Boys & Girls - Alabama Shakes
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31

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  1. May 3, 2012
    7
    Find the right producer, and the soulful punk rock blues of Alabama Shakes will probably sound as good on record as I'm guessing they sound live. A rollicking tide backed by a bluesy backbeat hits with a heavy message on the opening "Hold On" as Brittany Howard screeches like Janis Joplin: "Yeah! You got to wait! But, I don't want to wait!" To these ears, there are moments that Howard's voice needs some coaxing, and as time goes by she'll soulfully grow her vocal chops to even more rousing heights. Don't get me wrong, her voice is meant to be heard. Witness her phrasing against the angst-ridden soulful downbeat of "You Ain't Alone". All in all Boys & Girls is a fine debut that suffers only in its rough-hewn production. Expand
  2. Apr 25, 2012
    8
    What we get here is a bluesey rock record with a big swig of deep American south attitude. When I first heard the track "Hold On" I thought it might have been something from the new Jack White record. I have to say, I do like most of the tracks on this record but the lead single Hold On is the best track on it for me. The songs stick to the basics, simple but effective, and the vocals are excellent. They've already broken through to the mainstream with this record in the UK but I reckon bigger things are to come for this band. Expand
  3. Apr 22, 2012
    10
    If your in to the genre then pick this one up, this album really is a perfect example of the best of it in my opinion. A very solid album all the way through, a rare achievement these days that goes on to my list of great albums.

    Gorgeous vocals, superb instrumentals.

    Bravo Alabama Shakes ;)
  4. May 26, 2012
    8
    Alabama Shakes on their debut album contained eleven great songs reffering to the holiday atmosphere - drawing from the blues or classic rock. Each composition enchants the listener - from the single "Hold On", through a more subdued "Rise To The Sun" to immersing to sources of real rock - "I Ain't The Same". Album can genuinely curious not only by its melody, but also the message. As the most worth reading. Expand
  5. Mar 5, 2013
    7
    D’ogni tanto, di dischi come questo ce n’è (ne ho) bisogno. Dischi che esprimano calore, sudore e passione puntando dritti allo stomaco e regalando ravvivanti scariche di adrenalina. C’è un altro lato della medaglia, ovvio: l’ascoltatore sa esattamente cosa aspettarsi dietro ogni angolo, ma forse lì proprio per quello. Se possibile, le opposte considerazioni si accentuano quando si tratta di un lavoro d’esordio come quello di questo quartetto di Athens, nel nord dell’Alabama (dunque non in Georgia): il caso di rallegrarsi perché tra le giovani generazioni c’è comunque qualcuno che si incarica di tener alto il vessillo o arricciare il naso davanti a una non spiccata personalità che spinge a rispolverare ‘Cheap thrills’? Il secondo album di Big Brother and the Holding Company non citato a caso: ‘You ain’t alone’ uno degli episodi più incisivi di ‘Boys girls’, un perfetto distillato di southern rock e soul in cui Brittany Howard se la gioca per intensità con la Janis che fu. Peccato che il resto del programma non sia all’altezza, e non certo per colpa dell’aggressiva cantante, la cui vocalità calda e travolgente comunque l’asso vincente del gruppo: al contrario, le sonorità sono a volte un po’ troppo arrotondate, difetto che appare evidente in ‘I found you’, ma che toglie qualche potenzialità a ‘Hold on’ e ‘Hang loose’ brano, quest’ultimo, con ascendenze stonesiane che i vecchiacci avrebbero saputo ben altrimenti sporcare. Si tratta dei primi tre pezzi e la paura di trovarsi davanti a degli altri ‘Kings of leon’ (seppure con una voce infinitamente superiore) si allontana solo con l’aumentare della temperatura iniziato con ‘Rise to the sun’ e completato con la sullodata ‘You ain’t alone’. La seonda parte di disco alterna con sapienza pieni e vuoti e Howard, olte a continuare a essere efficace nei momenti più tirati, sa risultare vincente anche quando i ritmi rallentano: non tanto nella breve, acustica ‘Goin’ to the party’ (altro inchino jopliniano) quanto in belle ballate come ‘Heartbreaker’. Il resto del gruppo, guidato dalla chitarra di Zac la asseconda mischiando in dosi corrette rock, soul, rhythm ‘n’ blues e il risultato quella bella sensazione di cui scrivevo all’inizio. Malgrado non manchino i difetti, perciò il caso di vedere il bicchiere mezzo pieno anche perché pare che il disco non riesca a riprodurre la carica che il gruppo riesce a esprimere sul palco (considerazione che i filmati su youtube sembrano confermare): sta ai quattro, che suonano insieme da soli tre anni, la scelta tra il saper crescere mantenendo le promesse e l’adagiarsi nella riproposizione di fin troppo conosciuti clichè. Collapse
  6. Oct 13, 2012
    9
    The voice does it! Although the music is also well; without this voice it wouldn't be complete. Get the album as soon as you can and listen it every day!
  7. Nov 29, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Alabama Shakes are this year's band to check out. They're a small town band out of Alabama (as the name suggests) who really exploded at SXSW. Brittany Williams has a really strong voice and an even stronger stage presence. Each song on their record is engaging and she really pours her emotions onto the record. My favorite track is "Be Mine" but most people are familiar with "Hold On' or "Hang Loose". All in all, a great album for 2012. Expand
  8. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    American blues-rock band. This is their debut album. Name taken from their hometown. But who would have thought that the vocalist is actually a girl named Brittany. She sounds like a broken hearted guy who drink too much whiskey when she sings. Janis Joplin would be proud of you, dear Brittany.
  9. Jul 2, 2014
    10
    Alabama Shakes has crafted and incredibly rich and soulful album. The Blues and Classic Rock vibe gives the album a core. The vocal talents by Brittney Howard are to be commended, since the Janis Joplin like growls and undertones gives the loudest and softest lyrics unparalleled character. Highlights include the soft and rising "You Ain't Alone" that offers not only simple and hard hitting lyrics, but a good insight on the vocalist. As well as "I A'int the Same" that is a pulse pounding rock thriller.

    All in all this is an incredibly well crafted and lively introduction into the rising rock stars that are Alabama Shakes.
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Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 70
    While the result doesn't justify the buildup, there is no doubt that frontwoman Brittany Howard is a major talent.
  2. Apr 20, 2012
    40
    [Boy & Girls] casts Brittany as a soulful singer, but the album is more Xerox copy than feel and spirit based. [May 2012, p.86]
  3. Apr 20, 2012
    70
    Their roots are just that--roots, not anchors, allowing the group to grow, often in unexpected and quietly thrilling ways.