mature and lived in belying her age. At times she would remind me of Amy Winehouse mixed with Joan Aramatrading and Etta James. A strong soulfull blusey bar-room type voice. For me the outstanding tracks are 'Hold On'; 'Hang Loose'; You Ain't Alone'; 'Be Mine'; I Ain't The Same'. The last three listed here are those within which a distinct Rolling Stones style can be heard. The first of these three, 'You Ain't Alone' begins very much in an Otis Reading style climaxing to classic early 70s Stones.

A superb debut album from a new young band for whom I shall be looking out for in the future. If you enjoy sixties soul with a touch of jazz and a heavy mix of sixties rock this might be the ticket for you.
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