By Jeff Cornell
The Alabama Shakes made a big splash in 2015 with their second album Sound & Color. The effort spawned the hit single “Don’t Wanna Fight,” the R&B and rock-infused “Gimme All Your Love” and the spacey title track.
The album debuted on top of the Billboard album chart back in April of 2015, selling over 96,000 copies.
The Alabama rockers scored six GRAMMY nominations including Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album Non-Classical, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Don’t Wanna Fight.” The quartet are also up for the coveted Album of the Year award, but face some stiff competition in the category, facing off against the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Chris Stapleton.
Sound & Color is brilliantly co-produced by the Alabama Shakes and Blake Mills, who also grabbed a GRAMMY nod for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. The effort runs the musical gamut from R&B to soul to riff rock to shoegaze, which is epitomized on its title track (which got a big boost once it was placed in an iPad commerical). Quite a few songs, like “Future People” and “Gemini,” enter a psychedelic stoner rock vibe with ethereal sounds sure to please fans of jam bands.
In a day and age where singles are king, Sound & Color stands out with nary a track worth skipping and is the perfect album for a Sunday morning spin. And in a world where pop, hip-hop and country rule the landscape, Sound & Color showed that a rock band can still make a huge impact.
The album shows off frontwoman Brittany Howard’s brilliant vocals and the band’s bluesy rock style, which appears untouched by any current trends. From the Gospel-influenced title track to the head-banging riffs in “Dunes” and “Don’t Wanna Fight” to the soul-inspired rock cuts “Gimme All Your Love” and “Miss You,” Sound & Color is a masterful album with complex musical textures and a throwback feel while being completely rooted in the present. The effort has all the markings of a GRAMMY winner and is poised to win Album of the Year.
See who wins the GRAMMY for Album of the Year when the big show beams out live from the Staples Center on February 15th at 8 PM (ET) on CBS.