Fitz and the Tantrums diversify sound in latest album

Fitz and the Tantrums, having hit three years since their last album release, has re-entered the music scene with their longest, and most flavorful album yet.



Fitz and The Tantrums, featuring singers Noelle Scaggs, left, and Michael "Fitz" Fitzpatrick, right, performed at the 2018 Enterprise NHL All-Star Friday Night concert at

Kyler Johnson, Arts Reporter

Almost three years since the release of their fast-paced, angsty self-titled album in 2016, Fitz and the Tantrums released their latest musical endeavor, *All the Feels* on Sept. 20. The album spins away from the tension in 2016 toward positivity-laced lyrics and a more low-key sound.

Most known for their quick, electronically-charged beats in “HandClap” and “Out of My League,” the group keeps fragments of this style in songs like “OCD,” “SuperMagik,” and “Hands Up”; however, the group exercises a versatility in pace and style in this album.

The longest album they’ve released so far, the 17-track album takes the band’s sound through — as the title proclaims — all the feels. As lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick sings out in the opening track, he’s looking to feel “just a little bit more.” This focus takes the listener up and down on arcs of feeling high and low, but always with a perspective of looking up through it all.

“123456” leads off from this sentiment, diving into bouncy, pop waves, claiming the world and success, bringing the listener to feeling like the top of the world is just within reach. If a song that gets you going in the morning is needed, look no further than this beat to get your brain and body moving.

And with all that success brings, a desire to escape into a private world is captured in “Basement.” The upbeat style holds true, even when the song focuses on hiding. The beats are less performative for a high-paced society and more resonant in the essence of the individual, posing a question of what personal internal beat can be found when  taken away from everything in the outside world.

The group creates a slight deception; however, in “Belladonna,” which opens acoustically before dropping into a heavy club groove. The song joins two very different styles to become an innovative sound for the group. While the lyrics take a slight dip away from the generally upwardly-minded theme, the group marks themselves as playfully experimentative.

This contrast and experimentation really distinguishes from their prior album, which revolves a lot more around a constantly energized sound. The consistency, while cool in its own way, can leave the listener feeling exhausted in the absence of a proper balance.

The presence of the utilized off-beat in this latest album is a trend as a whole. The style of Fitz and the Tantrums becomes one of a constant attack, finding its equilibrium with a counterpart of knowing when to relax.

However, that attack that is so characteristic to many of their most popular tunes does find itself being used purposefully. Breaking from the off-beat in “I Need Help!” brings a sense of urgency to the song and lyrics, emphasizing a feeling often experienced, but rarely expressed in American society.

The ending song of the whole album “Livin’ for the Weekend” leaves a resonant, pulsing beat through listeners minds, alternating between a deeper bass drum, a repeated tapping of synth, and percussive claps of lighter drum beats. The escape of a party is highlighted, and it offers the perfect background for any time you and your friends get together.