Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Album Review: Samantha Fish - Faster

 Samantha Fish 
***and1/2 out of *****
Over her last few albums Samantha Fish has been searching for a sound. From Appalachian folk, to Memphis soul to Blues rock, Fish has dabbled with everything. Her last offering Kill or Be Kind tried to combine it all while starting the obvious flirtation with modern pop. The ambitious Faster dives into those waters head first.   

From the album art tongue lick to the opening guitar licks, Fish is going all in on a modern sound. When she nails it, like on the ripping opening title track, the slinky dynamo "Twisted Ambition" and the organ over electric cackling feedback of "Imaginary War", she recalls the electro/rock/blues hybrid Jack White has displayed on his recent releases. Like those White records however there are a few misses and the album stutters along mixing inspiration with placid offerings ("Forever Together", "Crowd Control"). 

Working with  producer Martin Kierszembaum (Lady GagaStingSheryll Crow), Fish has made her preferences known, injecting tons of synth into the swaggering "All Ice No Whiskey" which contains a killer solo, before "Hypnotic" focuses on bleeps and full on electro groove. "Like a Classic" finds the blues strut stepping up around the confident playing while the closer on this short album "All the Words" is a straight ballad focusing on Fish's singing and lyrics. 

Backing Fish are drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ RosesNine Inch NailsThe Replacements), and bassist Diego Navaira (The Last Bandoleros) as the band rev up the punky "So-Called Lover" that has a distinct TV On The Radio "Wolf Like Me" feel. The most surprising contributor to the album though is Tech N9ne who ends "Loud" with his rhyme scheme. That track is a good barometer on the album, the quiet to arena rock loud of its title, from verse to chorus, has the markings of a major hit, the guest at the end should solidify it, but there is just something off, keeping the tune and Faster as a whole from the heights shot for.

This modern pop progression was obvious from Fish's trajectory and is the right move. She is a blues guitar dynamo who will be able to play live in acoustic or electric settings for the rest of her career commanding a loyal fan base. However, she has loftier goals and pop superstardom is not beyond her talents, unfortunately Faster is just a first step and there are some stumbles along the positive direction. 
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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