Fitz and The Tantrums - “All the Feels” Album Review

Story posted September 24, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

The alternative group Fitz and The Tantrums are back with their fourth studio album “All the Feels.” Attempting to refresh their effervescent pop sound, the group returns with one of their most substantial projects to date.

Best known for their hits “Out of My League” and “HandClap,” Fitz and The Tantrums have been rising steadily in popularity over their career. Thanks to their unique neo-soul style, they have carved themselves a fairly secure position at the forefront of the pop mainstream. Providing one of their largest albums to date, “All the Feels” is a collection of 17 pop tracks. Unfortunately, the size of the album does not result in the level of revisiting potential that one would hope for.

Opening with the album’s title track, the group has a somewhat lackluster entrance. While the track does not sound particularly flawed, its lyrics feel very generic and uninspired. In fact, the entire record as a whole devolves into nothing more than a collection of songs that feel just a little too on the nose for what a pop track should sound like.

The next track “123456” is the worst offender on the album. Its chorus is far too adolescent and the song’s high energy approach feels very forced as opposed to genuine.

The album then transitions to its more notable single “I Just Wanna Shine,” which has a lot more charm than the rest of the record has to offer. Its sound is a well-executed exhibition of the group’s lighthearted fizzy style and the group’s mission to promote positivity is fairly successful.

However, the latter half of the record consists of several throwaway cookie-cutter pop tracks. Essentially, none of the songs have an interestingly defined tone or unique approach. The songs begin to blend together because the lyrics are just carbon copies of any old pop song that one could hear on the radio. The group’s lyricism sounds too familiar and the voice too artificial. The album as a whole sounds just a bit too squeaky clean, as if the group is shamelessly pandering to advertisers or the DJs of school dances. All of the tracks lack substance and are ineffective at anything, except for being admittedly catchy. Although Fitz and The Tantrums attempts to provide their listeners with a large collection of tracks to enjoy, their effort unfortunately doesn’t pull it off, and they fail to provide enough of a reason for their listeners to return.

The group has evidently discovered their niche and are going at lengths to exploit it. Fitz and The Tantrums have seemingly lost their motivation to really dig in and provide tangible messages in their music. Overall, the album’s track listing feels more like a checklist of everything a mainstream pop album should incorporate. The sound of “All the Feels” never really changes either; it remains at the same level for the entire arc of the record. With no real shift in tone or transition in voice, there isn’t really any variety, resulting in a lack of redeeming qualities for the album.

“All the Feels” is a listening experience in which the listener is forced to craft his or her own grab bag of tracks if he or she really wants to try and salvage any of the songs on the record. A majority of the album has been buried by its unnecessarily extended runtime. Although the album is fairly generous in its size, Fitz and The Tantrums’ offerings are just too shallow.

Fitz and The Tantrums have proven before that they have potential, but this recent addition to the band’s discography feels like a massive step back. It’s a shame that a group that seemed close to reinventing the pop genre has seemingly been swallowed by it. Hopefully on future releases, the group will stray away from its obvious catering to mainstream pop and will really attempt to infuse its music with subject matter that is worth investing in.

Rating: 4/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “I Just Wanna Shine”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “123456”

 

Scott Perdue is a junior majoring in secondary education. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.