In his review of Fitz and the Tantrums at Central Park Summer stage, Iman suggested they use another producer for their next album, to make their big, soulful sound more alive on record.
What does a producer do exactly? He assists the band, makes creative decisions, brings out one instrument or another, suggests a certain arrangement, a new part, so help the artist(s) to make the best album possible,… What do they need to change actually… more bass? More drums? More vocals? The problem is to reproduce their dynamism, the party atmosphere present when they play live, and it ain’t easy!
So let’s begin with some of the biggest producers of all time:
Phil Spector was known for his ‘Wall of Sound’, which gave this layered effect to the music. Do they need this? No, they are not the Beatles, they don’t even use guitars, and Spector is in jail anyway.
What about Quincy Jones? Too jazzy? Well he produced the king of pop, Michael Jackson too, so too poppy?
Let's see other ones:
What about Christopher Bond, he produced a bunch of Hall and Oates in the 70s, so that would fit with their sound. And Todd Rundgren? He also produced Hall and Oates but so many others, from the New York Dolls, to Grand Funk Railroad, Meat Loaf, Patti Smith, XTC, Bad Religion, Cheap Trick,… many says he is a great one.
Iman suggested Niles Rodgers, because he could bring out the bass and drums, he also produced so many from David Bowie to Eric Clapton, and The Stray Cats…
But are all these producers too old school? Fitz and the Tantrums may be using old recipes but they add a modern twist, a fresh outlook. So here are other suggestions.
Rick Rubin? I read he has a stripped-down style, which emphasizes on vocals? But they are not exactly stripped down to the vocals.
TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek? He could bring a big sound, but would he be a little too experimental?
Mark Ronson? He almost got to be Quincy Jones’ son in law, but yeah, he would be also a good choice, after all he made Amy Winehouse, or what’s left of her these days.
Danger Mouse? He can do anything he has proved it and has worked with the best artists of the decade. He may be perfect and Cee-Lo Green/Gnarls Barkley has certainly this retro aspect. I may vote for him.
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