The last installment of Tim Fite's "Ain't" trilogy finds him cutting and pasting musical segments to create song collages as usual, and after spending four laborious years piecing Ain't Ain't Ain't together, it comes as no surprise that it is his most complicated conception. But it is also his most genre specific. There has been a logical transition over the course of the last three albums. 2005's Gone Ain't Gone involved raw samples and rap, 2008's Fair Ain't Fair found Fite blending record samples with organic instrumentation provided by his friends. For his 2012 release, he went a trickier route, and instead of digging through his hard drive library of samples, he recorded several days' worth of sessions with his musician friends -- collecting individual bass guitar notes, guitar licks, percussion fills, and assorted junkyard noises -- before he dissected them into bits and then pieced them together slice by slice into polished little tunes. However, rather than sounding like an ambitious sonic experiment in deconstruction, there is a distinct alternative singer/songwriter feel to the album. Almost as if the material was written on acoustic guitar and then overdubbed with Fite's tuneful voice, synth sounds, and a big chamber pop band. Idiosyncratic as it seems on paper, Ain't Ain't Ain't isn't a far cry from the multi-tracked folk pop of Badly Drawn Boy or Cloud Cult. Not only are the songs so perfectly patched that it's hard to tell they were ever fractured, but in the age of Pro-Tools editing, they seem like relatively standard pop songs.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover