Sound & Color

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Sound & Color
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color album cover.jpg
Studio album by Alabama Shakes
Released April 21, 2015 (2015-04-21)[1]
Genre
Length 47:26
Label
Producer Blake Mills, Alabama Shakes [2]
Alabama Shakes chronology
Boys & Girls
(2012)
Sound & Color
(2015)
Singles from Sound & Color
  1. "Don't Wanna Fight"
    Released: February 10, 2015[3]
  2. "Gimme All Your Love"
    Released: February 2015
  3. "Future People"
    Released: March 19, 2015[4]
  4. "Sound & Color"
    Released: September 21, 2015

Sound & Color is the second studio album by American rock band Alabama Shakes. It was released on April 21, 2015 via ATO Records, MapleMusic Recordings and Rough Trade Records.[1]

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., giving the band their first chart-topper; globally, the album hit the top ten in Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Sound & Color was a critical success and received six Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year. It ultimately won 4 for Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, as well as Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for "Don't Wanna Fight". It spawned four singles; "Don't Wanna Fight" was the most successful, peaking at number two on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart.

Background[edit]

Alabama Shakes began recording their second album in late 2013. The group listened to anything and everything for influence, without regard for its public reception in the end.[5] They spent over a year in the studio, with no clear end-goal, as they had not written any new songs due to their exhaustive touring schedule.[5] Sound & Color is steeped in several different genres, touching on shoegaze to bands such as MC5.[6]

In promotion of Sound & Color, the group appeared on Saturday Night Live on February 28, 2015; they performed the singles "Gimme All Your Love" and "Don't Wanna Fight".[7]

The title song, "Sound & Color" was used in the final episode of the first season of "Mr. Robot".

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted atop the US Billboard 200 chart, earning 96,000 album-equivalent units (91,000 copies of traditional album sales) in its first week, in the week ending April 26, 2015, making it the band's first number one album.[8] The album has sold 306,000 copies in the US as of December 2015.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[10]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[11]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[12]
The Daily Telegraph5/5 stars[13]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[14]
The Guardian3/5 stars[15]
The Independent4/5 stars[16]
NME8/10[17]
Pitchfork8.1/10[18]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[19]
Spin7/10[20]

Upon its release, Sound & Color received positive reviews. At the review aggregator Metacritic, the album currently holds a score of 80 based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10] Writing for Exclaim!, Andrea Warner called the record a "deliberately weird record, but authentically weird; it's chaotic yet cohesive, full of sound, colour and unshakable vision."[21] Barry Nicholson of NME compared it favorably to the band's first album, writing, "whereas their debut was cast in sepia hues and downhome earthiness, its follow-up is a more kaleidoscopic affair."[17]

Accolades[edit]

Sound & Color garnered six nominations at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards; it was nominated for the Album of the Year, marking the group's first nomination in the category. The album was also nominated for Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical (Blake Mills), and won Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (Shawn Everett and Bob Ludwig). "Don't Wanna Fight" won for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.[22]

Country Publication List Rank
US Billboard[23] 25 Best Albums of 2015
7
US Complex[24] The Best Albums of 2015
29
US Consequence of Sound[25] Top 50 Albums of 2015
36
US Entertainment Weekly[26] The 40 Best Albums of 2015
13
US Rolling Stone[27] The 50 Best Albums of 2015
37
US The New York Times[28] The Best Albums of 2015 (by Jon Pareles)
7
US Rough Trade[29] Albums of the Year 2015
31

* denotes an unordered list

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Brittany Howard, with help from Blake Mills on "Future People", "Guess Who" and "Gemini"[1].

No.TitleLength
1."Sound & Color"3:02
2."Don't Wanna Fight"3:53
3."Dunes"4:18
4."Future People"3:22
5."Gimme All Your Love"4:03
6."This Feeling"4:29
7."Guess Who"3:16
8."The Greatest"3:50
9."Shoegaze"2:59
10."Miss You"3:47
11."Gemini"6:36
12."Over My Head"3:51
Total length:47:26

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Sound & Color liner notes.[30]

Alabama Shakes
  • Brittany Howard − vocals (all), guitar (2-12), vibraphone (1, 7, 11), percussion (4, 6, 12), keyboards (11, 12)
  • Heath Fogg − guitar (all), percussion (6, 12)
  • Zac Cockrell − bass (all), percussion (6, 7, 12)
  • Steve Johnson − drums (all), percussion (2, 3, 4, 6, 12)
Additional musicians
  • Ben Tanner − keyboards (1, 3-12), vibraphone (1), percussion (12)
  • Paul Horton − keyboards (11)
  • Rob Moose − string arrangements (1, 3, 6, 7)
Production

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[31] 6
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[32] 52
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[33] 12
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[34] 40
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[35] 1
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[36] 4
French Albums (SNEP)[37] 41
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[38] 28
Irish Albums (IRMA)[39] 12
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[40] 15
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[41] 27
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[42] 46
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[43] 37
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[44] 10
UK Albums (OCC)[45] 6
US Billboard 200[46] 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[47] Gold 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[48] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[49] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sound & Color - Alabama Shakes | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sound & Color - Alabama Shakes - Credits - AllMusic". 
  3. ^ "Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ Kort, Alicia (March 19, 2015). "Alabama Shakes Releases New Song "Future People" Off Upcoming New Album 'Sound & Color' [LISTEN] : Buzz : Music Times". Music Times. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b David Browne (March 25, 2015). "How Alabama Shakes Gambled Big on Wild Second Album 'Sound & Color'". Rolling Stone (1232). New York City: Wenner Media LLC. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ Lauretta Charlton (June 12, 2015). "Alabama Shakes: 'There's No Way to Be Original'". Vulture. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  7. ^ Minsker, Evan (March 1, 2015). "Alabama Shakes Perform "Gimme All Your Love" and "Don't Wanna Fight" on "Saturday Night Live" | News | Pitchfork". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  8. ^ Keith Claufield (April 29, 2015). "Alabama Shakes Scores Its First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  9. ^ Chris Payne (December 7, 2015). "Grammy Nominations 2016: Alabama Shakes and Courtney Barnett Surprise in Rock". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). 
  10. ^ a b "Reviews for Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes". Metacritic. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes". AllMusic. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ Kot, Greg (April 17, 2015). "Alabama Shakes shake up their sound". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ Brown, Helen (April 18, 2015). "Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color, review: 'rattling expectations'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  14. ^ Anderson, Kyle (April 28, 2015). "Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  15. ^ Petridis, Alexis (April 16, 2015). "Alabama Shakes: Sound and Color review – a bravely freshened sound, but too few great songs". The Guardian. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  16. ^ Harley, Kevin (April 18, 2015). "Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color – album review: It brims with confident ambition". The Independent. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Nicolson, Barry (April 14, 2015). "Alabama Shakes – 'Sound & Color'". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  18. ^ Dombal, Ryan (April 23, 2015). "Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  19. ^ Hermes, Will (April 21, 2015). "Sound & Color". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  20. ^ Aftandilians, Natasha (April 22, 2015). "Review: Alabama Shakes Can't Be Tamed on the Ripping 'Sound and Color'". Spin. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  21. ^ Warner, Andrea (April 17, 2015). "Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Exclaim!. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Billboard.com's 25 Best Albums of 2015: Critics' Picks". Billboard. December 15, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  24. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". Complex. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2015". Consequence of Sound. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  26. ^ "The 40 Best Albums of 2015". Entertainment Weekly. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  27. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. December 1, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015. 
  28. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The New York Times. December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Albums of the Year 2015". Rough Trade. Rough Trade. November 25, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color". 
  31. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  32. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  35. ^ "Alabama Shakes Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  36. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  38. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  39. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 17, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  41. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  42. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  43. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  45. ^ "Alabama Shakes | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  46. ^ "Alabama Shakes Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  47. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Music Canada. 
  48. ^ "British album certifications – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Sound & Color in the search field and then press Enter.
  49. ^ "American album certifications – Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]