Alabama Shakes music scene

Alabama Shakes Sound and ColorBy Marvin Garcia |Staff Writer|

Lay back and let go of your thoughts and worries as you drift away with Alabama Shakes’s second album “Sound & Color.”

The album features 12 original songs in a genre-mix attempt to captivate audiences.

The sound of music starts anew with this coming-of-age band.

Alabama Shakes is composed of lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Brittany Howard, along with second guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson, all coming from the city of Athens, Alabama, and sharing their affinity for music.

With “Sound & Color,” the group was able to further experiment and elaborate from their debut record “Boys & Girls” without feeling the pressure of their big breakthrough or the struggle to come up with new material.

They claim it was all about exploring everything they found intriguing, play with sound composition and genre-bending, and the opportunity to reflect on how to put together previous music pieces that were not featured in the first record as they had intended.

All tracks offer originality and something relative to listeners, which is solid proof in their mid-stream single, “Don’t Want To Fight.”

What makes this song quite catchy is found in the chorus, which is simple and direct.

“It was a chill song that I can listen to when I want to relax,” said student Vanessa Lopez after listening to the single. “I was not completely shut off to not listen [to] the rest of the song.”

The one song that really snatched my senses was “Future People,” where it really split me in two.

The lyrics may be a bit sad since it references our desire to see those who are long gone and how they watch over us, but the music just blends too well to mind it at all.

Each track is quite dynamic in composition, but regardless of the short lyrics, the message is delivered nonetheless.

“They have a folk style that reminded me of adventure,” said devoted fan Lindsay Cherek.

She also shared how one of the other songs made her think about connections with people and those in her life.

The beats, sounds, and Howard’s singing renders a twist with every track you listen to, like a sudden change in persona.

“She (Howard) has smoothness in her voice, and an older feel to it,” said student and fan Kimberly Rodriguez.

“The album has a futuristic beat that calls out emotions,” she concluded.

Overall, “Sound & Color” is a decent collection that strikes a chord of spontaneity and nostalgia.

I literally felt that I was at a poetry slam where Alabama Shakes looked at everything that affects us psychologically and intimately.

For some, it may be hard to understand because of all the genre-mix and slight confusion with the lyrics, but rest assured, regardless of music preference, this is one album you can enjoy in any given moment or a lazy day.

Alabama Shakes’s “Sound & Color” and “Boys & Girls” are available now in stores and digital download through iTunes.

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