Alabama Shakes, ‘I Ain’t the Same’ – Song Review
We’ll admit it, when ‘Hold On’ came out earlier this year, we were blown away. The first single from the much-hyped Alabama Shakes had all the traits of a indie hit — immediacy, a fierce melody and danceability — and still managed to sound exactly as the Shakes were described. But could they do it again, or had Alabama’s finest already put their best foot forward? In other words, ‘Hold On’ almost had the makings of a one-hit wonder — but lucky for us, the follow-up, ‘I Ain’t the Same,’ keeps the hit parade coming.
Kicking off with some fuzzy guitar action, ‘Same’ quickly launches into a verse that highlights the band’s standout facet. That is, the undeniably soulful croon of frontwoman Brittany Howard. Howard’s powerful pipes make her sound like she was born in the wrong decade. Much like the awesomely retro look of the afro that sits atop her head, she has the throwback attitude of ’60s rockers like Janis Joplin or a gender-bending Mick Jagger — and that vibe carries over to her backing band’s overall aesthetic.
The Shakes could easily get lumped in next to fellow Southern rockers the Black Crowes, but there’s some elusive about them that makes them seem a bit more authentic. ‘Hold On’ hinted at it, whatever it is, and ‘I Ain’t the Same’ made it stand out even more. They’ll keep holding on to it, if they know what’s good for them.
Listen to Alabama Shakes, ‘I Ain’t The Same’