Review: Fitz and the Tantrums | Pickin' Up the Pieces

Dangerbird (2010)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 31, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

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The Achilles' heel of so many bands who try and go for that big vocal sound is that they can't really sing. There's a whole lot of it looks and fabulous hair, but not a lot of uh-huh. You won't find that in this debut LP from the French-born '80s-Bowie doppelgänger who goes by the name Fitz and his Motor-City-cum-LA revival band the Tantrums.

Right from the twinkling keys that open lead single "MoneyGrabber," Fitz strikes fast and hard with a display of soulful cooing that's nothing short of Zombies-esque. Yes, it's bold to compare this dude to the great Colin Blundstone, but even after 20 listens, "MoneyGrabber" can still make you want to lick the bowl.

Throughout the disc's 10 tracks, Fitz and dynamic co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs inject life and fun into the Tantrums' retro temptations: "Picking Up the Pieces" mixes a sweet-sounding flute with a vintage organ; "Dear Mr. President" drops what sounds like slick Benny Benjamin samples into a straight-ahead groove. And what they lack in consistency they make up for in intentions. It's soul for all the right reasons.

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