This is the final installment of Fite's acclaimed "Ain't" trilogy. The first two albums, Fair Ain't Fair and Gone Ain't Gone, were powerful sound collages that artfully combined disparate musical traditions without pretense or prejudice. Yet underneath all that exquisite sound was an artist ardently addressing the issues of his time and the circumstances of his life. Both records received phenomenal response from both music fans and esteemed publications such as The Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, San Francisco Bay Guardian, NPR and more.
But while Fite's previous works addressed adult issues with a youthful exuberance, Ain't Ain't Ain't is, in many ways, their thematic opposite. The central focus of the record is the pain, hope and unbridled passion of one's teenage years. "This record is shamelessly clad in the high hopes of high-school hot pants, just as much as it is ashamed of its insecurities and aging self-awareness," Fite explains. "Like cafeteria lunch tables, Ain't Ain't AIn't is as vulnerable as it is invincible. I hope that anyone who knows what it is to be a teenager might see their reflection in these songs, and feel more alive."
Unlike Fite's previous works which were created using a collage of samples, on Ain't Ain't Ain't the artist played and recorded instruments in the studio. The leaner sound reveals Fite to be a classic songwriter of startling ability. The song "Joyriding" boasts a timeless car radio hook and a buoyant mood which perfectly captures the exhilaration and freedom of cruising with friends. And then there is the absolutely epic and heart wrenching "We Are All Teenagers," which serves as the thematic centerpiece of the album. The track builds from an intimate lament on the awkwardness of the teen years to a magnificently cathartic Phil Spector-like crescendo about human frailty and the lost promise of youth.
"First loves, fist fights, cliques, slow-dances, broken hearts, joyrides, bullies and the big game," Fite says. "These adolescent rites all act as mirrors for the future. Teenage loves are the loves to which all subsequent loves must be compared. Teenage fuck-ups are the fuck-ups by which all other fuck-ups are measured. There is no better mirror than a teenage mirror - because it reflects the best and worst of us simultaneously - pimples and all. The songs on this record are reminders of who we were, who we are, and who we may come to be."
Previous Acclaim For Tim Fite:
"Inspiring and incredible" - Daytrotter
"Fair Ain't Fair (Anti), one of those albums that defies anyone to categorize or ignore it." - Chicago Tribune
"Last year, Fite released a free Web-only album that established him as one of the most creative singer-songwriters around. This spiffy follow-up, recorded in his Brooklyn bedroom, is a savory blend of country, hip hop, blues, pop, and electronic music. What's that? It sounds like we're describing Beck? Don't worry, Fite's songs are earnest and funny enough to hold their own." - WIRED
"At once moody and hilarious, satirically biting and spiritually uplifting. Lyrically, Fite doesn't pull any punches. Musically, the album sounds like TV on the Radio's Tunde Adibimpe jamming with Tom Waits at a hip-hop open mic night." - San Francisco Bay Guardian
"He's about as close to essential as it gets." - Dusted Magazine
"His new album, Fair Ain't Fair, confirms that this enigmatic, genre-bending songwriter is one of rock 'n' roll's most subversive renaissance men." - Esquire
"it's one of those records that just makes you smile" - NPR
"Fair Ain't Fair is an honest, at times funny record that further explains how Fite sees the world , for better or worse. And in doing so, he assures his place alongside musicians such as protest-era Bob Dylan, "Born In The USA" Bruce Springsteen and comedians such as George Carlin and Lewis Black." - Kansas City Star
"The sounds of wheezing accordions, loopy strings and pit orchestra flourishes emulate old movie soundtracks and position Fite as a kind of narrator. It's an approach that's a signature for guys like Randy Newman and it's exactly what wins you over to Fite's kaleidoscopic imagination. He's not just a quirky lyricist, he's a real composer." - Playboy
"this is not a hip-hop record; it's the kind of eccentric pop record that Beck, Sufjan Stevens,Robyn Hitchcock and Camper Van Beethoven have made, the type of project that marries whimsical surrealism with singalong melodies, witty satire with bouncy beats. Fair Ain't Fair is one of this genre's more successful albums, for Fite's circus-like sound collages yield pleasure as well as surprise. Reinforcing the pleasure are the catchy tunes; reinforcing the surprise are strange, puzzle-piece lyrics that gradually fit together into a larger picture." - Washington Post
"Its sprawling tracks range from what sound like drunken nursery rhymes to chamber folk played by Appalachian hip-hoppers, along with massed vocal harmonies that sound like the Beach Boys at a hootenany in the Bronx. With his clever wordplay loosely dealing with consequence and remorse, catchy melodies strewn through quirky textures and contexts, and cut-and-paste approach, Fite comes across like a kindergarten savant with visions of the apocalypse." - Minneapolis City Pages
Track Listing For Tim Fite's Ain't Ain't Ain't: 1. Hold Me All Night - 3:10 2. Girard - 3:38 3. Bunnies - 3:32 4. Joyriding - 3:17 5. Telephone Booth - 4:19 6. We Are All Teenagers - 3:34 7. Because I Was Scared - 3:46 8. Tiger Shopping - 2:54 9. My Brother Sings - 1:47 10. Bully - 3:17 11. Talking To The Air - 2:51 12. Goodbye - 6:35 13. Ain't Ain't Ain't - 2:22