Friday, May 16th, 2014

Fitz and the Tantrums – The Walker

Whistling! We like whistling!


Patrick St. Michel: That whistling reminds me of this.

David Sheffieck: The nervously insistent beat can’t disguise the thin, anonymous vocal and weak melody. Particularly because of the contrast, the middle eight is one of the strangest I’ve heard in recent memory — enough so that I ended up doubling my score.

Anthony Easton: This is all about the whistling, but the whistling is fantastic. Made even better by his slightly nasal and off-key vocals — an amateurish quality too professional for charm until the chorus hits.

Brad Shoup: This was the worst song I’ve heard this year, until I learned it was about an actual dude who walked. Now it’s minor humanist twaddle, instead of a portrait of a stylish band conquering the country in a bumper car. The shouts and peppy whistles and skanking organ make this a nice gift to people who work out; in the car, it’s a cute — if obscure — sound portrait.

Katherine St Asaph: It’s useful that “normcore,” the latest persistent imagined trend based on making fun of people, is peaking at the same time; I challenge anyone to come up with a reason to dislike this song, which pillages every decade and everyone’s coffer to be maximally shiny and sunny and likable, that is not fundamentally about the sort of person who listens to it. (This includes “it’s written for ad syncs!” — because if you scratch at that, it’s often complaining about the sort of person who discovers music through ads.) I mean, you can picture her, right? Big sunglasses, Pinterest board, college shorts, jokeless Twitter, and it’s probably a “her.” Moral: it’s cool now to defend teenage girls’ imagined music taste, because adults can easily avoid them (and their actual taste), but when they grow up, all defense and logic is off.

Alfred Soto: The filters through which the instruments blare add a welcome distance between myself and the performers, but the song and voice are very far from “tantrum.” When the organ starts, actually, it’s like Brandon Flowers leading Black Keys. In other words, this is songwriting to a demographic, to which producers and performers condescend because no one will call them on their bullshit.

Scott Mildenhall: Ending with a fade can sometimes seem quite lazy, and when the reflex reaction to your song is “advert music”, especially so. That description would of course be unfair — it’s got more of a FIFA soundtrack feel (apparently they’ve been on it already) — so how about “The Hives poring over focus group feedback”?

Jessica Doyle: Well, it would have be in the City of Angels (“Under the Bridge” is two decades old now. The faux-noir sheen has looooooong since rubbed off). If it had been Toronto, then the Flying Pig would have come to entertain the line, and no one would have mistaken the main character’s self-pity for solidarity.

Reader average: [6.66] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Fitz and the Tantrums – The Walker”

  1. I kept confusing that whistling hook with “Life Sounds Like” by Michael Franti, which was a song released last year that fortunately had no legs.