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JESUS IS COMING—REALLY
Your skepticism is understandable, given recent history. (10/21a)
STRUNG OUT
ON STRINGS
KG is happy for a change. (10/21a)
U.K. MIDWEEKS: A BATTLE FOR #1
Sometimes our two countries seem quite distinct from each other taste-wise. (10/21a)
ALL ABOUT
THE BENJAMIN
Hot derby in 3, 2, 1... (10/21a)
TOP 50 CHART: THIS THING IS BROKE
Never...again (10/21a)
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH KANYE
And lo, there was much earned media.
MOE, MARSHMELLO AND MONEY
The story of a "faceless" brand that got very, very big.
THE NEW WORLD OF A&R
The trap they all fell into.
GRAMMY NOMS
Who deserves consideration in the genre categories?
Critics' Choice
LISTEN BEFORE CASTING YOUR BALLOT: ALABAMA SHAKES, SOUND & COLOR
10/28/15

Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color (ATO/Caroline): This alterna-soul outfit’s follow-up to Boys & Girls finds them venturing into new sonic territory—and crafting new settings for Brittany Howard’s frankly astonishing pipes. Howard, who recently joined idol Sam Moore for a duet at the Kennedy Center and sang with Mavis Staples on the premiere of Colbert’s Late Show, is a force of nature and has rightly been the primary recipient of the accolades, but the band really steps up here as well, with sharper grooves, peerless dynamics, incisive riffs and sprays of jazzy texture. While the troupe’s reach is wide—from hushed soul (“Guess Who,” the title track) to raucous, punked-out stroll (“The Greatest”)—it never exceeds their grasp. Sound is a truly cohesive statement from a band in full flower. For its artistry, grit and innovative approach to musical tradition, this set deserves a serious listen—at high volume.