Fastball returns with their fifth studio album, “Little White Lies”. By and large, I enjoy the pop songwriting craft and trademark harmonies of Miles Zuniga and Tony Scalzo, which rival The Rembrandts in quality and creativity. I got hooked on them during the splash of their breakthrough record, “All the Pain Money Can By” (1998), which remains one of my favorite melodic rock records of that day. I did not enjoy the follow-up (“The Harsh Light Of Day”) so much, but loved 2004’s “Keep Your Wig On”. So the band historically has been hit and miss for me – but when they hit they knock it out of the park.
I will have to rank “Little White Lies” among the misses. It takes some great swings, and it is always great to hear this team play, but I’m just not enamored with this record after a couple spins. I am confident in time the other tracks will grow on me as the hooks sink in, but I don’t like to have to put that kind of effort into enjoying a CD.
Fastball slides right across home plate with the infectious opener, “All I Was Looking for Was You”, which is written like it was intended to be a do or die single and has all the elements of pop rock perfection. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many tracks that reach the caliber of this one, although some come close. The title track is an groovy little number that makes you want to shake some booty, followed by the very catchy and smart “Mono to Stereo.” “We’ll Always Have Paris” and “She’s Got The Rain” are two more highlights, but the rest, while good, just isn’t grabbing me as fast as some of their previous stuff.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 4, 5, 7, 9