Album Of The Year
Slash Records, 1997
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/20/2004
Album of the year? Definitely not.
Faith No More (FNM) has always been a band with a sense of humor. These days it is cool and hip for heavy metal bands to be all gruff, serious and pondering, but FNM has never cared about putting on a fake attitude. As a matter of fact, since rock/heavy metal music is a lot about attitude -- sometimes more than the music -- these guys have defied this trend by being casual and enjoying their lunatic music, rather than working to give their image any serious meaning.
As if making a grand exit, FNM named its last album Album Of The Year when they themselves know very well that they have lost all the spunk since the days of Angel Dust. It is probably their way of laughing at themselves. With the album cover giving a message of farewell, probably the band knew that this would be their last album. This album shows signs of a waning band. The band seems fatigued, and it is only surprising that FNM could carry on for this final album after King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime, its predecessor.
Though FNM seems wearied in this album, it has come up with some really exceptional songs, probably as a parting gift, though these would definitely not compensate for the permanent absence of the band. Of the twelve songs on Album Of The Year, "Stripsearch," "Last Cup Of Sorrow," "Helpless," "Ashes To Ashes," "Paths Of Glory" and "Pristina" are what save the day for this album, and what a job the band has done on these songs! Amongst the other forgettable stuff on Album Of The Year, it is these few numbers that make it worth listening to. Drastically different from FNM's older stuff, this album's great numbers are much less aggressive than those during the band's heydays. Melancholic and poignant, these songs show a much more subdued facet of this band.
Sadly, most of Album Of The Year is filled with FNM's failed attempts of creating songs, if this explains how inane they sound, even by the band's crazy standards. Most of the lot on Album Of The Year could be bluntly labeled as the band's worst ever. Here is where it shows that the band is in a state of creative turbulence, and seriously needs to quit.
Album Of The Year may not be a perfect parting gift, but it has moments that show off the genius of this underrated band, even if they clearly knew their days were numbered.