We hear the term “next big thing” so often that it doesn’t have any meaning anymore. The blogosphere and music fans can move on from one artist so quickly onto the next that some quality acts get lost in the mix. The Alabama Shakes, who release their first album on Tuesday, are no exception to the hype rule but this time the tredny new artist is worth the hype. And they won’t be forgotten easily.
They’re a band that’s perfectly named, a group that plays a southern tinged version of the Black Keys’ mellow work. Chances are this isn’t this first time you’re reading about Alabama Shakes or their album Boys and Girls. You might’ve just read their description and decided they’re not for you. I can see why buying into the hype means you need to be blown away by a band rather than just being able to enjoy them with a fresh set of ears. That expectation of greatness can turn into a death knell after you click “Sample” a couple times on iTunes.
Here’s the thing, though. The Alabama Shakes really are good. They’re not designed for an iTunes world. Boys and Girls might not sound like anything special the first time you hear it, it didn’t for me. After a few run-throughs it sunk in. The organ and dual guitar attack run through every song and I went from “Eh whatever” to “Damn, I wish that song wasn’t over.” You know the feeling, here’s their first single, “Hold On.” Even if at first it sounds mediocre, I’d recommend clicking “Buy Album” on Tuesday.