Monday, January 8th, 2018

Sam Fender – Greasy Spoon

A young man sings of a woman’s plight; that’s sure to go down well with us, right?


Katherine St Asaph: Did we learn nothing from “The A Team”?

Iain Mew: A dynamic and surprisingly fresh guitar rush, ruined by the fact he can’t decide whether he wants to write “The A Team” or “Female,” leaving the lyrics an uncomfortable compromise between two equally bad ideas.

Alfred Soto: A gesture of empathy and identification that almost gets where Sam Fender wants but is restricted by the vocal lacking the faintest hint of the epicene. 

Edward Okulicz: Starts out very promisingly with a guitar that dodges and weaves like a woman rushing through a crowd of people to get away from a creep. But Fender doesn’t have the gravitas to sell a chorus based around the line “I am a woman.” The heart’s in the right place, but the song’s an observation Fender can’t portray the sheer terror of, and as it often is, the well-meaning comes across as clumsy. It’s a bit like when some well-meaning bloke goes on about how as the father of three daughters, I condemn this blah blah blah. You know a woman wouldn’t have made that mistake.

Micha Cavaseno: While “Greasy Spoon” has in its favor a driving backbeat that’s meant to imply some sort of tension and intensity, the reality is that it’s an affect for Fender’s egomania. Any portrayal of the subjects of his songs is not sympathetic, the subjects barely even exist other than to serve his moronic caterwaul of resolution, a melodramatic revelation and curtain pull that reveals nothing because Fender isn’t interested in this girl as a human, she’s a tale for his own brilliance. If you like generic rock for shitty festivals with too much mud and have no qualms willingly surrounding yourself with self important artist guys, hey, I’m sure he’ll be a charming addition to your playlists.

Hannah Jocelyn: Every time I try to write this I want to listen to the song again and end up listening more than once in a row – not even because of how good it is, but becomes of how it sounds. Engineer Barny Barnicott must have put some form of reverb on every other track, but it never sounds muddy — if anything, the drums feel more aggressive and the guitars feel more immense. As for the lyrics, Fender takes the vague social commentary of Declan McKenna’s “Isombard” last year and instead zeroes in on someone trying to exist despite the increasingly gross people that try to get in her way. “Greasy Spoon” is not subtle; he only chants “I am a woman” for the whole chorus, but even if it’s not as specific or cathartic as a certain F6 note (or the follow-up), it works in its own right. At the very least, we’re not near Keith Urban territory. Let me listen one more time to be sure, though.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Sam Fender believes that the repetitive lyrics found in the pre-chorus and chorus are profound. They stand in stark contrast to the wordy verses, and this transition from internal rhymes to banal recitation is meant to register as some sort of unknotting. It’s trite, and the instrumentation isn’t any different. Take Fender’s guitar: it’s quickly plucked, resembling shuffling footsteps moving with an unsuspecting tone. It hides a growing anxiety sourced from undisclosed pain, and it unsurprisingly leads into clanging guitar strums. There’s a light sway to the strumming, though, communicating to us that it’s meant to be a source of comfort amidst disarray. When the “oohs” come in, Fender’s displaying the depth of his empathy and concern, all of which amounts to little more than virtue signaling. And just to make sure “Greasy Spoon” is the grandest statement it can possibly be, he concludes the song with expanded lyrics meant to quietly shock. You think this is just about any woman? No, this is about your mother, your sister, your daughter — the stuff mentioned in this song could be happening to people you know.

Austin Brown: Dude, did you ever think there was a reason Miguel kept his rock impulses a little restrained? Extra point for a rhythm guitar that reminds me of “Bangarang” just enough.

Reader average: [9.66] (6 votes)

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2 Responses to “Sam Fender – Greasy Spoon”

  1. i wish i’d had time to blurb this! glad it’s a [4] ! maxwell articulated my thoughts about it really well

  2. I didn’t like the “I am your sister” ending either, but I do think the song is better/handles things better than everyone gave it credit for :(

    That said, I loved everyone’s writing here (especially Joshua Minsoo Kim’s blurb)