Fitz and The Tantrums deliver an upbeat mix of passionate lyrics and energetic vocals in their album, More Than Just a Dream. Their recent work blends together soul music with electronic, and sprinkles in lots of sugary pop to create a unique genre for their second album, released in mid-2013.
The band’s lead vocalist, Michael Fitzpatrick, sings along with Noelle Scaggs for 45 minutes in 12 songs, and compels listeners with their lively combination. Throughout songs like “Out of My League” and “Spark,” Fitzpatrick and Scaggs are both grandiose and dynamic, making their voices easy to sing along with.
The energetic spectrum featured in More Than Just a Dream never disappoints, making the album worthwhile. “The Walker,” for example, prepares audiences for the danceable energy unleashed onto them through melodic whistling and Fitz’s lyrics in the introduction: “crazy’s what they think about me/Ain’t gonna stop cause they tell me so/’Cause 99 miles per hour baby/Is how fast that I like to go.”
On the other hand, melancholic but electro notes and backup vocals echo through “6AM” when Fitzpatrick and Scaggs sing about their missing love when “It’s six in the morning, I’m still awake/My sleepless heart is torn up, babe.”
Although emotion is evident in Fitz and the Tantrums’ music, the band also seems to convey too much drama in their album. Soul music, which supposedly incorporates elements of R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and pop, demands continuous energy and groove. While the band obviously pelts listeners with energy, they are often overdramatic, and force the music to flow out of the album in an excess of funky saxophone jams and an overdose of piano ballads.
In fact, in the commentary for More Than Just a Dream, Fitzpatrick admits to having written “Fools Gold” after the album was almost complete. The band had written the final song in an attempt to “conjure up some magic,” but ended up creating a stale, not-so magical piece that mirrors every other song in the album.
Despite the album’s flaws that make it seem unnatural and forced, Fitz and the Tantrums have done more than created an album that’s more than just good. They’ve made music that’s great.