Review: Fastball – The Way (Rock)

This review covers the pop rock track Fastball – The Way.

This track was released in 1998 on the album All the Pain Money Can Buy.

The track starts off with some random radio sounds and a drum kit. A piano then comes in. The vocals then come in for a verse as the radio sounds drop out. The guitars come in – especially the bass guitar. Also, the subtle filtering is removed.

A lead guitar then comes in as the vocals continue on with a main chorus. The lead guitars drop back and the vocal continue on for the main next verse. A secondary filtered vocal makes a brief appearance.

From there, the vocals then take the track into the main chorus as the lead guitars rejoin the track. A guitar solo then enters the track. The solo contains a few missing notes as well as the odd awkward one here and there.

After that, the vocals then come back for another main chorus. A synth effect caps this section off before another guitar solo comes in. Seemingly part way through, the track just stops.

This is one of those tracks that actually has a lot of elements, yet nothing actually contributes to making this an interesting one. When I personally got to the end, I thought to myself, “Well, that was a boring one.”

Dissecting this a little bit, the piano hits a few chords and is almost left on auto pilot. At first, it seemingly could add to the track, but when this element doesn’t do much besides hitting a few chords repeatedly throughout the entire track, it actually becomes annoying by the end.

Meanwhile, the vocals just come off as very bland. Some of the lyrics are actually a bit slurred. Another unfortunate aspect is the fact that the mastering also causes other bits of the lyrics to get drowned out. As such, it’s quite difficult to really get any meaning out of the lyrics because all you really get is bits and pieces here and there.

As for the guitars, there is actually a solo and a half. The awkward notes here and there don’t really help the track any. In addition to this, the missing notes pretty much wrecks the flow of the track. With both issues facing the solo’s, it makes these parts of the track quite messy. It’s weird hearing guitars having full blown solo’s and they actually sound better when lost in the shuffle during the rest of the track.

As for the actual construction of the track itself, the track just sounds like the producers ran out of idea’s part way through. Rather than just try and find some interesting way to wrap the track up, they just chopped the track off randomly somewhere, then called it a done deal. That’s the impression I got when I heard the track end.

The only real positive I can hear throughout this track is that a lot of the elements besides the vocals sit well on the track. Yes, the vocals get drowned out, but there isn’t any real issues of note in terms of mastering otherwise.

Overall, this track manages to implement variety and even some decent mastering outside of the vocals and still wind up being a snore fest. In a way, having piano, a few synths, guitars, and vocals and still successfully making it a boring track is an accomplishment. The piano is repetitive and annoying, the guitar solo’s are messy, the vocals slur a bit and are washed out from time to time, and the track just randomly ends part way through a solo. While there are positives in this track, they get hugely overshadowed by the pitfalls. So, a forgettable flop in my view.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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