Tim Fite is an artist and true original. His music defies easy categorization. Esquire Magazine called him, “one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most subversive renaissance men.” The Brooklyn based Fite has released Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t the best record of his career via ANTI- Records.
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.”