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Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls

Andrew Mueller, Uncut, May 2012

Assured full-length debut by precocious spawn of Muscle Shoals.

THERE IS MUCH to admire about Boys & Girls, the full-length debut by Alabama Shakes, not least its confidence. Just a few lines into the opening track, an anguished affirmation called 'Hold On', vocalist Brittany Howard tips a hat to "someone up above" who once helped her out of a jam with the admonishment "Come on, Brittany". It takes some nerve to address oneself in the third person 45 seconds into your first album: the chore of summoning it is probably made easier when you know you can sing like Brittany Howard can.

Total word count of piece: 854


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