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Tim Fite, ‘Fair Ain’t Fair’ (Anti-)

This noisy iconoclast, who backed up the anticonsumerist hip-hop folk of last year’s Over the Counter Culture by giving it away on the Internet, takes a more introspective, equally fierce approach here. Alternating between woozy crooning and angry outbursts, Fite echoes the bent intensity of Tom Waits and Eels’ Mark Oliver Everett, fitting his warped, oddly captivating melodies to everything from drunken waltzes (“The Barber”) to funky social commentary (“More Clothes”) to gorgeous ballads (“Harriet Tubman”). At his most relaxed, however, Fite still sounds like his head could explode.

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Tags: Albums