“That’s Just Fine” is described as Sean Shiff’s try at coping with our current American political circumstance, which he describes as nauseating. Specifically, Shiff focuses his attention on President Donald Trump.
The song begins with just a guitar riff, before jumping into a strummed guitar part and vocal. “Somehow he can hypnotize,” Shiff says of Trump – one assumes. He even tries to turn off the TV set and avoid it all. He also, in so many words, describes the leader of the free world a piece of crap. The song includes a soulful harmonica solo, which gives the track an overall folk-rock feel.
Shiff attempts to be a unifier by suggesting that, even those that disagree with him, are still his friends. He then sings about waiting for all this “shit to end.” Yes, he’s unhappy with the current president, but he can’t be happy with the overall political situation. Shiff puts himself in a difficult position, that of trying to be a unifier. It’s difficult to remember a time when the United States was more divided than it is now. There’s very little compromise between the left and the right on the political spectrum. Each spend far too much time calling the other side the bad guys, to get anything substantial done.
The song’s title is presumably sarcastic. He might be singing, “That’s just fine,” but very little is actually fine. Even when somebody tells you’re they’re doing fine, it’s a non-committal answer. They don’t tell you they’re great, but they also don’t tell you they’re awful, either. Similarly, to say “that’s just fine,” when detailing all that’s wrong with the country, let’s you know that, in fact, nothing is fine.
The first verse speaks of coloring outside the divided line. He could be speaking of Trump supporters, who may not venture into to the opposite political spectrum. Then again, he might also be speaking of the left’s hesitance to exit its echo chamber. However, the way Shiff describes the president and his cabinet, in such negative terms, is not going to help persuade those on the right to switch sides. Perhaps a better tactic would have been to sing words about the principles we have in common, rather than going attack against the right’s president and all he stands for.
Toward the end of the song, Shiff sings, “It’ll all be fine.” He’s probably both right and wrong. If he’s looking toward a far-off future, one of a ‘united’ United States, perhaps the country will be better then. However, if he’s singing about the near future, well, he’s likely being sarcastic again. There are few signs on the horizon that our nation will be on the same page politically and socially any time soon.
Sean Shiff sounds to be getting some things off his chest with “That’s Just Fine.” He’s disgusted with politics in his country, and he can no longer hold his feelings back. This song has a jaunty beat and melody, and Shiff sings it with sincere passion. It’s by no means a sophisticated political analysis, but Shiff uses his freedom of speech to get his feelings out there. America may not exactly be fine, but this song — about its sitting — president is more than fine.