Review of Breakin' the Chains of Love EP by Fitz & The Tantrums

The EP of four tracks opens with glorious joy, and funk. The lead vocal is soulful, and draws you in, compelling you to listen. It's a captivating sound, which instantly makes you feel alive, and itching to move.

Fitz & The Tantrums Breakin' the Chains of Love EP

The first track is 'Breakin' the Chains of Love', and the instrumental and backing vocals are straight out of old-school Motown, with shaking tambourines, and deep, grinding voices. 'Dear Mr President' , the second track, has the feel of old music done through a modern filter; anachronistic soul, but with the clean finish of modern production. It has a relentless, rolling beat, that makes you want to move, no, not move, dance! And smile.

Two songs in, having never heard the name; Fitz and The Tantrums, it's immediately being added to my list of favourite music, and I didn't even seek this band out. It's amongst the best new-old, soulful music I've heard. ever. It combines old-fashioned musicality with contemporary finish, with the unreserved, dirty let-loose of one, and the clear, polished result of the other.

'Pickin' up the Pieces' is a simply happy, celebratory sound, with traditional, almost gospel, vocals. It's music that has that desire, which is too often lost nowadays, to show off, and revel in the bare bones, and booty (Yes, I said booty) of the music.

Named by Rolling Stone as a; 'band to watch' in April 2011, it seems that Fitz And The Tantrums have already won the hearts of America, and have achieved chart and chat show success alike. My prediction is that as soon as Britain puts their CD in, they'll fall in love with it as well.

The EP ends with; 'Darkest Street', a melancholic track with the quiet, melodious romanticism of the old Motown ballads, the soft, remorseful heart of songs like Brook Benton's much-covered 1970 hit for Atlantic Records; 'Rainy Night in Georgia'. I was slightly disappointed, because I wanted the record to go out with a bang, in one explosive, soulful firework, which it doesn't. After the impossible energy and heat of the preceding songs, which are full of fire, and beat, and tempo, this last note, although a beautiful track, ends the EP a little flatly, and sombrely.

I'll definitely be looking for more Fitz and The Tantrums in my life, and I was sorry there were only four songs on the EP. I wanted more. This kind of music has been out of fashion for a long time, meaning that people who want that hot soul in their music have to listen to old records, outdated and worn out songs. It's exciting to see a band come along who want to do real, old music, but in a very modern and 21st Century way. Although they're doing this old music, they don't sound like a Four-Tops tribute act, because they're original songs, written very intelligently, to ensure that the sound is current, and original. The music is there, totally living up to the legends that went before them, but the songs are new, written in this world, now. There is nothing tired, or done-before about this band. They seem to be attacking the music with passion, and energy, giving the music the expression it needs, and this genre a new voice. Fitz and The Tantrums can introduce a new generation to soul music, and get people listening to their parents' 45's, as well as listening to this new rebirth, this revolution for real music.

Vikki Littlemore

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