WHO ARE THEY? The L.A. pop-chart mainstays and former neo-soul revivalists fronted by singer and chief songwriter Michael Fitzpatrick, who claims his Pepe Le Pew-meets-Cruella De Vil two-tone locks are natural.
WHAT IS THIS? Their fourth collection of catchy commercial confections that are coming soon to a radio station, supermarket aisle and superhero soundtrack near you.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Somewhat surprisingly, it’s not just an album of HandClap rewrites. Which it could easily have been, given Fitzpatrick’s seemingly innate ability to write indelible hooks and melodies. Instead, he has written a 17-song disc that aims to earn its title with a musically and emotionally diverse slate of synth-based fare that runs the gamut from pop and rock to soul, R&B, EDM and more. Of course, if you were actually hoping for an entire album of HandClap rewrites, you have my condolences.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Fitz and Restarts.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While doing something else — it’s more of a soundtrack to housework or backyard puttering than an album for quiet headphone listening.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Colourful, vibrant, multifaceted, positive, personable, polished, energetic, commercial, interesting, stylish.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Although singles like 123456, I Just Wanna Shine and the title cut would seem to be obvious choices, don’t skip over some of the quirkier cuts like the thumpy heartland-pop of OCD and the bass-heavy Belladonna.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘A pop album with 17 songs seems way too long, but you have to give him credit for trying to do something different than last time.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? You certainly won’t need to pull it out to hear the singles, though some of those other cuts might bring you back occasionally.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE CANDY, WHAT KIND OF CANDY WOULD IT BE? A large box of mass-market chocolates.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Streaming should give you all the feels you need.