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Sound The Alarm

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 25, 2013
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$13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Sound The Alarm
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  • The Road From Memphis
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Editorial Reviews

Booker T. Jones will follow back-to-back GRAMMY wins for his previous two albums with Sound The Alarm out June 25th on Stax/Concord Music Group. This marks Booker s return to Stax, a label revered for the gritty soul sound he helped create with Memphis first integrated band in the early 60s, and features collaborations with some of the finest talents in modern soul and R&B including Mayer Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton, Vintage Trouble, Estelle, Gary Clark, Jr., Luke James and more. Booker T wrote or co-wrote all twelve songs on Sound The Alarm. He co-produced the album with brothers Bobby Ross and Issiah IZ Avila, who have worked with Usher and Mary J. Blige. The Avila brothers also play in the rhythm section on most of the tracks. Booker T has won 4 GRAMMY Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As a producer, he has helmed sessions for million sellers including Bill Withers debut album Just As I Am, and Willie Nelson s Stardust. He s written and/or played on some of the most enduring songs of all time including Green Onions, Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay and Born Under A Bad Sign.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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3
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Fun
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6
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7
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8
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9
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Digital Booklet: Sound The Alarm
Digital Booklet: Sound The Alarm
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 25, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stax
  • ASIN: B00CC7RE0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Booker T Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
More precisely, I'm rating this CD at 2.375 -- and this is painful for me. 1962 was my initial record-buying year (45 rpm singles only) and Booker T & the MGs' "Green Onions" was my second instrumental. In other words, I have been a fan for 51 years and will remain so into the future despite this present three-quarters of a misstep.

Tracks 12 ("Father Son Blues" featuring Booker's son Ted on electric guitar), 7 ("Austin City Blues" featuring the guitar work of Gary Clark Jr.) and 11 ("Your Love Is No Love" featuring Vintage Trouble with vocalist Ty Taylor) add up to just about sixteen minutes of awesomeness, confirming that Booker T is still the ultimate instrumentalist when he's running the show. For these three tracks: five big stars without question.

The problem with the other nine tracks is that he ceded the production (or co-production) and co-writing to the Avila Brothers who took an enormous hyper(over)produced $*** [censored] on all of them. So, to these tracks overall, which I listened to at least twice (and most likely never will again), I give 1.5 stars. They are awash in what I call "car stereo idiot bass" and hyperpercussion which tend to overwhelm Hall of Famer Booker T's Hammond B3 organ and other keyboards, the putative raison d'être of this album. Hideously monotonous synth beats and annoying vocal effects are added to one of the two most unlistenable tracks, "Can't Wait," featuring Estelle. Even the background vocals put in by the Avilas are an impediment to enjoyment. On the otherwise instrumental track "Fun," the single word "fun" gets repeated ad nauseam, which is not fun. Same thing on "66 Impala" (featuring fine percussion by guest artists Pancho Sanchez and Sheila E), only this time it's the monosyllabic interjection "Hey!
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Format: Audio CD
Thus far the 21st century has been extremely good musically for Booker T Jones. He spent much of the 70's and 80's as a quietly influential spirit-musically touching everyone he came in contact with but never coming into enormous fame or popularity on his own outside of the MG's. Over the years he has taken time to raise a family-touring now and then as well as recording every so often when he could. But in 2009 when Potato Hole was released the album,aside from a couple (in my opinion) misguided retro grunge rock experiments with Neil Young launched Booker T on a surprisingly successful comeback-especially with the follow up The Road From Memphis a couple years later. As a producer,songwriter and little known multi instrumentalist (even outside his familiar reputation as an organist),this is a man who is seemingly always brimming over the boil with musical inspiration and talent. And this third set just keeps this post millennial soul journey going strong!

Produced by the Avila Brothers, this album starts out with the heavy foot stomping stop/start type funk of the title song featuring Mayer Hawthorne,the strong voiced soul singer who began his career by pure coincidence during Booker T's comeback. "All Over The Place" and "Broken Heart",with singers Luke and Jay James respectively possess the sweetly grooving and rolling rhythms of modern day retro styled funky soul-not neo soul as it owes nothing instrumentally to contemporary hip-hop,nor does anything here. There are a couple organ instrumentals here too.
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Comment 12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Longtime fan here, Booker T, sir. The Avila brothers have hidden your greatest strength, your B-3 sound. Please ditch the Avilas, bring back the Hammond dominance (or at least equality!), and I'll buy your music again. Respectfully, Steve H.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how to begin this review. I could choose the superfluous amount of adjectives to describe the emotion one gets from listening to this recording. I could say the collaborations are stellar. I could strongly encourage you to take a listen. But, I prefer to be selfish! This is like a secret only I want to know, a recording that I wish I had been in the recording studio as they laid these tracks down. The energy, sensuality and the fun simply exudes from this set. I don't want to share! I want to keep it all to myself. But, I cannot because this was meant to be shared. So, you're in on the secret if you want to be, if not then this soon to be Grammy nominated album will be something you'll regret you missed, even if this isn't your kind of music. That says a lot about you as there's something on here for everyone. Booker T and crew sounded the alarm, please do not remain calm as you exit with your headphones to enjoy the most beautiful Blues I've heard in quite sine time.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Received this album on vinyl on its release date of June 25, 2013. Although the description in Amazon shows 12 tracks, the vinyl version does NOT include "Austin City Blues," an instrumental featuring Gary Clark, Jr. The vinyl edition does include a "free" download of all the tracks - including Austin City Blues - but the mp3 version is at 160 kbps which is regarded as medium quality. This album, including the missing track, is available in 44.1 kHz/24 bit digital .flac on the HD Tracks website for slightly less ($17.98 vs $18.00) than the vinyl version on Amazon.

As for the music, those tracks on which Booker T.'s talents are prominently displayed (less than half the tracks on the album) are excellent. The remainder - all vocals with various artists - are, for the most part less interesting. It is too bad "Austin City" isn't on the vinyl; it's among the best tracks on the album.
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