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Tim Fite - Fair Ain't Fair (Cover Artwork)

Tim Fite

Tim Fite: Fair Ain't FairFair Ain't Fair (2008)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"Fair ain't so fair, fuckers / there's folly in the pork fat" starts the album, doubled vocals on strange harmonies, both from Mr. Tim Fite himself, building on glitch noises and sampling dialogue from, well, somewhere. "Roots of a Tree" might be a solid introductory opener to this album. "You can't.
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"Fair ain't so fair, fuckers / there's folly in the pork fat" starts the album, doubled vocals on strange harmonies, both from Mr. Tim Fite himself, building on glitch noises and sampling dialogue from, well, somewhere. "Roots of a Tree" might be a solid introductory opener to this album. "You can't hate the roots of the tree and not hate the tree," the song finishes from sampled dialogue, after the sparse strings and plinking keys built into a full form of traditional folk instrumentation.

Calling Fite a folk artist would ring as true as applying the label to Bob Dylan. Dylan fiercely rejected being called a folk singer because his music built from the tradition into a new modern take on roots music -- traditionalist and purist Dylan was not. Fite carries on the form by applying modern sampling and junkyard arrangements to simple song forms. "Trouble" and "The Barber" sway and shimmy under a lazy haze of banjos, guitars, fiddles and auxiliary percussion.

The songs are short vignettes, ranging from under two minutes to just over four. The subject matter varies from philosophical musings on the word 'hate' to absurdist tales about townspeople. Influences flop around like a fish gasping for air; it's not odd to hear a strict flamenco clap and a Civil War snare march apply themselves to the foundation of the percussion.

But while the uptempo songs show a flair Fite has for arrangements, it's when the album slows down to a sweet crawl that the songs make a strong impact. The near drone of "The Names of All the Animals" and its minimalistic slave driver drum paired with jingle bells evoke a form of music earlier than any Americana before allowing sparse horn arrangments to float above Fite's trademark dual singing.

Lacking in instant appeal, the album is a grower, seeping into the mindpsace days after you have your first listen. None of the songs are weak or warrant a desire to skip. It's a solid album, and a creative approach. Many listeners might want to make comparisons to the equally eclectic Tom Waits or Man Man, but in a thorough listening, Tim Fite's music is truly original.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Monade - Monstre CosmicWarren Ellis - Crooked Little Vein [book]Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Ain't It FunnyBlonde Redhead - 2331 Knots - The Days and Nights of Everything AnywhereOf Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?The Brokedowns - These Colors Don't Run (The Musical)Joe Lally - There to HereThe Shins - Wincing the Night AwayThe Makai - The End of All You Know

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
xemelo (May 13, 2008)

Muy bueno!!

Bipedcasserole (May 13, 2008)

score's for his prior albums. i haven't heard this yet, but i'm sure some nimrod will sell it and i can pick it up for $6 somewhere.

"is that jada kiss or is that tim fite?"

letmego (May 13, 2008)

You can hear 3 track off the website

45 remedie sound really good, cant wait to buy this album

acorren1 (May 10, 2008)

This album is really great. I feel like it's the most original album I've heard in a long, long while.

Luke01 (May 10, 2008)

This must be a grower. I have really dug two of Fite's previous outings (Gone Ain't Gone & Over the Counter Culture as well as Fome is Dape) but I am having a difficult time getting into this one. I will continue to give it a few tries, based on this review.

OverDefined (May 9, 2008)

I met this guy at a festival but missed his set. He was quite a character. I need to check this album out.

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