Review Summary: How the mighty have fallen.1 of 3 thought this review was well written
By the time 1997 came around, Faith No More were pretty much due to have that one album that everyone claims to be a huge let down. In my personal opinion, King For A Day was a little underwhelming, but ever since Mike Patton had taken the helm as vocalist, it is generally accepted that they hadn't put a foot wrong until this album. Album Of The Year is little more than a misnomer, as in reality this was more like letdown of the year. Whilst it was not particularly bad, this captured Faith No More doing their weird sound a little less hard hitting than usual.
Twelve songs make up this album, and of those twelve, only two are flat out Faith No More classics. Stripsearch is easily my favorite track on this album, from the weird sounds that open it up to the fact that it contains far and away the best vocal performance on the album. Mike creates some beautiful sounds with his voice and the lyrics are pretty strong as well. The drumming is fairly prominent in the mix on this album, and here it is very well performed as well. The drum beats are not particularly complex in nature but they are certainly a highlight of the sound of Album Of The Year. Following straight on from this song is the other highlight, Last cup Of Sorrow. This track opens up with a nice heavy guitar riff and some keyboards playing around in the background making for a solid odd-sounding back drop before a rumbling bass line comes in with some distorted vocals saying "this is getting old and so are you". This is one of the band's finest songs.
Unfortunately they let themselves down with some of the most bizarre song writing decisions ever. The opener, Collision, reminds me somewhat of some of the most aggressive tracks on Angel Dust, although without half of the focus and direction. This track has some awesome vocals but it drags on too long and doesn't do enough to really maintain any form of momentum. Mike Patton shows once again on the songs here why he is the focal point of the band's sound, however, giving his all to make this album at least semi-listenable. His mental shrieks coupled with his singing and other off-kilter styles of vocals all blend together well and make for a solid musical soundscape. However, the guitar riffs are often monotonous and dull and even the bass lines that were formerly so renowned for being awesome throughout are fairly mundane here. It is sad to see how the mighty have fallen, but unfortunately Faith No More finally had their bad album.