Faith No More
King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
October 4th, 2007 | 394 replies | 28,708 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Faith No More... King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime

After exploding into mainstream MTV culture with 1989's funk metal pioneering The Real Thing then spitting in the face of being pigeonholed as overexposed darlings of the commercial rock music world with 1992's comparitavely inaccessible and bizarre genre bending exercise Angel Dust, guitarist Jim Martin left the band, Trey Spruance from Mr Bungle stepped in and Faith No More released King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime. It was met with lacklustre commercial success in the US as interest in the band fell short, but made a mint overseas in the charts and in time grew to be a cult work and critically accepted as one of Faith No More's best.

The fresh fusion of funk metal and nasal whelping of singer Mike Patton on The Real Thing is an artifact of the past here, KFAD generally houses a more direct alternative rock sound then anything the band had released before it or after it. Remnants of the insanity of Angel Dust still remain with the occassional dip into genres exotic to rock/metal, but for the most part this album is very straightforward in direction.

It begins with Get Out, a punk/metal-esque pound to the head that uses a simple, oddly timed riff in between a snare drum/hi-hat banging away at the start then moving into power chord territory. It is a fun track which starts the album off nicely, if a little awkward and unremarkable in context of the rest of FNM's awesome musical catalogue. Ricochet makes up for any initial stumbles, a rock track through and through, the intro and verses of this song feature the band making nice use of space with sustained distortion hanging in the background powered by some simple chords. Subtle, picked ostinatos in between use of feedback really make the musical arrangements here, this is another anthemic track driven by vocal lines. The chorus repetition of It's always funny until someone gets hurt and then it's just hilarious! is bound to put a smile on the face of the most sour, it's a very uplifting song which appears to be about adopting absurdity in the face of contempt.

If we needed anymore confirmation about the absurdity of this band, look no further then then next track Evidence. Now it is not absurd for the sake of being absurd a'la other Patton works such as Mr Bungle or Fantomas, in fact it is an accurate construction of a jazzy lounge song which sounds eerily perfect. Billy Gould's smooth bassline, some clean waa stabs on the guitar from Trey, Roddy's beautiful keyboard section and some jazzy yet unrestrained drumming by Puff manages to escape the kind of parody value musically which often plagues genre-bending bands such as Ween to become a tangible arrangement which could rival anything in the genre it aims at. Patton croons perfectly over the top, his smooth voice and the sexy music fitting together like a jigsaw honing his image as a kind of demented Frank Sinatra featuring lyrics which seem to translate to a man having sex with some guy and covering it up from his wife. Despite the lyrical topic being almost vulgar in description it is not half as conflicting with the music as it sounds, the mere fact it works so well as a whole makes it an absurdly hilarious and beautiful song.

The Gentle Art of Enemies comes next, this is ROCK! It's rolls along like a big stomping metal beast, the verses dropping into slow basswork as Patton softly sings over the top. The pre-chorus section up's the dynamics and is groovy as ***, a hi-hat and restrained drumming pattern slapping away in the background against a simple guitar riff. Patton adopts a muffled voice here that is not unlike Serj Tankian, screaming more hilarious lyrics that seem to have some kind of homosexual subtext (I deserve a reward/cause i'm the best *** that you ever had!/And i tighten up my hole you may never see the light again!, also There's always an easy way out, you need something wet in your mouth!.) The chorus just plain bangs, it is the kind of catchy anthem you will forever be singing to yourself or to the annoyance of others if you have not listened to it a thousand times and done so already.

Star AD is a return to jazzy elements, lots of trumpets and oddly timed festivities. It is a very upbeat song, featuring some great vocal parts and arrangements, along with the kind of humourous wit in the lyrics we have come to expect from this band touching on death and celebrity culture. The line A little joke thats understood, it's all over the world is repeated almost Ad nauseam, up until the point you notice that this album has so far constantly used the repetion of the one liner on almost every track that keeps nu-metal bands like Slipknot in bread and butter (i am the push that makes you move!, you can't kill me cause i'm already inside you! etc). The comparisons stop there though, however much inspiration FNM were to the nu-metal world they were always several classes above.

Cuckoo For Caca plays like some twisted church mass, to the tribal beat, distorted guitars and malevolant, ethereal keys one could envision Patton standing on a pulpit as a fire-and-brimstone preacher screaming his word to a terrified, bemused crowd, hands in the air, say-ir. What elevates it from terrifying to funny is the lyrics are about scat, the often demonised art of sex invoving people ***ting on each other and eating it. This seems to be something of a personal joke within the band here (Take it from our drummer Puff, being good it gets you stuff!), and as disgusting as the imagery is this is a hilarious song. Patton screams and squeals with no abandon, the music utterly evil. It is followed by Caralho Voador (Portugeuse for "Flying Dick"), an extremely laid back track in contrast to the insanity before it. It is something of a dark bossa nova number, Patton whispering lyrics which describe a night through the eyes of some guy who has nothing in his life but a car. The chorus picks up a foreboding pace, the line My lips are moving but there's no sound/Someday somebody's gonna get run down is chilling. It features a verse entirely in Portugeuse, which as cryptic as it sounds in FNM style translates to something like I can't drive, and now my index finger shows up in my nose.. Charming.

Ugly In The Morning brings back the metal, a mid-paced, crushing monster of a song led by a tribal drum and bass rhythm. It speaks of the morning after a debauched night, in a way the FNM song The Morning After did not capture quite as destructively. Patton's capacity for singing metal is showcased amazingly, all throughout the song he adopts several different ways of singing whilst his screaming fit at the end with the line Don't look at me, i'm ugly in the morning! built up from a whisper the most impressive. Digging The Grave was one of the bigger singles off the album, another anthemic rock track which further shows FNM's ability to belt up good songwriting being an underrated staple of 90's rock. It is followed by Take This Bottle, which is something of an alternative country song. It is very minor key with some impressive singing and rock elements, and much like Evidence it holds up well in the genre it could be in extreme danger of parioding. The lyrics are well constructed and suit the music well, despite a subtle country cliche Patton's delivery adds just the right touch of sincerity.

King For A Day follows, driven by some open chords consistently jangling throughout, the bass interplay, keys and production really shine here. It is moody and foreboding, however the jangly guitars speak of some kind of allure to this emotion which is an almost beautiful, melancholic feeling. It is a perfect housing for the lyrics, which I interpret as describing a person who has given there life to vanity for their 15 minutes of fame. Patton's restrained vocal delivery gives him the character of a bitter asshole brooding, as the song rolls along the dynamics change to an explosive crescendo until eventually we have the final run, a return to the alluring sadness of the beginning with the sad bassline, jangly chords and a single muttered lyric Don't let me die with that silly look in my eyes repeated over and over again. This is perhaps the most spine-chilling moment on the album, the theatrics of King For A Day show a band with amazing potential.

What A Day is another rock belter in a similar vein to the rest on the album such as Get Out, Ricochet and Digging The Grave, albiet a slower and slightly more forgettable one which is perhaps one of the weaker tracks on here. The Last To Know is another beautiful and underrated song, more great vocal delivery with the arrangements consistenting mostly of power chords on guitar. There are is some great keyboard work in the background, the solo melodic and pretty with some suitably well written lyrics. Just A Man ends the note on a high point, just when you thought the novelty of genre-bending would of gotten old they decide to dip into gospel. Oh boy, this could be woeful if it was any other band but just like Evidence and Take The Bottle not only do they do it they do it well. Not leaning precisely towards traditional gospel, this song is the kind of in-between genres mash only FNM can pull off this way and still sound sincere. Lyrically and musically this is gold, this is the kind of epic cut where live perfomances always hit the right spot because it just a great song.

In short King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime is an excellent album. It is by no means perfect, but Faith No More were one of the greatest left field rock acts of the 90's and this album is one of their very best. I would aim this one at the discerning rock/metal fan wanting to try something different, most of the album leans towards a straight rock/metal sound in comparison to much of their other work but the branching off into other genres along with the blending of sincerity and absurdity make for some strange turns. This is a band that has the ability to open doors musically for people.



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user ratings (860)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • kygermo (5)
    "Making this record was like taking a very satisfying shit"- Mike Patton...

    froghawk (3.5)
    'King For a Day' still has a great deal of merit, but it's not completely engaging in the ...

    lateoctober (4)
    King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime stands as Faith No Mores most straight forward yet ecl...

    Rounder (4.5)
    ...

  • OrbDragon (4)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Monticello
October 4th 2007



805 Comments


Whoaaa, cut those paragraphs down and you will have more readers.
I can't find this album anywhere .

XMII
October 4th 2007



176 Comments


Best Faith No More album.

Meatplow
October 4th 2007



5524 Comments


@ Monticello, noted, thanks.

Shouldn't be too difficult to find i imagine? Where i live it's the ONLY faith no more album available.

Willie
Moderator
October 4th 2007



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I didn't read it yet... I'll wait for the paragraphs to be broken down, and come back to it.

After the phenomenal "Angel Dust" I was disappointed by this album, and every one after it.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Meatplow
October 4th 2007



5524 Comments


Broke it down best i could, one of my worst crimes is paragraph control lol. Next review i will amend correctly.

spoon_of_grimbo
October 4th 2007



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pretty good review, although your comment that "KFAD generally houses a more direct alternative rock sound then anything the band had released before it or after it," is a bit off since, if anything, it's their MOST out-there album in terms of genre hopping. still, you pretty much demonstrated that with the track descriptions (which i must admit were much more descriptive than most t-b-t reviews).

i'd say this is their joint best album along with angel dust, with the real thing shortly behind, and album of the year last (i don't count the albums with chuck, his vocals totally put me off even buying them).

spoon_of_grimbo
October 4th 2007



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

also, "just a man" is possibly the most underrated FNM song ever, i just cant get enough of it!

Meatplow
October 4th 2007



5524 Comments


Yeah Just a Man is incredible.

[quote=spoon_of_grimbo]pretty good review, although your comment that "KFAD generally houses a more direct alternative rock sound then anything the band had released before it or after it," is a bit off since, if anything, it's their MOST out-there album in terms of genre hopping. still, you pretty much demonstrated that with the track descriptions (which i must admit were much more descriptive than most t-b-t reviews). [/quote]

I didn't mean to give the impression this is not a varied album with that statement. I simply meant there are a lot of songs on here that stick to a type of general rock sound (Get Out, Ricochet, Digging The Grave, What A Day, The Last to Know etc) that you don't hear on any of their other albums.

It's a world of difference from the funk metal of The Real Thing or before, plus the unique fusion on Angel Dust. Album Of The Year could be seen as an extension of it i guess, but it took on a sombre, almost gothic tone at times. Every album they released with Patton is completely different, i feel this is their most straight "rock" release as unconventional as it is.

I might add it would still not be a completely accurate way to describe it but since when has anyone been able to pigeonhole this band? This Message Edited On 10.04.07This Message Edited On 10.04.07

ScelusNefas
October 4th 2007



274 Comments


MONSTER REVIEW, i need to listen to this album deeply

Tyler
Emeritus
October 5th 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I voted, great stuff.

UncalledFor
October 5th 2007



100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very good review.
I love this album to pieces, it was the first I ever got by them. I do like Angel dust better but just a little. Get out and What a day may indeed be the weakest tracks on here but they're still awesome because the band is so damn tight. Spruance is probably my favorite guitarist ever.

Tulannical
January 20th 2010



2051 Comments


Mike Patton is probably one of my favorite vocalists. He is so good. Same with this album.

Trez
May 15th 2010



90 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really love Gentle Art of Making Enemies. Good stuff.

SteelErectedb4you8er
May 15th 2010



2613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why do you look so surprised, happy birthday, fucker!

Inveigh
May 15th 2010



24798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea song rules

Romulus
May 15th 2010



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The title track (sort of) off here is awesome

Inveigh
May 15th 2010



24798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yeah it is, one of my favorite songs on here along with Evidence, Enemies and Digging the Grave.

Romulus
May 15th 2010



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Add Just a Man to that and you get my top 5. Star A.D. is pretty sweet too

ThePalestMexican
May 15th 2010



2816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is actually one of my favorites from them
0_0

Inveigh
May 15th 2010



24798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hah, I think we have the same top 6 Romulus



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