Joining the fast-growing ranks of fresh talent spewing out of L.A. are Motown throwbackers Fitz & the Tantrums. The six-piece, co-headed by Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, falls in line with the likes of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, crafting soulful, nostalgia pop that’s not only infectious, but just fresh enough to make it stand apart from its predecessors. While album starter “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” is a decent enough jumping-off point, it’s not until the title track that Fitz and company truly hit their stride. For the foot-stomping “MoneyGrabber,” Fitzpatrick leads the charge with a combination of Bobby Darin-style croons and punk-tinged choruses and count-offs. Elsewhere, he and Scaggs go note for note (“News 4 U,” “Tighter”), harkening back to the Temptations’ heyday, even as they craft what just might be the most groovable disc of the summer.
Fitz & the Tantrums
Pickin’ Up the Pieces