Samantha Fish released Faster today (Sept. 10), her seventh solo album in a record that indeed indicates a concerted effort on quicker-paced tempos, a bolder more melodic sound and a bigger embrace of rock, while overall showing she has come into her own.
That’s not to say Samantha Fish’s singing, guitar playing and song writing capabilities weren’t already talented offerings displaying a far accomplished musician well beyond her peers. Faster just sounds different.
Whereas, previous albums mixed a blend of blues, country and roots rock that translated way better live, much a result of her showmanship (or is it showwomanship?) and off the charts ability to play and shred the guitar, Faster continues that mix but in different ratios. Much more a rock album with stronger elements of pop, Samantha Fish doesn’t leave her beginnings behind but rather uses her blues and roots rock bent to accentuate the 12-song album produced by Martin Kierszenbaum who has handled albums by Lady Gaga, Sting and Keane, among others.
Samantha Fish opened for Marc Broussard two years ago at Revolution Hall in Portland, OR and the line to get a signed copy of merchandise and grab a photo with her extended beyond the length you’d expect when the main act took the stage. And no one seemed hurried to get back to the show. Not a knock on Marc Broussard, but the opening act received a standing ovation and people wanted to see her up close and personal.
On that night Samantha Fish put on a remarkable feat of guitar playing, done in high heels no less, with vocal work that rivaled her fretboard work or is it the other way around? Point being, Samantha Fish checks off all the boxes and some you didn’t know existed.
Samantha Fish Faster Review
Now, whether she’s going big or Faster simply falls in line with her natural progression as a musician, Faster should put the young and already accomplished singer on the radar of many more and quickly expand her already cult-like following. Sometimes Carrie Underwood, other times Taylor Swift and maybe even a little Bonnie Raitt, Samantha Fish embraces a more mainstream sound, quite a bit bolder too, for Faster which suits her well.
In many respects, she has harnessed her stage power and brought it to the studio during recording sessions and I think fully captured it.
Samantha Fish delivers a big modern country rock sound to open Faster with the title track and continues the theme with some added grunge for “All Ice No Whiskey” while “Twisted Ambition” dials in more rock with country flair and should turn out a big hit.
“Hypnotic” departs Nashville for some sophisti-pop and a bigger use of keyboards for a completely different track, yes almost hypnotic, but out of the box for Fish. “Forever Together” softens the hard rock edge of Samantha Fish in a straight up pop song that Taylor Swift will wish she could have penned, and “Crowd Control” borders even softer pop sounds. The country pop “Imaginary War” has a little bit of that vengeful Carrie Underwood snark to Fish’s vocals but this fully belongs to the guitarist between the two.
“Loud” starts off real well, a sweet song to start with Fish switching back and forth on using soft flirty vocals before going big. Then Tech N9ne raps in. Makes no sense. Why?
Faster gets back on track and returns to the essence of Samantha for “Better Be Lonely” with more of the roots rock, bluesy tones defining her earlier albums while “So-Called Lover” reminds a little of later Social Distortion, especially the guitar solo on this faster paced pop song.
Samantha Fish closes Faster showing off her stellar range with some pouty vocals on “Like A Classic’ and in a love song of sorts, “All The Words” again reveals a most welcome softer side in a vocal performance that would haunt Adele.
A well recorded, mixed and produced album, Faster seems to help Samantha Fish step out of her comfort zone, not that she even had one. So, perhaps more like taking off the creative handcuffs and nudging her in a direction she’d eventually arrive, only faster.
Samantha Fish Faster Songs:
- All Ice No Whiskey
- Twister Ambition
- Forever Together
- Crowd Control
- Imaginary War
- Better be Lonely
- So-Called Lover
- Like a Classic
- All the Words