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Fantastic Planet

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(106 Reviews)

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  • I am surprised by how many people do not know what this album is about. It is, as stated by the band themselves, an album about heroin abuse, specifically its pitfalls. Saturday Savior is not a song about sexual politics. It is a song that Ken Andrews sings in character. The character that he takes on is heroin personified. As the drug “speaks” to the listener, the premise for the whole album is set up. The user is hopelessly in love with the drug and wants something from it that it can never give. The drug is cold and will never give itself to the user. It will only tease, as it has no heart to give. The user is being used and tossed aside like so much trash. The rest of the album chronicles a day in the life of the user and the drug’s parasitic “relationship” with him. The album begins and ends with clock-like sounds, bookending the beginning and end of the user’s day and offering an eerie reminder of the user’s lost and perhaps, very limited, time. “Stuck on You,” while not so subtle in its title, subtly compares heroin to a tune that slowly but surely creeps up on you and becomes ingrained in your consciousness. “The Nurse Who Loved Me” is the user deluding himself into thinking that the girl with “pharmacy keys” (heroin) actually cares for him. He insists that the girl “acts just like a nurse with all the other guys,” but the song begins and ends with the user lying by himself face-down on the ground. This is the moment on the album where we realize just how pathetic the drug has made the user and to what extent he has been degraded and demoralized by his addiction. The pounding horror of “Daylight” ends the album. The user tries to assure himself that “daylight won’t find us here,” but there is, of course, no escape from reality, and this is confirmed by the aforementioned clock sounds. This is an album that is practically overflowing with symbolism both in its lyrics and in its music. Failure sound like no other band, but it would not be inaccurate to characterize them as a combination of Nirvana and My Bloody Valentine. They can create massive soundscapes and love their feedback, but they also understand their way around a pop song, albeit really heavy pop songs. This is a landmark in space rock. Enjoy.

    Posted on January 10, 2010