Well, maybe all these helped, but, no, for me, it was more about the front woman of the band, Brittany Howard. Not since Janis Joplin had there been a sweltering, bold belting female rock vocalist with as much power, grit, and allure as this young (23 years old when "Boys & Girls" was released) songstress from the deep South. So when she decided to quit the Alabama Shakes in 2017 to go solo, I was concerned but not disappointed. When her first solo album "Jaime," finally came out last fall, my concerns were quickly dashed. It was freaky, funny, sad, and deeply personal, and I love it.
Despite all the accolades, I didn't know much about Howard's background and personal life. The music was enough for me. But now I'm happy to report that the rock critic Amanda Petrusich has written a fine, flattering profile of her for the April 27, 2020 issue of the New Yorker. You can find it online at: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/04/27/brittany-howards-transformation