Failure
Fantastic Planet


5.0
classic

Review

by Herbie Chrost USER (21 Reviews)
December 4th, 2021 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I'm not looking for affection, I'm living on the moon"

Contrary to Fantastic Planet's reputation, the space themed title and cover art are somewhat of a red herring. The album takes until track 6 for "Blank" to mention the moon and track 9 for "Solaris" to reference outer space in a science fiction context. The remaining songs that reference outer space are Another Space Song, Heliotropic, and Daylight... Meaning only 5 out of the album's 17 songs are related to the title/cover.

This thematic dissonance is expertly hidden underneath the dynamic production, seemless song transitions, and psychedelic layers of guitar feedback. Inspired by The Dark Side of the Moon, Fantastic Planet is also bookended by a heart beating over a sound collage of various noises. From the opening seconds of "Saturday Saviour" to the closing seconds of "Daylight," the listener is immersed into the album's "world." The strong musical and aesthetic cohesion turns out to be the album's greatest strength. Not just because it keeps the listener engaged throughout its near 68 minute run time, but because it tricks the listener into overlooking the album's true core theme: heroin addiction. And make no mistake, the drug in question is heroin. There are numerous references to blackened and burnt spoons, incessant skin scratching, "dirty blue balloons," and declining hygiene.

It's ironic. A title like Fantastic Planet should inspire wonder. Instead, the planet this album exists in is closer to a Savage Planet - the literal translated title of the film the album is named after. Earth's savagery is not necessarily caused by crime ("Sergeant Politeness"), lack of decent treatments for mental illnesses ("The Nurse Who Loved Me"), or even meaningless sex ("Saturday Saviour"). Rather, Earth's savagery is born from humanity's capacity for indifference towards another person's internal struggles. The only way to escape Earth is by getting high, but unfortunately for some, it leads to addiction. A cycle forms and it's constantly fed by a profound loneliness caused by existing on a planet filled with people who could care less if you're drifting into oblivion. You're also equally as indifferent - after all, no on can hear you scream in space, right?

The homage to The Dark Side of the Moon was no accident. Creating a cyclical listening experience deepens the tragedy of Fantastic Planet's songs. Highs are temporary and when you crash back to Earth, you've still got the same mundane life and problems you tried to leave behind. The more you try to retain the high, the further you drift into space and isolation. Revisiting outer space is no longer about the euphoria. It's about filling an insatiable blank space burrowed into the mind like a summer tick; a blank space as empty as the galaxy is vast.

Still, there's a silver lining. The heartbeat/sound collage fades into "Saturday Saviour" and fades out of "Daylight," meaning the cycle doesn't perfectly loop into itself. "Daylight won't find us here" may be the album's final lyric, but light always find a way to seep through even the thinnest cracks in total darkness. Cycles can be broken - it's incredibly hard but not impossible.



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user ratings (624)
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
TVC15
December 4th 2021


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey Sput it's been a minute lol. Spontaneously got inspiration for this review while jamming the new album (which is amazing)

Digging: Anna von Hausswolff - Live at Montreux Jazz Festival

Archelirion
December 4th 2021


6463 Comments


Hey Casey hope life is good :] Awesome write-up my dude - need to give this one a listen as I've only heard the one with the Large Amphibian on the front.



Source
December 4th 2021


19349 Comments


band slays

normaloctagon
December 4th 2021


8033 Comments


Pos’d, great rev dude

Digging: MF DOOM - Special Herbs 7,8

Scoot
December 4th 2021


20942 Comments


one of the best alt rock albums ever

Gyromania
December 4th 2021


33442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is so fking boring, never understood rhe the appeal

claygurnz
December 4th 2021


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review man. This is a top 5 all time album for me, just so damn good.

Shemson
December 4th 2021


2216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice write up on one of the greatest albums ever and just as Failure have a new one dropping imminently.

The two new singles have a similar vibe to this as well which I’m very excited about.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2021


58346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They made a good ass album but then were like yeah put THAT album cover on there

Digging: Freshman Biology - Only Thing I Want To Keep

SitarHero
December 4th 2021


13762 Comments


Counterpoint: Album is great, cover is a classic.

Always loved the classic Amazing Stories vibe of it because I was discovering pulpy science fiction when this came out. Lately I've been getting the same vibes from TWRP's album covers which look like classic Asimov/Clarke/Pohl covers.

ItsTheSquirrel
December 4th 2021


647 Comments


Thecover is iconic what are you on about

TVC15
December 5th 2021


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey Archbro! Life has been good thank you

AnimalsAsSummit
December 5th 2021


5844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice! Big album

TVC15
December 6th 2021


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The album cover is iconic tf

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
December 6th 2021


15252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album art reminds of that Windows 98 space themed pinball game

kkarron
December 6th 2021


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solaris, Another Space Song and that bass tone are to die for.

Gyromania
December 7th 2021


33442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the new albium is 10x better than this

TVC15
December 7th 2021


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"the new albium is 10x better than this"



I can see it tbh. It's an entire album of Another Space Song and it's probably got their coolest sounding production

MrSirLordGentleman
December 8th 2021


14821 Comments


excellent album

since there is no review for Wild Type Droid yet I'll say it here. That one has easily one of the coolest artworks I've seen in a long time

kkarron
December 9th 2021


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is the new album a play on Sex Type Thing (genuinely ignorant)?



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