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Angel Dust

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★★★★★
(246 Reviews)

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No Description AvailableNo Track Information AvailableMedia Type: CDArtist: FAITH NO MORETitle: ANGEL DUSTStreet Release Date: 06/16/1992<Domestic or Import: DomesticGenre: ROCK/POPAn amazing album, Angel Dust unfortunately has limited appeal, although perhaps ”unfortunately” isn’t the right word; the record’s oddities are also what make it such a fascinating listen. ”Land of Sunshine” is a rocker with a foot-tapping rhythm punctuated by insane laughter from vocalist Mike Patton, whose distinctive voice and frequently disturbing lyrics drive the album. To call it hard rock does Angel Dust a disservice; it’s far more musically complex than such a label implies. There’s the funk-influenced ”Midlife Crisis,” the ballad ”RV” (a bitter monologue from the point of view of a middle-aged discontent sitting in his trailer), the hard-edged claustrophobia of ”Smaller and Smaller,” and the rock-married-to-electronic-organ ”Be Aggressive,” which includes positively inspired cheerleader chants on the chorus. Impossible to classify but incredibly entertaining (there isn’t a single boring moment on this album), Angel Dust is well worth picking up. –Genevieve Williams

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  • I first became an FNM fan with The Real Thing. That album totally blew my mind, so the day Angel Dust came out I naturally rushed out and bought my copy. At first I was a bit disappointed as it sounded totally different. After a couple of listens I realised it was the best album I had ever heard, light years ahead of the Real Thing, if that’s at all possible. From the stark, shocking artwork to the songs on the CD, it is a masterpiece.It seems that everybody has their own interpretations of what the songs are about (and I have my own ideas too) but the feelings I got from the songs – loneliness, sadness, fear, aggression, but at the same time elation, were just as important. Angel Dust came out at a time in my life as a young adult when I was feeling those exact same emotions, and it was just like a soundtrack to my life back then, as if they could see inside my head. Every song is mindblowing but if I could possibly come up with some standouts they would be the frightening Caffeine (I actually think they’re chickens and a cow at the beginning, just like on the back cover), the extremely catchy Mid Life Crisis, the feeling of hopelessness and redundancy in Smaller and Smaller, the powerful Everything’s Ruined, the incredibly aggressive Malpractice, more hopelessness in Kindergarten, the rollercoaster ride that is A Small Victory, the nightmarish Jizzlobber and Midnight Cowboy – such a gentle song after such a powerful album, that it brings out all the emotions. Of course the guys are still in top form – the reason I started worshipping FNM in the first place. How could this music be the same without Jim Martin’s harnessed electricity guitar-playing, Bill Gould’s virtuoso bass techniques, Mike Bordin’s powerful and intricate drum patterns, Roddy Bottum’s eerie keyboard ambience and Mike Patton’s versatile vocals, all setting the scene for the one-hour fright rollercoaster ride ahead. Tragically I can’t say the same thing for their subsequent releases, which never captured the same combination of intensity, musicianship or lyrics that was found here (Jim Martin was sorely missed). Mike Patton said this album was “self-conscious” – I don’t agree, I think “King for a Day” was the self-conscious album, trying too hard to be the opposite of Angel Dust’s dark and menacing mood. When you buy this precious album you won’t know how you survived without it.Mike P, Mike B, Roddy, Bill and Jim, it’s been 10 years. THANK YOU SO MUCH for Angel Dust.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Faith No More isn’t Faith No More if it plays by the rules, so as a follow-up to the platinum hit The Real Thing, the band cooks up this minor art-rock classic, whose song topics and music are about as difficult as they come. It’s not even fair to categorize Faith No More as alternative rock — the term is too mainstream for *this* band.”Midlife Crisis” is the closest thing on this record to a “normal”-sounding song, normal being a relative term in Faith No More-land. A funky bassline, a menacing low-register verse rap, grand guitars and keyboards, and a twistily catchy chorus with Patton’s voice weaving in and out. “A Small Victory” is strange, the melodic keyboard strains at times almost reminding me of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” (? ), “R.V.” is an absolutely weird piano-based song, sounding like a jester thumbing his nose at you, and the end track, the “Theme from Midnight Cowboy”, comes out of nowhere, in character with the rest of the album.There are fewer moments of sheer exhilaration and instantly appealing songcraft on Angel Dust than on its predecessor, The Real Thing. But Angel Dust is still one of those albums you can never finish exploring, and come back to time after time.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Faith No More. Three words guaranteed to provoke some sort of response, either a numb-brained “oh yeah, the hip-hop metal band”, or an informed “the very eclectic gentlemen musicians”. Having garnered an international reputation on the back of ‘The Real Thing’, the pressure was on the band to deliver an album of literally stadium proportions. And they did, but with a superbly oblique sense of humour, and an amazing mastery of melody. Starting with the sinister circus dance of ‘Land Of Sunshine’, complete with fortune-cookie/Church of Scientology lyrics, and ending with an inspired cover of the theme from the film ‘Midnight Cowboy’, Angel Dust never once ceases to amaze and enthrall in equal measure. Mike Patton (without doubt the most talented vocalist of his generation ; how many opera singers can also do grindcore growls?) displays his supremely capricious style with a personality unique to music, and it would be a fair assessment to say that Faith No More would be half the band they are without his prodigious creativity. Not to take away from their collectively fantastic musicianship, but Mike really brings the songs to life. ‘Caffeine’ displays the then-revolutionary song structure taken for granted these days by the ‘nu-metal’, but none of the new faux-psychos (the nearest would be Corey from Slipknot) can quite match Mike’s unnerving appeals to ‘relax, it’s just a phase’, nor can they open up such a song into the multi-dimensional masterpiece that it is. But Caffeine is nothing compared to the following track ‘Midlife Crisis’. Quite simply genius. Mike gibbering his lyrics over a classic FNM keyboard line, with a suitably hypnotic drum tattoo and bass line underscoring Jim Martin’s 70’s riffs succeeds in constructing a timeless song for the ages. The epic sounding ‘Smaller and Smaller’ incorporates Native Indian chanting alongside Beavis and Butthead laughing in perfect harmony. The poppy sounding ‘Everything’s ruined’ gives a chart single with a social conscience. ‘Malpractice’ bears the distinctive mantle of being one of the few songs in the world that incorporates almost every kind of music in the world into a sub-4 minute song about a patient’s fetish for having surgeon’s hands inside her body. Quite how they managed this considerable feat only proves their vast abilities. ‘Be Aggressive’ charts the progress of a homosexual act, except that there is a cheerleader chant in the background, which you will be humming to yourself for days. ‘A Small Victory’ yields yet another potential single, complete with Michael Jackson-esque whooping scattered throughout. The James Bond stylings of ‘Crack Hitler’ could really be used as the soundtrack to a spy film, and the lyrics have nothing to do with drugs, except for the spoken word bit near the end. The last FNM song on the album, ‘Jizzlobber’ is a truly psychotic work, with frenetic keyboards playing around the processed riff, and Mike giving it hell with some seriously powerful vocal work. Metallica fans will notice the similarity between the middle bit of this song, and ‘One’. As either an ode to masturbation, or just celebration in general, it ends with a camply-epic orchestral finale, truly a Faith No More moment. The albums influence on later bands (particularly the so-called ‘nu-metal’)was immeasurable, but in terms of quality it is far in excess of any of them. Some called this Faith No More’s final classic moment, but as much as I agree that it is a classic, FNM were consistent to the bitter, yet paradoxical end. It’s a damned shame that they are gone. The world will be a less fun place without them.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • …asks Mike Patton on this, easily the most underrated album of the ’90s – it is light years ahead of it’s time. I bought this album when it was first released in ‘92, being 19 years old and already a pretty big fan of FNM, but nothing on earth could prepare the listener for this, and eight years later it still hits you like a sledgehammer. Quite simply, the most emotionally draining, mood altering album available. Genres collide, ideas explode and hooks crash together, and still it sounds as cohesive as a classical piece! Anybody who seriously thinks that Korn, Slipknot, etc. are the epitome of heavy music, get your head out of the sand and realize it was done as a masterstroke almost a decade ago, rendering all newcomers redundant. In my 900+ album collection, covering everything from jazz to country to classic rock to “alternative” (or whatever that means today) and back again, this astonishing, indescribable album is one of the top ten, an amazing & unforgettable journey from start to finish. “Angel Dust” is Faith No More’s, not to mention heavy rock’s, finest hour.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Let’s go back to the time that this album was recorded. You are a band that has been around, even to the point of being on your 2nd lead singer in Mike Patton. Your last album was a surprise breakthrough mainstream hit thanks to the surreal song, “Epic”, which broke into the Pop Top 10 and the video was constantly on MTV. Your band seems destined to break out and become a major commercial star. So what do you do? You release an album in “Angel Dust” that was so commercial unfriendly that you kill any chances of being pop successes. And what is wrong with that you ask? Nothing – it is just a gutsy move to say the least by this band that has influenced all kinds of “nu-metal” bands these days (none are as good as FNM).Anyone familiar with Patton’s other band, Mr. Bungle, will feel that “Angel Dust” is an album that would seem more appropriate for Mr. Bungle than Faith No More, but it showed the variety of styles that this band could play. Sadly, this would be the last album for eccentric guitarist, Jim Martin, with the band, but he is in fine form along with Mike Bordin, Patton, and the others. All of the tracks are great, but my favorites include “Mid-Life Crisis” which might be the only real close commercial track on the album, “Crack Hitler”, “Be Aggressive”, which has cheerleaders and is an ode to oral sex, and “RV” which is a hilarious song, partly because Patton sings it in a white trash type of voice. His range on this album is incredible. The album ends with a version (instrumental) of “Midnight Cowboy”, and considering that you hear all kinds of stuff on this album like organs, choirs, cheerleaders, etc, it seems appropriate.You will probably not like this album on the first listen, unless you are a weirdo or a Mr. Bungle fan, but give it a chance as it will continue to grow on you the more times you listen. One of the most underrated albums of all-time, in addition to being one of the most daring. Faith No More, essentially, was never the same band after this album. And little wonder – as not only did the album destroy any commercial hopes they had (which was probably zero) but more than that, it was such a brilliant album, that it was impossible to top it.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now