At the beginning of the year, Alabama Shakes were only known for their brief and promising EP (released last summer). Now, with their first full length Boys & Girls
the quartet has taken off in a big way-- and in this case, the music absolutely backs up the hype. Boys & Girls
is centered around the voice of Brittany Howard, so soulfully worn that it seems impossible that she's only 23 years old. Her vocals are reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Janis Joplin, with a performing style that's happily familiar to Otis Redding. Her voice is the crucial ingredient in the band that makes these tried and true chord progressions and melodies new again-- it makes you rock, swoon, and cry, leaving your vital organs like putty in her hands.