Beacon Beats: Head up High

This week, we’re looking at “Head Up High,” a collaborative album that was released on Friday.

In short, “Head Up High” is an album by Fitz and The Tantrums. The longer story is that this is more of a collaborative album between the band itself and its frontman, Michael Fitzpatrick, who goes by the stage name “FITZ.”

The album was a product of FITZ’s solo work during quarantine, writing songs to fill the time after the band’s tour was canceled due to the pandemic. So, in many ways, “Head Up High” is as much a solo album as it is a Fitz and The Tantrums album. It’s a product of FITZ’s individual work and experience while still retaining the integrity of the band as a whole.

“Head Up High” begins with its title track. It was released as a single in 2020 and was the only song to be released ahead of the album itself. It has also been released with multiple different remixes.

“Head Up High” feels fitting for the pandemic; it’s about hope and optimism, about knowing life is hard but pushing through anyway. It’s an anthem of positivity and it feels refreshing to see a song written so specifically for this time in our lives but with so much more hope than we’re accustomed to seeing.

“Somebody Sometimes” is a song that stands out on the album. Like much of the other songs on “Head Up High,” it’s anthemic and feels danceable, but it also reminds us of connecting with strangers before the pandemic. This song recognizes that we all “need somebody sometimes,” and celebrates leaning on others during hard times.

One of the slower, more vulnerable songs on the album is “The List,” in which FITZ gets introspective, thinking about his failures and shortcomings, looking at the names he’s been called and wondering “what his problem is.”

It’s interesting that this is an album of short songs. All of the songs on “Head Up High” are less than three minutes long, so it feels like this was an album written in the moment. Not too much intense production or crazy editing, just songwriting in its purest form.

“Head Up High” ends with “Zig Zag,” ending the album similar to how it began. This song is a confidence boost and even dips into some pop-rap and electronica more than the other songs on the album. 

Overall, this is an album of positivity. It’s full of anthems that radiate hope. These songs call back to better days before the pandemic, while also looking to the future with optimism. FITZ reminds us that the worst is behind us, good days are ahead and that we will be dancing again soon.

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