It not often you come across an album so natural in sound and vibe. Mixing elements of funk, soul, groove and motown, Fitz And The Tantrums debut record Pickin’ Up The Pieces is one of the most dynamic debut albums of the year. From the 70s soul driven opener Breakin’ The Chains of Love through to the Motown based ballad Winds of Change this album is rich in sound and dynamics, making you want to get up and get your groove on.
Having spent his time working with Beck producer Mickey Petralia, Fitz always had music inside him but never the right outlet or voice. When by chance a vintage organ came into his possession he found that muse to write and record from. The organ is the centrepiece of the music along with brass and big band sounds that craft the music to this album.
Lyrically, Fitz sings about love and relationships, leaning towards the end of relationships in the likes of the opener Breakin’ The Chains Of Love, Don’t Gotta Work It Out and the title track Pickin’ Up The Pieces. The only track to divert from the theme is the politically inspired Dear Mr. President, a piano thumping, hand clapping call to arms inspired by the political change in America.
The end result is a really enjoyable album to listen to. Even for this guy who has never been a huge fan of funk and soul music, this album really gets into your rhythmic soul.