Amy T. (simplyamy) from DAKOTA DUNES, SD Reviewed on 8/16/2007...
great job...weird topics to rock to!
Sheri P. from VAN NUYS, CA Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
Got this CD for free from a friend, only really dig the song "The Way".
Fastball proves that no "pain" means no gain
the-walrus | USA | 12/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With their debut effort "Make Your Mama Proud", they had failed, though to no fault of the music. Now with "All the Pain Money Can Buy" they've hit platinum. Their debut single "The Way" was voted as one of the most recognizable hits of 1998. Now when I first heard "The Way" I thought "Oh boy here comes another one-hit wonder." When I bought the album, my view of the group totally changed. With power pop tunes like "Better Than It Was" and "Sooner or Later" proves they love to rock, and songs like "Slow Drag" and "Which Way To The Top" shows they can play both country and funky music. Frankly this is the only group of the 90's that I can sincereley compare with The Beatles. Their riffs are strangly familiar, but yet original. The songs are at average 3 minutes long, so no song ever gets tiresome. And no two songs on the whole album sound alike. And now with their other hit singles, "Fire Escape" and "Out of My Head", they have definetly proven that they are not just "one-hit wonders.""
Excellent Pop(ish) Rock
Ishak Ivatar | 04/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like most people I know with this album, or who liked this band, I first discovered them when their "The Way" music video aired. I immediately bought the CD and have been happy with it ever since, even though I'm usually into less mainstream bands. This is simply good music -- very good music -- that most people ought to enjoy, or at least appreciate.
One reviewer described this music as "upbeat Gin Blossoms." The tunes are definitely, for the most part, quite upbeat, and on the surface then this seems a very upbeat album.
If one listens to the lyrics carefully, however, this is actually a concept album with a dark/"dead-end" theme. It starts out ("The Way") with a person, or people (doesn't really matter) making up in their minds to abandon all responsibility in their lives, and live in the now insetad: "They wanted the highway, they're happier there today." The theme progresses slowly, as the person/people get further and further submerged in their fate.
By the song "Which Way to the Top?", the character(s) have come to the point where they're no longer happy and want to, make it, if not to the top, at least above their current station in life. "Won't you tell me, which way to the top? You know that I cna't stay down here.... We used to drive around in a broken down old car, but now I'm changing trains." Through the next couple songs, there are various ups and downs, hopefulness (or at least hopeful draydreaming - "Warm Fuzzy Feeling").
By "Slow Drag," however, the character(s) life has taken a turn for the worst after attempts at self-betterment which provided hope in the recent past are quickly crushed. Cigarettes and perhaps other such chemicals are useful to calm down: "every day the same old dizzy dance" and "Charlie the Methadone Man, fills out the papers just as fast as he can."
It then hits the character(s), again, that their really not "making it to the top," tensions rise and they become unhappy with their lives and with each other, one of them becomes abusive, or at least cruel, "don't matter what I say, only what I do, I never mean to do bad things to you." He eventually "pushed her away with the things [he'd] said."
So many outer forces (society, absurd and unfair vice laws, etc) are just destroying life for people (such as himself), the charater(s) reasons: "take it to the highway, you travel far and wide, caterpillars carving up the countryside." The situation becomes increasingly hopeless, even nihilistic: "No matter where it goes it's a nowhere road." The character(s) get fired from their jobs, get tired, etc.
That's my take on it, anyway. Maybe they're just unrelated songs, though. Either way, it is great music."
Very good album
lvjeremylv | Las Vegas, NV USA | 11/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got this CD as a birthday present in 1999. When I got it, I was only familiar with 2 of the songs from the radio, "The Way" and "Out of my Head", but I was very pleasantly surprised by the rest of the album. I like every song on this CD, but my favorites are probably "Fire Escape", "Good Old Days", and "Nowhere Road".
Fastball has since become one of my favorite bands, mainly because their songs are very upbeat and catchy, and you don't really hear too many bands with that kind of style anymore. When I try to explain Fastball's sound to people unfamiliar with them, I usually tell them they're sort of like Weezer, but I think they're better than Weezer. They definitely have a sound that you don't hear very often, and it's a sound that my ears like."
A promising group and a fun album
lvjeremylv | 01/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The last several months I kept hearing this song on the radio. It had kind of a bluesy guitar and keyboard melody that didn't sound like anything else being played recently, and I loved the singer's voice. I had no clue what the title or the group was, so whenever I heard it I listened for the DJ to identify it so that I could look for the CD, but they never did. Finally today I ran a search on a lyrics website and identified the song right away. To my surprise, it was on a CD I had already owned for over a year- this one by Fastball. (I guess this is a sign that my CD collection is getting out of control.) The song is "Out of My Head" and I haven't been able to get it, well, out of my head. Of course there's also "The Way", which was a pretty big hit a while back, and "Fire Escape", even though the lyrics on the latter are kind of silly compared to other songs on the album. Although this kind of music isn't too terribly original these days, Fastball somehow manages to put their own stamp on it."