Unlike many bands, Fitz & the Tantrums don't need a guitar to get their groove on. With two talented vocalists, the spine-tingling sounds of a vintage organ and super-tight drumming, this L.A. six-piece has all the ingredients for crafting a hit song. Add a bellowing sax to the sound's bottom layer and magic happens.
Pickin' Up the Pieces' opener, "Breakin' the Chains of Love," puts a modern twist on Motown that will get you crooning along to singers Michael Fitzpatrick ("Oh, what a lovely day") and Noelle Scaggs ("Can't you see that you're mine?"). "News 4 U" starts out like a spooky 1960s movie soundtrack, then slithers into Serge Gainsbourg territory with Fitz's sultry French love-whispers two and a half minutes in. "L.O.V." blends a Stax Records sound with a touch of 1970s funk and some very insistent handclaps. Meanwhile, "MoneyGrabber" delivers a sonic bitch-slap with its chorus of "Don't come back anytime / You've already run me dry / This is your payback, MoneyGrabber," sung in unison. It's so catchy and impassioned that I'll take it over Kanye's "Gold Digger" almost any day.