When one of my sisters told me a couple weeks ago that I should check out Fitz & The Tantrums, I saved her email but didn't act on it right away, even though she gushed that they had a "great soul vibe", usually a good sign in my book. I had never heard of them and have been busy trying to cram in last minute Grammy nominees so that I can watch the show next month in an educated fashion. However, while in my car Friday, a song came on the radio that DID have a great soul vibe. Guess what? It was "MoneyGrabber" by Fitz & The Tantrums! Rest assured, I rushed to iTunes to purchase their full album, "Pickin' Up the Pieces".
My new acquisition coincided with a long holiday weekend over which I took the kids up to Michigan for a little skiing. During the drive up when the kids were otherwise occupied watching their 800th episode of "Criminal Minds" (which incidentally causes them to think serial killers are around every corner), I gave "Pickin' Up the Pieces" a listen. Their sound is right up my alley! Because I was a tot in the every seventies, I am a sucker for this Motown sort of sound even though one glance at me will dismiss any sort of credibility I have relating to a soul sound. Whatever is the exact opposite of an afro is what my hair looks like, and my skin is freckled and translucent, but I do not care.
Since my curiosity was piqued due to the fact that I had never heard of Fitz & the Tantrums, I did some investigating. Michael Fitzpatrick fronts the band, which describes itself as on their website as "Six killer musicians, five dapper suits, irresistible songs, some serendipity and one vintage organ." The "five dapper suits" correspond to the (white) male band members, while the remaining non-suited musician is energetic Noelle Scaggs, who has a big impact on the soul sound the band accomplishes.
Fitz & The Tantrums released an EP in 2009 and "Pickin' Up the Pieces" in August 2010. Fun fact: Fitz & The Tantrums hooked up as the opener for Maroon 5 last summer when Adam Levine was getting a tattoo and his tattoo artist raved to him about the new band he had just heard.
You should absolutely waste no time in purchasing "MoneyGrabber", which I anticipate will be played more and more on the radio in the coming months, so you'll seem like you're pretty cutting edge if you start listening to it now. I liked the whole album, but particular favorites were "Don't Gotta Work It Out", "Breakin' the Chains of Love" and the title track, "Pickin' Up the Pieces". I liked the whole thing, though.
Here is a video for "MoneyGrabber" as performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week (snap- I missed it live). Enjoy!