Faith No More
Album of the Year



by tjrd USER (4 Reviews)
October 26th, 2005 | 5 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Faith No More has long been my all-time favorite band. KFADFFAL introduced me, then I picked up Angel Dust, subsequently The Real Thing and finally (after deciding Introduce Yourself was not really worth my money) this one, a couple of months before they actually broke up.
I consider it a good album, yet the worst of the Patton-era.
My main problem with this album is that the new guitarist, Jon Hudson, is not nearly as inventive as Jim Martin or Trey Spruance. The latter two were completely different in style, but since Faith No More has always been about weird style-fusions, they contributed a lot to the variety of the material.
Also, the band sounds as if they're very tired. At several points, it appears they really had to generate the energy that seemed to just flow spontaneously on the previous albums. This, combined with the fact that Hudson doesn't seem to really exceed the level of playing that Kurt Cobain used to display, makes the music sound forced and generic at some points. And it's only 12 songs long!
The mixing is also weird. On lots of tracks, the guitars are loud, while the keyboards and bass seem to have been recorded in a cave. Having pointed out that I consider the guitars the weakest point of the album, you can guess how this makes me feel. Yes. Disappointed.
Now for a song-by-song review, to highlight the positive points of AOTY.

1) Collision - 4/5
A good, solid opener, classic FNM. Keyboard decorates the verses with some beautiful chords, supported by a driving rhythm section. Patton in good shape, introducing the flexibility of his voice to those who have never heard him sing before.

2) Stripsearch - 5/5
Beautiful, beautiful song, built on a solid breakbeat. It features a great melody, and Patton backs himself up with his invaluable falsetto.
Also the song where Jon Hudson shines: from the eerie guitar solo to the perfectly simplistic and dark metal ending. Classic.

3) Last cup of sorrow - 3.5/5
A bit reminiscient of Midlife Crisis off Angel Dust (also #3...). It's a nice song, but it's too long for its concept. It lacks detail, so it has peaked long before the whole "you might surprise yourself"-ending. Could have been better.

4) Naked in front of the computer - 4/5
A bit reminiscient of Get Out off KFADFFAL. Decent guitar riffs, funny lyrics, excellent vocals. Barely 2 minutes long. Good song with a powerful coda.

5) Helpless - 2.5/5
This song sounds rushed. The lyrics seem to have been written by a 16-year old. The verse is plain boring, but the chorus ("Don't want your help, don't need your help, helpless... you found a way to make me say Help me please someone") is very nice. A corny keyboard accompanies the 3rd verse, and then Patton whistles a solo. Probably intended to cover up the mediocre composition, but not good enough for me.

6) Mouth to mouth - 4.5/5
A bit reminiscient of Cuckoo For Caca off KFADFFAL (also #6...) and therefore, awesome. Very dynamic, rhythmic, brilliant keyboard work, frantic vocals. Could have used some detail in the ending, but otherwise superb.

7) Ashes to ashes - 1.5/5
I am sorry, but to me this is nothing but an attempt at scoring another hitsingle. The lyrics make no sense whatsoever and the generic "quiet verse, loud chorus" formula is just disappointing.

8) She loves me not - 5/5
Yay! Musicians at work! This song is genius, courtesy of Roddy Bottum no doubt. Hints of motown, soul and gospel, great lyrics, wonderful musical performances. Another classic.

9) Got that feeling - 2/5
Ugly song. Yuck. This is the best example what I was talking about when I said that some songs sound forced. What saves it from being a complete disaster are the two shameless screeches Patton keeps up for several seconds. The guitar sounds horrible.

10) Paths of glory - 3.5/5
I didn't like this at first, but it grew on me. It's actually a well-constructed slow and dark rock song with some neat guitar work as well. It will never be a favorite but it at least keeps me interested.

11) Home sick home - 2/5
This should have been a B-side. It consists of two guitar riffs and a lame vocal melody, and a half-way decent interlude. The basslines are cool though, and I kind of like the atmosphere.

12) Pristina - 4.5/5
Another reviewer described this as an epic, and I can only agree. It's a hypnotizingly beautiful, simple, slow but dynamic song. Really a band effort, every member gets to shine once more before the album is done.

So that's it. 12 songs in total, 4 bad, 4 excellent, 4 okay. Makes for a good album, but FNM should make wonderful albums. They never will again. I will now proceed to crying myself to sleep. Thank you for reading this.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
November 27th 2005


Not a bad review. This is not one of the better FNM albums though.

February 13th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

i was thinking that this was a pretty okay review, until you bashed "ashes to ashes." not only is it incredibly atmospheric, but it also highlights patton's amazing vocal range, from lower than low in the verses, to soaring melodies in the chorus.

and the fact that you don't understand the lyrics, does not mean you should slam it as "making no sense"!!! there's a million and one things you could read into those words!

the real gripe i have with this review, is that you could accuse FNM, a band with more artistic integrity than most others out there, of trying to "score another hit single," which shows that you have little or no understanding of their music or the ideas behind it.

upon re-reading the rest of the review, it occured to me that you described the actual sound of the band in very little detail at all. normally, i could just about look past this, but if you're reviewing a band as eclectic as FNM, who are renowned for shifting through various opposing styles, you need to be much more specific in your descriptions.

im sorry, but this review just doesn't do FNM any justice at all.

February 27th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

spoon_of_grimbo, I seem to have made you very upset.

Look, it's fine if our opinions on "Ashes to ashes" differ. It's also fine if you think I have left elements out of the equation, such as not having described the band's sound thoroughly (however, this review is not meant to introduce people to FNM: I would have chosen another album then).

What I don't think is fine is that you tell me I have 'little or no understanding of their music or the ideas behind it'. WTF? I didn't put the word "another" to suggest that their career has always been about scoring hits, it's just that TO ME the song sounds as a quickly thought up song with hit-potential, following the formula of 'Epic' and 'Midlife Crisis'.

I'm actually offended by that remark because I spent about half my life listening to FNM because above all, it had always been so refreshingly unformulaic. I do know what I'm talking about.

The review might not do FNM justice, to me this album does not do FNM justice and the fact that it is the last album makes it all the sadder.

February 27th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

i agree with the last thing you said in that comment (these guys should never have split up), and yes, they have always been unformulaic. however, they have occasionally made songs that sound mainstream, but these have seemingly been to show the mainstream bands how it should be done, and generally display the famous FNM mastery of all genres.

ashes to ashes, as i mentioned above, shows off patton's amazing voice (possibly more than any other FNM track), and is incredibly atmospheric. what i was getting at, is that FNM didnt have it in them to "conform" in any way. the fact that song was chosen as a single is probably more down to the record label than the band.

admittedly, i was probably a bit harsh in my last comment, but i really think you've got the wrong end of the stick in regards to ashes to ashes. and tbh, even if the review wasn't to introduce people to the band, its still necessary to describe the sound of the songs in more detail than you did. for example, someone (like me) may own all their other albums, but has only heard maybe half of the tracks on this album. that's where a detailed description would come in handy.

all in all, i didn't mean to offend (and for that i apologise), but merely to make constructive criticism, which in hindsight, i delivered a little harshly.

how about we agree to disagree on this subject, tjrd?

March 4th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Yes, let's. I'll never think it's a good song, but I'm at peace with people thinking otherwise

I also agree that my review could've been more detailed on sounds. Heck, maybe I'll redo it sometime - I'm still getting the hang of it.

Thanks for this response. No hard feelings.

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