Phish: Fast Enough For You
Fast Enough For You is almost a perfect pop ballad. It has chiming guitars and a soaring vocal line. It has just the right touch in the production: there is no wall of strings, or a horn section, or chorus vocals from a cast of thousands. Any and all of these touches would have killed this song. And it has a line that perfectly expresses how love grows over the course of a relationship: “I’d be happy just to watch you age.” Of course, the song uses the standard format of verse, chorus, v- hey, what just happened?
This is, after all, Phish. In fact, there is only one verse. Then there is the first chorus, then an instrumental break, then the second chorus, then a coda to finish. The instrumental break does not contain the vocal melody, but, structurally speaking, this is the second verse. Because they are playing within a conventional song structure, this doesn’t sound odd. The lyrics to Fast Enough For You are enigmatic, but they seem to describe a situation where one partner in a relationship wants things to move much faster than the other. Once the situation is stated with words, Phish elaborates on the emotions of the situation with their instruments instead of their voices. And they make it work. Most people wouldn’t, and probably shouldn’t, try this with their songs.
So maybe this is a perfect pop ballad after all. But only because it’s Phish.