[Album Review] “Album of the Year” – Faith No More

Album of the Year - Faith No MoreAlbum Title: Album of the Year
Artist: Faith No More
Year: 1997
Running Time: 43m 4s

Track listing: 1 Collision; 2 Stripsearch; 3 Last Cup of Sorrow; 4 Naked in Front of the Computer; 5 Helpless; 6 Mouth to Mouth; 7 Ashes to Ashes; 8 She Loves Me Not; 9 Got That Feeling; 10 Paths of Glory; 11 Home Sick Home; 12 Pristina

Faith No More are a band that normally define the word consistency. Following the relative splendour of “The Real Thing” and “Angel Dust”, there were many disappointed faces when “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime” somewhat missed the mark. What a relief then to welcome the offbeat rockers back to the fold with their current release, “Album of the year”. Cheeky buggers, eh?

Lead guitarist Jim Martin has moved to pastures new with Jon Hudson filling the rather sizeable gap. Not that it has seemed to make any difference as “Album of the Year” is probably the most inventive record they have ever released. Credit for the flexibility of Faith No More’s style must go to lead singer Mike Patton who is capable of screaming out trash metal-esque lyrics with relative ease before instantly manoeuvring into a calm and reasoned lyric with no problem at all.

The high points on this album are very high indeed. “Ashes to Ashes” is a classic power-ballad which benefits from wonderful guiitar from Hudson and an eerie keyboard track from Roddy Bottum. ‘Helpless’ is an acoustic triumph`which should warrant a single release and ‘Last Cup of Sorrow’ is a brilliant tune which perfectly encapsulates the stengths of the band from vocals, to lyrics, their use of keyboards to enhance their sound, to their expertise in composition.

They sure know a good tune and there are other fine examples; the melodic ‘She Loves me Not’, the dreamy ‘Stripsearch’, the guitar-ridden and surreally-titled ‘Naked in Front of the Computer’ and ‘Paths of Glory’ which sounds like it was pulled straight from “Angel Dust”.

The weaker moments are not even all that weak; ‘Home Sick Home’, ‘Got That Feeling’ and ‘Collision’ pale in comparison to the aforementioned but you probably won’t reach for the ‘next track’ button.

Overall it is an excellent album and shows a real return to form for Mike and the boys.


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