Song of the Day #1,678: ‘Hold On’ – Alabama Shakes

alabama_shakesRoots rockers Alabama Shakes hold the #11 spot in the Pazz & Jop poll with their first single, ‘Hold On.’

I’ll admit, after crapping all over the R&B and hip-hop songs dominating the top of this list, I was starting to feel vaguely racist. And when I heard the early moments of this song and started swaying along appreciatively, I thought “Of course… my first real praise is going to be for the white southern rockers.”

But imagine my surprise when the vocals kick in and a glance at the video reveals a full-figured African American woman fronting this quartet of Alabama good old boys. Now that was unexpected. Lead singer and songwriter Brittany Howard is like a bizarro Darius Rucker. Is ‘Hold On’ really all that far from ‘Hold My Hand?’

That said, this song isn’t exactly earth-shattering. I guess it boils down to taste in genre. I can go with a bluesy rocker like this while a slow soul jam does nothing for me.

I will say this is the first song I’ve discovered these past two weeks that has me curious to check out the rest of the artist’s music.

Bless my heart.
Bless my soul.
Didn’t think I’d make it to 22yrs old.
There must be someone up above sayin’ “Come on Brittany,

you got to come on up.”
“You got to Hold on…”

So, bless my heart and bless yours too.
I don;’t know where I’m gonna go don’t what what I’m

gonna do.
Must be somebody up above sayin’ “Come on Brittany, You

got to come on up!”
“You got to hold on…”

YEAH! YOU GOT TO WAIT!
YEAH! YOU GOT TO WAIT!
BUT, I DON’T WANNA WAIT!
I DON’T WANNA WAIT…

So, bless my heart.
Bless my mind.
I got so much to do, I ain’t got much time
So, must be someone up above saying “Come on girl! You

got to get back up!!”
“You got to hold on…”

“YEAH! YOU GOT TO WAIT!”
I DON’T WANNA WAIT!
WELL, I DON’T WANNA WAIT!
NO, I DON’T WANNA WAIT!

“You got to hold on…”

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,678: ‘Hold On’ – Alabama Shakes

  1. Dana says:

    I really knew nothing about this group before the Grammy’s, but given the accolades, I too am intrigued. I’m kinda digging this song.

  2. Shawn says:

    Glad to see the Grammy’s are good for something, Dana. About half of their album is strong, Hold On being the best. I think they toured with the Drive By Truckers, which is a high endorsement to me.

  3. Amy says:

    When viewing a promo for their appearance on SNL, Daniel wondered “is the lead singer a drag queen?” I know nothing at all of this group, but I can understand why both he – and you – might be initially confused to see the group of good old boys fronted by this particular lead singer. I don’t much like the sound of this song, but I finally got Mumford and Sons during the Grammy’s, so I have no complaints. :)

    As for your “vaguely racists” concerns, I think we like what we like. If you were suggesting the artists shouldn’t have a spot on the top because they were black, then I’d be worried. The fact that much of the music you enjoy is written and performed by white people doesn’t make you racist – vaguely or otherwise.

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