Album of the week: Alabama Shakes

April 20, 2015 3:59 PM

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Frankly, it was easy to think otherwise from listening to the group's 2012 debut Boys & Girls and its surprise hit Hold On, which launched the Shakes and, in particular, frontwoman Brittany Howard to acclaim. Sometimes, Boys & Girls played like an indie-rock variation on a multiracial retro-soul combo.

Sound & Color (*** out of four) is something else entirely. With its tremulous electric piano and fuzztone guitar, Gemini, the first song recorded for the album, shifts like early-'70s psychedelic jazz-rock over an improbably slow, yet impossibly precise beat. Lead track Sound & Color evolves from v...

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