Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fitz And The Tantrums Pickin' Up The Pieces 2010

Fitz And The Tantrums are dedicated to the sound of Philly soul and the white R&B that emulated it in the eighties. This shouldn't work. But it does, and in spades.

It helps that Fitz has the pipes, and the assistance he gets from Noelle Scaggs is formidable. Together they are some bizarre hybrid between the obvious reference, Hall and Oates, and the O'Jays. You'll hear bits of Backstabbers and Rubber Band Man, but Fitz is both derivative and original. Or at least as original as anything going these days.

The songs are remarkably solid, and what these guys can do with bass, drums, sax and keyboards is pretty impressive. The melodies sound both familiar and fresh. In much the same way that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings recall sixties James Brown, Fitz and the Tantrums sounds like the O'Jays and the Spinners, with just a little more rockin' in the rhythm section.

Highlights include the singles MoneyGrabber and Don't Gotta Work It Out, and both are spectacular. Breakin' The Chains Of Love, Dear Mr. President, Pickin' Up The Pieces, Tighter and Winds Of Change are all very strong tunes with great arrangements, and fine vocals. Seven rock solid tunes out of ten. Darn fine odds. And the other three are fine, just not quite up to the best.

If this were my debut, I'd be very very worried about a sophomore slump. This one will be hard to follow.

There's a great episode of Live From Daryl's House. It's a fun show to check out if you haven't seen it.

Go ahead, buy it, sing it, dance to it.

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