Fitz and the Tantrums continue their run of hooky pop offerings with 2019's infectious All the Feels. Having first grabbed fans with the retro '60s-style soul that made up their 2010 debut, Pickin' Up the Pieces, the band led by lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick quickly evolved into a slick, modern pop outfit with 2013's More Than Just a Dream. It was a transition that they completed with 2016's Fitz and the Tantrums, an uber-glossy production that spawned the ubiquitous double-platinum hit "HandClap" and firmly established the group as a pop phenomenon. It was also a creative transformation that divided fans, leaving some feeling that the group had abandoned their distinctive vintage-inspired sound in favor of a more mainstream pop sensibility. All the Feels arrives very much in the same vein as its two predecessors, with songs like "123456," "Ain't Nobody But Me," and "SuperMagik" built upon kinetic synth riffs, programmed-percussion grooves, and Fitzpatrick's warmly resonant vocals. While it's probably not going to change anyone's opinion about the band, the album does a better job of balancing sugary pop hooks with an emotive uplift that feels genuine. The best moments on All the Feels, like the power-poppy "I Need Help!" and the new wave-sounding "OCD," balance hooks with a textured '80s-inspired production that pulls you deeper into the rousing energy of the choruses. That said, as the title implies, there are more than just upbeat anthems on All the Feels, and cuts like the title track, "Basement," and "Dark Days," while still uplifting, find Fitzpatrick drawing ever so slightly upon how the turmoil of the modern social climate can negatively affect your outlook. These aren't really protest songs, but they are songs meant to inspire fortitude during tough times. On "Dark Days" he sings, "Imma keep dreamin' in these dark days/'Cuz you never know." Regardless of sentiment, this track, like many of the tracks on All the Feels, straddles the line between club bangers and kids pop mixtape fodder, leaving you in a better mood than you were in before you hit Play.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar