Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2015 Ratings: #80 / 770
Year End Rank: #26
User Score
Based on 374 ratings
2015 Ratings: #80
April 21, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
ATO / Rough Trade / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Entertainment Weekly

The songs here are far more intricately constructed than anything on the band’s debut, and the musicianship is disciplined almost to a fault; a little unbridled rocking out would actually have injected some needed verve into Color’s quieter second half.

90
Exclaim!
It's a deliberately weird record, but authentically weird; it's chaotic yet cohesive, full of sound, colour and unshakable vision.
90
PopMatters

If the Shakes’ debut Boys and Girls proved difficult to categorize, then Sound and Color ups that ante even higher, adding doses of psychedelia, punk, and lengthy jamscapes to the band’s already heady musical cocktail.

84
Paste

Sound & Color is a daring and deliberate record, and its greatest success stems from the band’s complete defiance with its choices.

81
Pitchfork
This is stadium soul with one eye peeking toward another galaxy while hands and feet and throats desperately try to suss out life here on Earth.
80
NME
The cumulative effect is to make the band about more than just Howard’s (still-remarkable) set of pipes.
80
musicOMH

True to its title, Sound & Color finds a much wider range of textures and contexts for Brittany Howard’s expressive belter of a voice, with impressive variations in pace, delivery and style.

80
DIY
Notes may be reached, riffs rinsed, stop-start moments choreographed, but nothing’s being reached for, on appearance, at least – it’s all so brilliantly effortless.
80
AllMusic

On their 2015 follow-up, Sound & Color, they free themselves from the vestiges of the past, let loose, and push themselves further in either direction. This could've resulted in a disjointed record pulling itself in two opposing directions, but the mess of Sound & Color is invigorating.

80
Slant Magazine

Remarkably, for all its genre-hopping and instrumental experimentation, Sound & Color is still sonically cohesive, the product of a band that no longer aspires to just imitate their influences, but to build on them, to draw from diverse sources to create a familiar yet identifiably unique rock n' soul sound.

80
FasterLouder
This is an album that proves that there is far more to this band than meets the eye.
80
American Songwriter

After the wild success of Alabama Shakes’ debut album, it took a lot of courage to veer into the territory they explore in Sound & Color, a deeply layered collage of tempos and textures – and a seemingly hard left-turn from their previous work.

80
The 405
One second it will be contemporary soul ('Guess Who') and the next a Jack Daniels fuelled garage-rock riot ('The Greatest'), all without becoming a discordant collection of ideas.
80
Billboard

Among rock music of its kind, it's one of the most ­muscular collections in some time, yet it accomplishes this by hardly even flexing.

80
NOW Magazine

Sound & Color avoids the sophomore slump by packing a sense of purpose into its 12 sleek yet gritty soul tracks.

75
The Line of Best Fit

While Boys & Girls seemed to crawl out of its creators fully formed, Sound & Color feels like it might require a longer gestation period. It is both brilliant and uneven.

75
Pretty Much Amazing

The biggest thing that Sound & Color seems to have going for it is how agreeable it all seems. Alabama Shakes don’t rock the boat necessarily, but by refining the formula, they’ve proven they can succeed with a model that has become all too easy to fail with in recent years.

75
Consequence of Sound

The tinted and tightly paced sophomore effort Sound & Color is an alluring musical rainbow that sets Alabama Shakes apart from niche throwbacks.

70
Drowned in Sound
While the debt is still to the Sixties and Seventies sounds of Muscle Shoals, of Otis and Aretha, and a big slab of late-era Beatles, the quartet work hard to make this a sonically interesting journey.
70
Rolling Stone
This is a weirder, woozier, fiercer and sexier record than their debut in nearly every way.
70
Spin
Rather than resting on the laurels of our expectations, Alabama Shakes manage to make roots-rock a surprise again.
67
A.V. Club

Sound & Color drops some of that urgency in favor of a hefty dose of experimentation, and while the results are intriguing, the record can’t help but meander a bit.

65
Under The Radar

While it lacks the instant-gratification of Boys and Girls, Sound & Color is nevertheless a prime example of how an old genre can still enthral.

60
The Guardian

Given that a certain conservatism was the attraction of their debut, it takes guts to mess around with the formula. Not all their experiments work, but it’s hard not to be infected by the excitement when they do.

lucdasilveira
81
Ótimo, uso pra transar e é sensacional.
callatejaime
60
Forgettable hipster aesthetic but impactful vocals. Better as a live show.
73
Alabama Shakes largely eschew the Southern blues rock sound of their debut and experiment with several new genres, from soul to funk to garage rock. Brittany Howard is such a versatile vocalist that most of these experiments land, although she seems to be most at home when the band picks up the tempo and gives her an opportunity to rock out. Using those most successful songs as a template could help LP3 improve on the already good Sound & Color.
dyelir
81
Alabama Shakes are equal parts classic rock and Brittany Howard's harrowing, stadium-sized voice. The lead singer's forceful pipes can belt out scorchers like "Gimme All Your Love" or touch softly like on ballad "This Feeling". Both sides of this double-edged sword are sequenced well enough that the album results in a full-length that never deviates too far in either direction.
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Track List

  1. Sound and Color
  2. Don't Wanna Fight
  3. Dunes
  4. Future People
  5. Gimme All Your Love
  6. This Feeling
  7. Guess Who
  8. The Greatest
  9. Shoegaze
  10. Miss You
  11. Gemini
  12. Over My Head
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Added on: February 10, 2015