Fitz & the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up The Pieces

So we all know that Trent Reznor had a woman (or multiple women, if he didn’t pay attention) do some really bad things to him, and that he exorcizes those demons through Nine Inch Nails. Well, imagine that Trent decided his feelings were best expressed not through industrial music, but Motown. Do so, and you have a lyrical idea of where Fitz & The Tantrums are coming from.

That is not to say that FATT is negative music–it’s actually pretty uplifting, because while Fitz and the gang are singing about the ends of relationships, it comes very much from the “light at the end of the tunnel” point of view. “Pickin’ Up The Pieces,” to me, is that moment of clarity that you have after that messy breakup. You know, the one where they break up with you, lead you on for months, then drop the news on you that they’re in love with someone else and act genuinely surprised when you take said news badly. Not that I would know about this experience first-hand or anything…

What is especially interesting to me about my enthusiasm for Fitz is that I never listen to lyrics. Never. It should not be surprising to know that lyrics and vocals to me are what the bass is to most people: you know it’s there, and you know it’s important, but you couldn’t really identify what’s going on there unless you really, really tried and had someone there who could explain a lot of it.

Beyond the lyrics, though, The Tantrums are a HELL of a band. The bite from FATT’s website is a pretty good encapsulation of the chops in this group: “Funky drummer John Wicks is a Motown B-side aficionado and prolific session player, Jeremy Ruzumna manned the keyboards and was musical director for Macy Gray. James King backed De La Soul and bassist Joseph Karnes is a well sought after session player.” Fitz did his homework, or at least whoever put his band together did. Pocket pocket pocket.

Check this record out–you will not regret it, and it may just help you out of some rough times.