Album Review: Pickin' Up The Pieces by Fitz & the Tantrums
Fairly Good, Based on 3 Critics
The Guardian - 60 Based on rating 3/5
As if Vintage Trouble weren't enough, here's another US band who have built a reputation on their live show making the transition to the studio. This time it's an expert pastiche of classic soul, rather than the tougher R&B of Vintage Trouble, but fans of one are likely to enjoy the other. The Tantrums – a guitarless band, who rely on organ, piano and sax to carry the melodies – know their way round a tune: Breakin' the Chains of Love, the title track and L.O.V.
Debut album of retro-R&B from LA soulsters. Paul Lester 2011 Michael Fitzpatrick and his band, which includes former members of Dilated Peoples and De La Soul, are on a mission: to reclaim the original US R&B, an American invention, remember, even if the dominance of UK soul girls (Adele, Amy, Joss et al) on both sides of the Atlantic over the past few years would suggest otherwise. Basically, if you’re a Stax and Motown fetishist, you’ll love what these revivalists are doing.
Everywhere you turn, there's another neo-soul band trying to re-create, in some form or fashion, the classic sounds of Motown, Stax, and Philadelphia International artists. One of the best such efforts comes from the City of Angels on this impressive full-length debut, which succeeds in large part because the band creates its own vibe. Partial to the 1970s, Pickin' Up the Pieces borrows particular elements such as Motown's percussive thunder on "MoneyGrabber," a Billy Preston organ mash-up on "Rich Girls," and the title track's disco lights.