on 13 June 2009
Currently Faith No More's last studio release the wonderfully titled Album Of The Year was a fitting swansong. Its packed full of quality tracks and showed a band that despite the cracks that had developed over the years between the members could still deliver a quality album.
By calling your album 'Album of the Year' you could be setting yourself up for a critical battering so it says a lot that it was generally well received if a little underrated as the years have gone on. It starts with the brilliant Collision which continues the trend of Faith No More as starting their albums with a cracking quality tune and sets up the album. Other standouts are Stripsearch, Last cup of Sorrow, Helpless and the brilliant Ashes to ashes. It also feature a song called Naked in front of the Computer which probably applies a lot more now than it did then! But that's Faith No More always that bit ahead.
It also feature John Hudson on guitar for the first time and while he will never replace Jim Martin hes well able to hold his own. Also returning is keyboardist Roddy Bottum who missed most of the last release (king for a day fool for a lifetime) with some well documented problems.
So while nothing will ever top Angel Dust, Album Of The Year was a good way to go out.
on 14 April 2001
A rating of three stars seems about right to me, although not really for the reasons given in other reviews.
The album contains some great songs (I can't believe no one mentions 'Naked In Front Of The Computer' or 'Mouth To Mouth') but virtually every track lacks the trademark FNM darkness, quirkiness, and general insanity that sets the band's best material apart from your standard rock song. Almost all of it is pretty formulaic and pedestrian in comparison to material from, say, Angel Dust or King For A Day...
It's as if you can almost sense the lack of enthusiasm for the band from its members when you out the album on, and I can't help but think that all of these tracks could have been really good if recorded with the Faith No More spirit of old. And that, if you're a fan, makes for some fairly depressing listening.
Get it. It'll make you tap your foot, but it won't change your world.
on 29 May 2011
This is an album that has fallen violently as a victim of harsh professional reviews, as a result Album of the Year was the Last Faith no More album (post Mosley) to be added to my collection. Not expecting too much, I was wholly impressed by it. The explosive opener and aptly titled track "Collision" showed that Patton & Co still hadn't lost their knack for producing killer metal tracks. Contrasting greatly with "Collision", the second track, "Stripsearch" possibly the most spaced and chilled song FNM produced, sharp keyboards, a strong bass line and of course Patton's atmospheric vocals make it a classic. From here this get even better, the single "Last Cup of Sorrow' features Patton singing through a telefunken tube mic, it shows the bands incredible ingenuity to combine the most obscure elements of the music world with mainstream rock. Grinding guitar work winds it way through the Angel Dust-esque "Naked in Front of the Computer", while the tempo is altered again by the emotional "Helpless", when compared with the rest of the album its a drawn out affair with nothing much happening, however Patton saves the day with delectable vocals, harmonies and even the odd whistle. Track six brings us into the world of Mr. Bungles "Ars Moriendi" and "Desert Search for Techno Allah",sporting a middle eastern vibe, perhaps its not my favourite track but it adds a new dimension to the album. "Ashes to Ashes" is the albums centerpiece, its awesome riff provided by new guitarist Jon Hudson combined with its heavy atmosphere, saves the embarrassment caused by the not so like FNM `She Loves me Not", ok its provides a lounge music laid back feel to the album, with the slightest sense of irony, but it is a filler. The drive faster "Got that Feeling" encompasses all that we know about FNM's ability to shift genres with a flick of a switch, its punk-nu metal feel reminds me somewhat of System of Down. The last three tracks couldn't be any more different, the military "Paths of Glory", a tribute to those lost in war is dark and broody. The epic album closer "Pristina", a tale of two lovers parting in the war torn town of Pristina, Yugoslavia, it is without a doubt the most emotional piece of work FNM ever produced, you can just sense the sincerity in Patton's voice. Album of the Year didn't break any musical boundaries, but its a cohesive effort from a band who's relationship that was quiet the opposite. Personally I feel this the best of the post-Jim Martin albums FNM made, a truly solid effort.
on 14 June 2001
There were too few real big bands that cropped up in the 90's that you could rely on for a slice of genius with each new release, exceptions being Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Kyuss. Faith No More were another whose new albums had a real sense of excitement on their release. The Album Of The Year it maybe wasn't but it was certainly one of them and it was another progression for a band who have influenced so many of the acts on the music scene today. Faith No More always managed to advance just enough to remain relevant to each particular era and they would surely teach todays pretenders what integrity means if they were still around now. The atmospherics on this release are truly inspiring and songs like Stripsearch, Last Cup Of Sorrow and Helpless are a match for any of their earlier material. Naked In Front Of The Computer and Got That Feeling are as punchy and fresh sounding now as they were on their release and I don't think there's a weak moment on this which I can't personally say about their previous efforts, outstanding as they are. Ashes To Ashes is the 'Epic' or 'Midlife Crisis' of this album and should have made this band huge again. It's a real shame looking back on this to think what might have been but at least FNM fans can take comfort in the fact that they departed with their heads held high and left this glorious epitaph. Maybe some things just aren't supposed to be. Faith No More no more. R.I.P.
on 9 September 2000
A long-time fan of Faith No More, I put off the purchase of this, their final album, after the slightly disappointing mish-mash of 'King for a day..' (sorely missing Big Jim Martin's trademark guitar)
But, after my first listen, I can safely say that the bands demise is a great tragedy. Having found a full-time guitarist to compliment their style, they have let loose with an excellent collection of songs, as varied and skilfull as anything they have ever done (except maybe 'The Real Thing').
Stand-out tracks Stripsearch, Last Cup Of Sorrow, and Ashes To Ashes all lean to the mellower side of FNM, but there's plenty of variety here to keep their fans happy.
A fine album to bow out with (and a great, cheeky title), now all we can hope is that Mike Patton can continue to develop Mr Bungle into something equally special.
FNM - RIP.
on 9 April 2003
I am a huge huge huge Faith No More fan, so giving this album 3 stars hurts - but it is about right.
This album will appeal more to fans than casual listeners. If you are new to Faith No More plump for either "The Real Thing" if you want catchy as hell tunes from the late 80s, or "Angel Dust", their finest work in all its schizophrenic glory.
"Album of the Year" is incredabley frustrating. At this point the band were on the verge of split and while new guitarist Jon Hudson was a technically apt player he didnt help to pin down the troublesome 6 string spot in the line up.
There are undeniabley classic FNM songs here; 'Collision' with its power chorus, 'Last Cup Of Sorrow' with its bleak atmosphere, 'Stripsearch' with its easy going chill, 'Ashes To Ashes' with its anthem like structure and 'Naked In Front Of The Computer' with its scattergun approach. When the album is good - it's very good.
Unfortunatly there is quite some filler. Some songs sound just sound plain empty and unfinished. Not to the extent of bad - but frustratingly thin. 'Mouth to Mouth' quickly loses it's appeal as does 'She Loves Me Not', while 'Helpless' grates after the excellent opening songs.
Heartbreakingly this album ends dreadfully. The slow 'Paths to Glory' is just aneamic, 'Home Sick Home' has nothing likeable about it while 'Pristina' is the only Faith No More song (with Mike Patton) that is totally without merit, it's appallingly bad.
For a fan there are many pleasures on offer - just learn to skip the cd player accordingly and pretend that the creators of the wondorus "Angel Dust" didn't write some of the trite on show on the disc.
on 13 March 2001
FNM could have ended their music on a better note, but is still an ok effort. Most of the songs are pretty good to listen too, but gets pretty bad near the end. Key tracks are Helpless, Last Cup of Sorrow and Stripsearch. However the band seem tired and bored, not putting in as much effort as they could have. I'm not too sure why they didn't put Light up and Let go on this album, but is still overall a good listen
on 9 September 2009
Perhaps their most polished album,full of great songs and sits together as a body of work well.Lacks the screamcore tracks that crop up on the previous albums and thus is more accessable but dont think this makes it lightweight cos it dont !
on 4 March 2002
This album is easily a 5 star affair. The last Faith no more album was not their best, not their most creative but is still has some truely amazing songs on it. Highlights include 'Stripsearch' the electronic soother, 'Last Cup of sorrow' a truely great hard song and 'Ashes to Ashes' which is one of the greatest songs that Faith no more wrote. This album may suffer from being slightly shorter than the average FNM album. It also isnt up to the quality of the all time best album 'Angel Dust' but its well well worth picking up. Pick all FNM albums up, they are above anything else in rock you will hear.
on 7 March 2013
After the release of `King for a Day', in hindsight, while I enjoyed the album when it was first released in 1995, I've come to the conclusion that the majority of it is simply just gimmicky, with some very duff tracks. The passion was lost (apart from a few tracks like the title track).
By the time Album of the Year came out, I kind of lost interest, but thought I'd give it a go. Kind of like `Angel Dust', but nowhere near on the same epic, ambitious, mind blowing scope (let's face it, FNM would NEVER be able to top a track like Midlife Crisis, one of my personal favourite songs ever), it flows a lot better and is more complete, and feels like Patton isn't being too overly dominant. Roddy Bottum's keyboard work on the track Stripsearch is perhaps one of his best works, the production more `inspired' and creative, I don't want to list track by track and go into too much analysis, but lets just say that the song `Pristine' is one of the most emotional and haunting FNM songs ever written.
The only real reason it doesn't gain the full 5 stars, is because of what came before, but this is a way superior, atmospheric, and listenable album than King for a Day, with top tunes (Helpless, Mouth to Mouth, Stripsearch, Last Cup of Sorrow, Ashes to Ashes, Paths of Glory, Got That Feeling and of course, Pristine) go into an interesting, and matured direction.
Nothing will ever top the majestic, dark, twisted genius that was Angel Dust though.