Blues rock guitar phenom Samantha Fish is currently one of the most talked about names in the genre. With a career spanning over 10 years, Fish has earned her rightful place amidst the cream of blues rock songwriters and performing artists. Absurd guitar skills, captivating vocals, an ear for great hooks and high-octane live performances are her main assets as she climbs her way to the top. Although never restricting to one formula, Fish takes a step forward in her career with her newest release, Faster, which explores new ground and incorporates elements of pop, contemporary R & B and hip-hop into her music. Let us take a closer look at the results of this ambitious endeavor.
Backed by drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements), and bassist Diego Navaira (The Last Bandoleros) and by producer Martin Kierszembaum (Lady Gaga, Sting, Sheryll Crow), Fish presents 12 original, energizing compositions. The competent production and mixing allow the tracks to pulsate with vigor, something that fits perfectly with the album’s conceptual message, one of empowerment and taking control. Analyzing some selected tracks will help us understand this better.
The title track, a high-voltage, pop-flavored rocker, kickstarts both the album and our analysis. The catchy riff, melodic keys and infectious vocal hook set the aforementioned enthusiastic tone of the album. Another highlight is the album’s first single “Twisted Ambition”. A mid-tempo, power-pop-infused rocker that contains some fiery guitar work as well as astonishing vocals. The next track in our review is “Crowd Control”. While the pop elements in the previous song were more of vehicles for Fish’s rocking guitar and vocals, in this specific number, they take the front seat. The result is an enjoyable, laid-back, almost straight-pop number. The “almost” comes in the form of a fiery guitar solo, Samantha Fish-style.
The song that follows takes a turn back to rock, though. “Imaginary War” is a fierce blues rock cut with a punchy bassline and ardent guitar work. Not to mention the inspired vocals. “Loud”, despite its title, starts quietly. But not for long, though. The song eventually builds on a dynamic crescendo and culminates in a hip-hop climax, courtesy of the rapper Tech N9ne. While some purists will most certainly frown upon the very thought of this mix of genres, the song definitely establishes a promising musical framework.
Faster is an unorthodox release that revigorates blues rock and pushes the genre’s boundaries. It can also be a hint of the direction Samantha will take on her career. Anyway or the other, the album stands on its own as a rock-solid and enjoyable effort.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Twisted Ambition
– Imaginary War
– Crowd Control
The Big Hit