Alabama Shakes – “Boys & Girls” (2012)


Label : Rough Trade

Review by Luisa Mercier

While “white” rock music is living a moment in which there is a certain lack of inspiration, black music tries to find its roots. In order to do this, it is necessary for bands to go back where most of them have started.  In fact, Alabama Shakes come from Alabama, from the South of United States of America where soul, blues were born many years ago. Singer Brittany Howard, guitar player Heath Fogg, bass player Zack Cockrell and drummer Steve Johnson are all sons of those lands.

They are very young and, without any doubt, the focus of the band is Brittany . Her voice is powerful and sensual, full of passion and suffering. We could compare her to Aretha Franklin or Janis Joplin, but we will not do this: she has her own identity and it is correct to judge her for her own skills. Their debut record “Boys & Girls” is built over a simple rock-blues without frills. The most represantive track is “You’re Not Alone”, where you can really see the comparison with Janis Joplin in this Southern ballad. 

No less important “Heartbreaker” in which Brittany really shines through the song. The Hammond frames perfectly her performance. The rest of the record is enjoyable and shows that the guys are talented, the songs are fresh and catchy and the fact that Jack White has chosen them as support is evidence of their skill.

Rating  – 70/100



  1. Hold On
  2. I Found You
  3. Hang Loose
  4. Rise to the Sun
  5. You Ain’t Alone
  6. Goin’ to the Party
  7. Heartbreaker
  8. Boys & Girls
  9. Be Mine
  10. I Ain’t The Same
  11. On Your Way


Line Up

  • Brittany Howard – Vocals
  • Heath Fogg – Guitars
  • Zac Cockrell – Bass
  • Ben Tanner – Keyboards
  • Steve Johnson – Drums


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