Artists You Oughta Know
Album : Pickin’ Up The Pieces
Artist : Fitz and the Tantrums
Genre : Soul/Neo-Soul
Neo soul is a kind of genre that includes groove and funk to the passionate and soothing soul music. Pickin up the pieces is the debut album from the Tantrums which heavily rides on this genre without any deviation which is appreciable. The band is avant-garde in its own regard as it does not use guitar but displays a dextrous use of piano, saxophone and an organ in all their songs also complemented with aggressive vocals. The retro vibes is reminiscent of the 70’s soul and rock however a few things seem to fall outta place in a few tracks but they have compensated for it beyond redemption in other places. For a debutant album this one crosses all boundaries and expectations.
Fitzpatrick had the knack to put together the perfect band that could help him achieve his dream to revive the soul music of the contemplative 70’s era. The band was brought into shape by gathering members from quite a few underdog American R&B and soul bands by Fitz. The thing that stand out in this album apart from the lack of a guitar is that the lyrics are solely from the heart of Fitz the outcome of a break-up which makes the album more personal and appealing.
1. Breakin' The Chains Of Love
2. Dear Mr. President
3. Pickin' Up The Pieces
6. News 4 U
7. Don't Gotta Work It Out
8. Rich Girls
9. Winds Of Change
1. Breakin’ the Chains of Love
I’m not exaggerating but undoubtedly the best opening track I have heard in the latter half of 2011! Brilliant vocals and the best output from a sound engineer turned lead singer. Hardly sounds like a song released in 2011 in fact anywhere in the 21st century! The over-powering chorus come at the right places adding suavity to the song. Lotta influences from other bands are noticeable if paid attention to, but you have got to give them time to learn till they figure out their unique style. The song’s got a right amount of push to it, not either too drowsy or too loud
2. Dear Mr. President
A slight drop in the tempo but the musical theme just stays fit and there are much variations to the listener’s delight, lyrically and vocally a bit less impressive compared to its predecessor.
3. Pickin’ Up the Pieces
The Tantrums slowly start like The Temptations in a good way though! Another change of tempo guess an alternative trend is maintained, which is better as the album won’t start too cliché and boring which was a problem for many albums with more than 8 tracks! A tad bit short song compared to the others but stays in your mind for a long time.
4. Money Grabber
The more you start listening to this album the more harder it’s gonna be for you to stop which is against the laws of music where albums generally get boring as the tracks keep progressing! Another brilliant song in every aspect, utterly flawless.
Ok now I’m gonna repeat the same again, thanks to their awesomeness I’m becoming boring! It’s really hard to believe that they are a debutant band, surely the underdogs in the music industry, MTV is obviously listening at the wrong places showing up wrong people while real talent is rarely being given the due credit. The best rhyme scheme so far in the album. A sure addition to your playlist (if you don’t have space for the entire album that is)
6. News 4 U
A ‘Songs when you get high’ genre types. Adds another dimension to soul music, did I mention another stand out aspect of the album is its versatility and variations. A bit of a punk-rock influenced and sounds even intriguing without the guitars. The French verse seems slightly outta place the first time you listen but makes sense from the second time onwards!
7. Don’t Gotta Work It Out
The song is more inclined towards the RHCP style, especially the lyrics and the chorus (a damn good one). Kinda sways about the tempo throughout the song. Another masterpiece to save redundancy!
8. Rich Girls
Now we are back to the 70’s soul music. A beautiful rendition of Hall & Oats’ “Rich Girls”, a bit slower than the original version though but all the more appealing and the Sax sounds extra dominant in the track.
9. Winds of Change
I really regret using up all the nice things to say for the previous tracks, now I’m lexically challenged to convey how my mind=blown when listening to this song! *I think that should do it*. Another song that can owe its success to the vocals more than the music from the album.
Somehow the tempo drops the voice drops the sound of the instruments drop, it’s like the last song was being used to release the left over emotions from Fitz in one last song! A nice ending in a conventional slow paced way.
Verdict:A seriously under rated album! Worth every penny, I’d like you point out 1 track you didn’t like from the album. All 10 songs with a rating of more than 3.5, it will be a decade before another such album is made!