4. Fitz and the Tantrums – More Than Just a Dream
It’s the story of a nice band getting bigger. I’ve never known a band so sincerely appreciative of their fans and with their second album they get some pay back with “Out of My League” being their biggest hit to date. 2011’s “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” was the party record of the year with its 60’s homage and stomping beats, but the Tantrums aren’t ones to rest of their laurels. When they went in to record their follow up, they had the vision of being more of an alternative band so they could massage and experiment with their basic sound. “More Than Just a Dream” is just that — a slight break from their first album. Here you will find more new wave influences than soul plus a more polished production. Not that it sucked the life out of them, “…Dream” is still a fun, up-beat collection that is instantly likable and able to get any party started with its big shout-out choruses and boogie beats (The break in “The Walker” kills it). Their political statements are a bit more obscure now in accordance with their passion to play to a wider audience, but it doesn’t stop them from trying to call an army to action in “Break the Walls,” “Spark” and “The End.” Don’t worry, they are still fun songs and there is plenty of wooing going on in the incredible “6AM” and heartbreak in “Last Raindrop.” And go see them live. The studio albums are just scratch the surface of the energy they exude.
Favorite songs: “Out of My League” | “The Walker” | “6AM” | “The End”