It would be easy for any artist with six albums under their belt to become complacent; to slide into a comfortable groove and ride it out, sans creativity. Samantha Fish, thankfully has taken the approach of a long distance runner and kept on powering through, determined to be an artist of maximum endurance and longevity. Sixth time round, she's evolved again from her heavier blues work and 2017's country influenced album, Belle of the West, to produce a record that doesn't easily conform to any one genre or style. As a result Kill Or Be Kind feels less restricted and more open showing her continued maturity and growth as an artist.
From the riff and stomp laden opener, Bulletproof, it's evident there's a hunger and an energy that still drives her on – there's even a tinge of Alanis Morissette to her vocal style in places. It isn't the first time that Fish gives a gentle nod or two to other artists on the album. On the more bluesy tracks such as Kill or Be Kind, the passion of Beth Hart piques our interest. On the more Stax influenced tracks, the sass of Amy Winehouse and even the smooth tones akin to Norah Jones can be detected. While this might sound like a role call of some of the most recongizable vocalists of the last twenty years, Fish still has her own style that shines though, which is evident on the bold and tender Love Letter and sultry R&B track Dirty.
Kill Or Be Kind is Samantha Fish's ode to the American songbook and it continues to show her as a versatile artist who is impossible to be corralled into any one genre. Whichever one she chooses she always masters with enviable ease.
Groupie rating 4/5