Top 10 Songs of 2015: #8 – Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes

17 Dec

Alabama-Shakes-2.

Brittany Howard’s wail is pretty famous. Her band’s first hit, Alabama Shakes’ “Hold On,” was fairly popular when it came out and it lives on, used frequently as a transition between stories on NPR. The band released their sophomore LP, Sound & Color, earlier this year, with “Don’t Wanna Fight” as their lead single. The album in itself was an accomplishment, but what I really want to talk about is that beautiful funk ballad.

I will admit that my relationship with Alabama Shakes had at times been rocky. I enjoyed their sound, but their songs sometimes bleed together, and ultimately Boys & Girls never stuck with me. But this year, Alabama Shakes proved to me that they deserved a second chance. “Don’t Wanna Fight” grabs you immediately from that first squeal and keeps you until final the tear-soaked plea to just stop fighting. 

I think what makes “Don’t Wanna Fight” so transcendental is that it is the fight. Laura Marling has a song, “Strange,” which is written similarly, from the perspective of a person directly in the middle of an argument (though Marling technically sings from both perspectives). Marling sings frankly, whereas Howard becomes more and more unsettled as the song progresses. The bassline never changes, but does its job adding to the tension brought on by those emotional lyrics and vocals. To tell the truth, the instrumentation could have come from UMO’s first album, particularly because of that dusty, vintage guitar melody. Really though, Alabama Shakes have simply improved on a classic and simple style of music: soul-fire igniting funk. 

Sound & Color is out now. Find more information about Alabama Shakes on their website, and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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