Sunday, May 21, 2017

Quick Take: Fastball - Step Into Light

Fastball is one of those bands that never got the credit they deserved. While "The Way" and "Outta My Head" were hits, people ignored the fact that they were making great records that kept the spirit of Beatles-style rock in our consciousness. "All The Pain Money Can Buy" is the one people would know, but "The Harsh Light Of Day", "Keep Your Wig On", and "Little White Lies" are packed with great songs that deserved to get heard. It's sad that they now reside on the 90s nostalgia circuit.

This new album of theirs is the first time I can't say that Fastball is a band getting looked over. Gone are the shimmering pop songs that crept into your head and stayed there. Instead, this album finds Fastball sounding old, tired, and out of ideas. They have had plenty of short songs in their history, most of which used the economic running times to throw a frenzy of melodies out there, but this album finds the songs short in a way that sounds incomplete.

There's no snap to these songs, no energy. They limp from start to finish in less than three minutes, and neither Tony nor Miles can save them. Both of them had released solo albums, and Miles' had me worried that his contributions would be weak, but Tony's solo album was great, and he doesn't provide enough here either. The two best songs, "Just Another Dream" and "Secret Agent Love" are both his, and are fantastic, but the rest of the album is comprised of songs that wouldn't have made the cut on any other Fastball record. This isn't offensively bad, but it's not even close to being good enough for Fastball

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