I was first introduced to Fitz and the Tantrums on Halloween of 2011. I was featured on a radio interview with DLD the Eclectic (check out his show tonight at 7:00 pm CST, http://www.fishbowlradionetwork.com/fkshow.html) on the FK Show. I’m always open to new music and DLD was telling me about an overseas group that he was listening to. I heard a couple of songs and immediately started asking him more information on the group and their music. A few days later, I went out and purchased their CD, Pickin’ Up The Pieces. Although I can’t quite categorize the group into a certain genre, if I had to describe them, they would be “vintage soul, pop and rock”. The group has an old school vibe, and a female singer who is reminiscent of Lauryn Hill in her glory days. If you could mix the pop funk of Maroon 5, the soul of The Fugees, and the chemistry (without the domestic violence) of Ike and Tina Turner, then you have something close to Fitz and the Tantrums. But part of what makes them so cool is that they really can’t be conformed to any specific genre.
The group tries their hand at such topics as politics, gold diggers, heartbreak and society’s current values system. And they not only try, they succeed and win. Only 10 songs strong, Fitz and the Tantrums seem to realize what so many artists of today’s time seem to miss….less is more. An 18 track CD usually means 11 of the songs are worth listening to. Although I have my favorites, there’s not one song on here I can say I dislike. My most favorite track here though is the song, “MoneyGrabber”. The lyrics are extremely addictive and it just sounds like something epic you’ve never heard before (Like the time you said you could buy it for me/Cuz I’m in trouble/Here’s my advice/I don’t pay twice for the price of a cheap dime whore). Who needs vulgar profanity? Tell us how you really feel Fitz! LOL. But seriously, this CD has great instrumentation, singing, and lyrics….a combination that’s severely lacking in much of today’s music. Other highlights on the CD include “Pickin Up the Pieces” (a vulnerable, upbeat declaration of love gloom….if there is such a thing), “Dear Mr. President” (a wake up call to pay attention and put our foot down to the real issues of the world) and “Tighter” (a pleading declaration of deep regret).
Look for a new album from Fitz and the Tantrums to be released soon, but in the meantime, check out Pickin’ Up The Pieces. And if you want to try out a sample of their music, go to www.fitzandthetantrums.com and download their free EP, which includes live songs from their House of Blues Boston performance. I’m sure their new album will make an even bigger splash on the music scene than their current project. Something tells me Fitz, Noelle Scaggs, James King, Ethan Phillips, Jeremy Ruzumna and John Wicks will be around for many years to come.