King's X
Faith, Hope, Love


4.5
superb

Review

by dwightfryed USER (17 Reviews)
September 11th, 2019 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rock's ultimate power trio push the envelope once again...

A couple of years and several whirlwind tours following “Gretchen”, King’s X return to take their distinctive sound to its apogee. Album 3 is a little longer, a little holier, and a little patchier than its celebrated predecessor.

If anything, “Faith, Hope Love” is more of everything – and the band is doing their best not to repeat themselves. Pinnick preaches with soul-drenched fire and brimstone, Tabor’s mad scientist guitar tones wail the paint off the walls, Gaskill’s toms and bass drum shake, rattle and roll endlessly, and the three-part harmonies add an air of unadulterated joy to the whole affair. It’s a work of dizzying heights. First single, the Beatles-esque “It’s Love” boasts some of Tabor’s most dazzling, evocative solos captured to date, particular in the final minute.

The stop/start Götterdämmerung of “We Were Born to Be Loved” grooves hard enough to be illegal in a few states, Pinnick’s dreadlocks flying like flames roasting heathens. The pedal-down double-bass-peppered exercise in storming jubilation entitled “The Moanjam” is a sensational culmination of all the band’s strengths, packed into one thrilling jam session. Tabor’s impeccably grandiose acoustic arrangement in the right-to-life anthem, “Legal Kill” is reminiscent of Brian May’s classic Queen track,“’39”, and the crisscrossing solos of “Mr. Wilson” are cut from the mold of “Killer Queen”. Lyrically, it became the most positive disc in my collection, nestled snugly between the pompy southern rock of Kansas and the planet-leather-pants thunder of Kiss. Ironically, I think I bought Deicide’s debut the same day.

It’s a bit overlong. Cuts like “I’ll Never Get Tired of You” (there's a Phil Lynott vibe to that title), the Gaskill-penned “Six Broken Soldiers” and the ludicrously long title track could have been shortened significantly. For some reason, I’ve always classified it next to ELP’s “Works” – an album loaded with stratospheric highs, setting up about 20 extra minutes of mediocre lows.

Years later, I read an interview with Ty Tabor, in which he cited the 1991 David Fricke Rolling Stone article as the moment that cratered the band, calling out (of all things) – their Christianity! Evidently, some promoters started holding back from booking them after it was published, considering them to be 'one of those God bands.' Not defending Fricke by any stretch, but the religious tendencies of King’s X had to be the worst kept secret in rock. The first two records were a little more ambiguous – but by 1990...the album is called "Faith, Hope, Love" for Chrissake! Strange days indeed...

At any rate, the lyrics were anything but subtle. The message may have been off-puttting for some, but the style was courageous for any time in rock history. Far from the standard template of sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll – King's X was becoming a musicians’ band, pure and simple. Not a big seller (maybe it was all too much for the standard rock fan to accept at the time), but we’re coming up on thirty years since the original issue, and to date nothing sounds like this record.

The streak of quality would continue for several more years, these colossal talents continuing to push the envelope despite declining commercial success and changing pop/rock landscapes.



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user ratings (94)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
SitarHero CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Third time still wasn't the charm, but who cares?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

King's X reviews get auto-pos'd. Them's the rules. Good job buddy.

MarkvandenBerg
September 11th 2019


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for a superb album. Some real special moments of music on here.

Digging: Knocked Loose - A Different Shade of Blue

PsychicChris
September 11th 2019


327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just finished reading their bio that was just released. It's so good.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to get that.

dwightfryed
September 11th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its great, but the take-away of the book is that of a tired band sort of gradually giving up in frustration...

Digging: Fleetwood Mac - Mr. Wonderful

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 11th 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, I was afraid of that. I always get a sense of their frustration and struggles from their interviews and now I'm not sure I want to read a whole book about it. :/

dwightfryed
September 11th 2019


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its full of great stories and details if ur a big fan, its a great read. But yeah, gets kinda sad

Jethro42
September 11th 2019


15958 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Relistening atm...I might bump it up to a 4.

Jethro42
September 11th 2019


15958 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm at ''I Can't Help It''...Cool song! Also ''I'll Never Get Tired Of You'' and some others in between.

oltnabrick
September 12th 2019


37381 Comments


awful

Digging: Leviathan - Verrter

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2019


10652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Naah.



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