- Artist: The Alabama Shakes
- Album: Sound & Color (2015)
- Purchased at: Hastings (St. Joseph, MO) for $26
The Alabama Shakes will never write a better song than “Hold On,” I just want to get that out of the way. “Sound & Color” is their sophomore effort and was a given to pale in comparison to their debut with the monster single on it. This record was nominated for 4 Grammys including Album of the Year, so critically it is hardly a let down. The single “Don’t Wanna Fight” is likely the songs you’ve heard (if any) but many other great tracks lie deeper in the grooves of this release like “Dunes” “Gimme All Your Love” and “Shoegaze.”
This record is different for the Shakes, they sound more technical and experimental and there is one big reason why: Blake Mills. Mills is a guitar mastermind that has a couple solo records and dabbles in producing and contributing to other bands. His unique guitar textures were clearly and influence on this album and it is much better because of it.
There were two versions of this album on vinyl, regular and deluxe. The deluxe edition was 180 gram black vinyl with an etching on side 4 where there is no music. I opted for the regular version on a thinner vinyl (I firmly believe 180 gram vinyl is unnecessary if you take care of your records) and it was pressed on clear with no etching. I love clear vinyl and will take it every time over a thicker record that audiophiles say sound better. As far as new music goes, this one is definitely worth a listen.