Failure
Fantastic Planet


5.0
classic

Review

by Deadwing42 USER (21 Reviews)
February 4th, 2013 | 13 replies | 1,527 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Failure finds perfection.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

When attempting to introduce various people to Failure, I often resort to labeling them as a "spacier version of Nirvana." While this succinctly describes their sound, it also inaccurately paints the band as being derivative, and does little to describe their high-reaching sense of concept. It is this sense of concept which really should define the band, and while Failure did release three enjoyable album's during the 90's, their "reach for the stars" aesthetic was never fully realized until "Fantastic Planet," a record that stands as the final product of a group of ambitious young musicians who managed, at least in an artistic sense, to reach their absolute fullest potential.

Thematically, "Fantastic Planet" explores the pain of addiction (if you need more details, the addiction they are specifically singing about is heroin), and while this description would lead you to expect the album to be oppressively dark, this is not the case. "Fantastic Planet" contains none of the harrowed, torturous grit and suffering found on similarly themed albums, such as Alice In Chains's almost equally impressive "Dirt". Instead, these songs are written with a sort of poignancy that betrays its feelings not with anger or screams, but with an overwhelming sense of longing and melancholy. Every part of "Fantastic Planet" contains romanticized undertones of desire and sexuality- and with this sort of relationship between the abuser and the addiction, the mental sickness the addict has become entrenched in grows to a much more profound level and enters entirely new realms of emotion for the band to color with their music.

While the album is clearly a product of the grunge/alternative rock boom of the 90's, the direction Failure takes the sound is incredibly unique, and occupies a sonic domain that is wholly their own. The band's competent musicianship is marked by the guitars, which propel the songs forward under their richly distorted textures. Otherworldly effects show up throughout the album in a calculated fashion and compel the listener's gazes skyward in a state daydreaming and wonder. It is nearly impossible to pick highlights, as they make themselves present at the album's every twist and turn. Personal favorites include "Smoking Umbrellas", which utilizes vibrant imagery and an incredibly strong chorus, "Dirty Blue Balloons", which features the album's best vocals and most chaotic moments, and "Another Space Song," which is where the album's space rock elements are most present. Also worth mentioning is the album's structure, which contains 3 "segue" pieces in its 70 minute run time. These segues are instrumental and mostly atmospheric, but they do a great job of simultaneously splitting the songs into suites and tying those suites together, which makes for a unique listening experience.

Though it would have been interesting to see what Failure would have done with more time together making music, there is something to be said for the way they went out at the top of their game. Even if their existence was woefully short, "Fantastic Planet" is a record so perfectly enthralling that it feels like it would have been looked at as the pinnacle of the band's career no matter what could have potentially came after it. It is one of the most complete feeling records I have ever listened to, and my appreciation for it has only grown over the years. It is a shame this band is not more well-known, as I would recommend them most highly to any serious music fan.

5/5

Recommended Tracks:

Smoking Umbrellas
Dirty Blue Balloons
Another Space Song



Recent reviews by this author
Matthew J Van Howe TransmogrifyPixies Indie Cindy
Chevelle La GargolaNine Inch Nails The Slip
Bosnian Rainbows Bosnian RainbowsFilter The Sun Comes Out Tonight
user ratings (227)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
ezzomania (5)
One of the best albums of the 90's, and a masterpiece of alternative rock....

Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (5)
Introducing the world's most tragically spaced out realists....

bostonteabagger (5)
My personal favorite album ever. I love Ken Andrews and mostly every song is great. To Reccomend a f...

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Schizophrenik
February 3rd 2013



841 Comments


this album is really cool from what I've heard off of it. Pretty good review too.

Yazz_Flute
February 3rd 2013



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your second paragraph is excellent.

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

demigod!
February 3rd 2013



44130 Comments


ive had this album for years but never really sat through the whole thing. i usually get bored during the second track, admittedly.

i oughta give it another shot for real.

Digging: Failure - Magnified

Deadwing42
February 4th 2013



136 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

what ^

Chortles
February 4th 2013



17944 Comments


never listened to this

Chortles
February 4th 2013



17944 Comments


maybe this is a good place to start with music

DeadToPain
February 4th 2013



694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of my all-time favorites. Criminally under-appreciated.

demigod!
February 4th 2013



44130 Comments


album feels like a grower idk

or maybe cuz this album is boring as fuck!!!!

DeadToPain
February 4th 2013



694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I guess I have a different perspective on it, admittedly. Nodding out to this is absolutely glorious. Then you get sober and listen to the lyrics, and it's like, damn. This, Hum's "You'd Prefer an Astronaut", and Mogwai's "Happy Music for Happy People" were totally my junk music.

monsterunderthebed
February 4th 2013



2 Comments


Clearly you didn't think Alice In Chains album "Dirt" was equally impressive or you would have given it a 5 too. Just sayin.

demigod!
February 4th 2013



44130 Comments


i was joking, i just need to listen to this more. and i like Dirt, it's great.

ConsiderPhlebas
February 4th 2013



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very nice review. Your language is a little strong at points for me, but you write with skill. Also the album rules.

Deadwing42
February 4th 2013



136 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Meaning that I come on too strongly with my praise and end up sounding over the top? Just wondering, I know I have been guilty of that in past reviews I have done... it's one of the kinks I feel I need to work out in my writing style. Thanks for the feedback, though!

And I fixed it for you, Wyatt



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy