One of the biggest voices of this century is following one of the biggest voices of the last, as Brittany Howard has shared a new cover of “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson.
Released in 1967, “Higher and Higher” is not for the faint-hearted or pitch-challenged. “Mr Excitement” Wilson had a four-octave range, and on this, his signature song, he kept his voice moving. That’s no problem for Howard, whose picture you can find in the dictionary under “Powerhouse.” If anything, the rendition by the leader of Alabama Shakes has a little extra ferocity.
Howard’s “Higher and Higher” skips over the original’s hand drums and prominent bass riff, preferring a drum kit and guitar-forward sound. She also uses a heavenly choir to a put a little extra height on those “Highers.” But this is just seasoning; her soaring alto gymnastics are the main course. She’s as comfortable vaulting up into a soul scream as anybody today, but it’s the incredible personality she puts into the low notes — the way she purrs and growls — that gives the track its shine. This Amazon Original cover is only available through Amazon Music, and you can check it out below.