Soul | Alternative
This album continues the trend set by Alabama Shakes of taking soul music to new bizarre places. The major difference is that instead of taking soul and sprinkling a little extra psychedelica on top, Algiers draw from a variety of sources (including gospel, punk, indie and electronica) whacks them all together in a blender and thus creates this fascinating lovechild. There are a myriad of different styles all being explored at once in each song and yet the album as a whole feels cohesive and purposeful. This dark gritty debut is fully dedicated to getting it’s message across. Imagine taking Sam Cooke immediately after ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ or Marvin Gaye after ‘What’s Going On?’ and then showing them the current state of America and how little things have changed. This album is full of the same politically driven lyrics but with an underlying venom and flashes of raw anger. It’s hard these days to find music that has a deeper message, but Algiers are wearing their hearts on their sleeve and are taking no prisoners.
Naturally it’s not the most friendly of albums, in fact it’s one of the darkest albums I know, and with the possible exception of ‘Old Girl’ it lacks an accessible single. It certainly takes a few listens, if nothing else to get to grips with everything that’s going on, and with each new listen it digs it’s way deeper under your skin. This is an album that is meant to be listened to as an album, as strong as the individual songs are I wouldn’t dream of separating them. It’s one of those albums where the band have got everything right and have created a real piece of art. My only concern is where the band will go next and whether they will ever be able to match their debut. Only time will tell…