Boys & Girls, the breakthrough 2012 debut from Athens, AL based Alabama Shakes didn’t exactly feel like a fluke, but it didn’t feel sustainable, either. Lead singer Brittany Howard was undeniably charismatic and the motown/soul vibes were a nice change of pace, but I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear from the band again.
That makes Sound of Color, an improvement on their debut, even more enjoyable. Sonically, it’s a very different record. While Howard’s Winehouse-esque vocal deliver remains, the motown sound is replaced by hook heavy southern rock (think Allman Brothers meet The Strokes).
Lead single “Don’t Wanna Fight” stacks up favorably to the Shakes’s 2012 hit “Hold On,” and deeper cuts “Shoegaze,” “I Ain’t The Same,” and “You Ain’t Alone” combine to create a well rounded album. I’ll try not to sleep on this band moving forward.