Tim Fite – [Album]

Monday, 19 March 2012

Watching the curve of Tim Fite's artistic growth and development over the last seven years has been pretty interesting. Using his physical releases to mark moments in time (Ain't Ain't Ain't is the singer's third album for ANTI–, but he has also released several free full-length downloads through his web site), the singer started out as a great, underground-identified emcee with a sound, style and delivery (sort of like hill country, folky hip hop over strikingly long samples) all his own. Fite's sound and style matured gradually with each successive release and, by the time Fair Ain't Fair came along, Fite could easily been mistaken for a musician as well as an emcee due to his much-improved songwriting, and the fact that his samples were mingling with real-time instruments far more regularly and complimenting them instead of just propping them up. That was a pretty exciting development but, now with Ain't Ain't Ain't, Tim Fite has reached a new, smooth and completely developed evolution of his music; here, the samples don't play off the real-time instruments, they're melded seamlessly into the mix and it's impossible to tell where the samples end and the real-time begins; in effect, Ain't Ain't Ain't isn't so much rock or hip hop, it is a virtual music platform which utilizes both to reach its desired goal – without one side, the music would simply not exist.

That thread of multi-discipline necessity starts to become apparent on Ain't Ain't Ain't from the moment “Hold Me All Night” begins to fade in with an aura of Paul Simon-esque meticulous care in construction. In this beginning, Fite's stoic, pseudo-Southern-fried inflection moves smoothly along with (what sounds like) a gentle french horn in tandem with the vocal's tempo and reasonably clean, unadorned surroundings. While the arrangements on Tim Fite's other records were never particularly busy, this start is particularly unadorned and urbane and will see listeners heave an easy sigh of relaxation; this music is all very easy to hear and uncolored. That peace is only slightly disturbed as “Hold Me All Night” lets out and “Girard” walks in, bringing with it a vibe that somehow manages to straddle a hymnal and dubstep mix which builds as it plays through. By the time the going reaches “Bunnies” and “Joyriding,” the path is set for both Tim Fite and Ain't Ain't Ain't, and the journey promises to be an awesome one; faux (or five-fingered – it's difficult to tell) string flourishes dot the side of the road through this run-time, and unusually intoned instruments (the chorus effects on “Telephone Booth” are a personal favorite) are the norm, but the soothing, muted arrangements overlaid on top of each make it possible to feel as though listeners have a significant buffer between them and the music and so do not have to get too greatly involved. Listening to these new developments from afar like this is actually quite refreshing.

Okay, so, as Ain't Ain't Ain't's title track ends to close out the album, listeners will be left to try and decode what they might be able to expect from Tim Fite in the future. This album saw most of the dots that the emcee threw out over the last seven years get connected and reveal a very sublime and satisfying conclusion, so he's really left with a creative carte blanche for whatever he wants to try next. Having that freedom could be very liberating for the emcee, so we'll just have to wait and see what comes.


Ain't Ain't Ain't is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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