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King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(112 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • This album grabbed my attention and turned me onto the band. The main reasons being:VARIETY OF TUNES. PATTONS VOCALS.It has staying power and is still enjoyed after many, many frequent listens now 6 years on, making it one of the favourites. The variety of tunes is great. Ranging from the heavier/Scary (ugly in the Morning/Cuckoo for Caca) to the jazzy (Star AD) and the dramatic yet touching ballads (Just a man). One thing overlooked is that the songs generally utilise more dynamic, complex sections, making the album that much more sophisticated and exciting to listen to. This may have something to do with the guitarist from MR. Bungle filling in on this particular FNM recording.Patton proves himself as an outstanding vocalist, due to variations in singing style, not only between songs but within (Listen to the Art of making enemies). Pattton COULD, HAS and DOES sing soft touching ballads that would please your mother and material that would impress death metal fans. One must be blown away when they hear his vocal range (CHECK OUT solo work/other projects of Pattons: Like: “Themes for adult voice”, The “3 Mr. Bungle albums”, His other bands self titled debut album “Fantomas”, and even an appearance he makes on 1 partilcular song on “Sepulturas” classic album titled “Roots”.) One must comment it is pleasing to hear that Patton has lost that original, perhaps nasal tone to his voice that was displayed on the classic “Real Thing” in 1989. So if you like bands/artists that :can play a range of dynamic tunes,Have tightness and diversity demostrated in song and playing, Outstanding vocals due to versatility through extremeness in range THEN GET THIS.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I feel in love with this recording when it first came out. From that love came a deep frustration at the lack of attention it received both critically and comercially. This is a great band doing great things and with the addition of Trey Spruance on guitars – it just takes it one level above and beyond “Angel Dust” – another masterpiece. One of the best things about FNM is the “No Compromise” attitude. They played every style of music and did so with mastery (is that a word?). They broke up after the follow up “Album of the Year” and rightly so, as things started to go stale. Some good songs on AOTY, but not the Momumental performance of KFAD. If you don’t dig this album – you’re the “Fool for a Lifetime” they’re talking about…

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • There are some albums you hear, where it is absolutely mindboggling to discover they weren’t a smash hit when first released. “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime” is probably the most prominent among them.

    Faith No More remained relatively popular from the release of their “The Real Thing” album until they disbanded many years later, but they never matched the commercial success of “The Real Thing” again. Their follow up, “Angel Dust” was a bit of a flop (and it is also difficult to understand why that rocking masterpiece flopped, as most fans would consider it the superior album), and they never quite recovered, apparently.

    But this album, which came after “Angel Dust”, is their ultimate work. It is diverse, expertly crafted, and the tracks perfectly ordered to keep you entertained and amazed at the range and talent of this band (and the range and talent of Mike Patton, an unbelievable vocalist who will more than likely put any other singer you’ve ever heard to shame – even if you’re a dedicated Maynard James Keenan follower).

    The opening track is a bit of plain, ordinary (but good) rock. It’s followed by a similar-but-different grunge piece. You’re enjoying the music so far, but you haven’t really sat up and started paying attention until the third track, “Evidence”, a bit of delicious, loungy crooning that you really weren’t expecting, but is a welcome surprise.

    This album is essentially impossible to get sick of. Each track is cast from a different mould (though using the same ingedients) and ordered in such a way that you never find yourself tiring of a particular kind of music. You get comic anger and brilliant riffs on tracks like “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”, silky-smooth music on “Caralho Voador”, and amazing vocal acrobatics on “Cuckoo for Caca”.

    The highpoint of the album is undoubtedly the title track “King For A Day”, which is possibly the cruisiest song I’ve ever heard. And it’s followed by the thumping rocker “What A Day”, just in case you were getting too relaxed.

    The closer, “Just A Man”, which features a gospel choir, is quite possibly the best closer of all time. I know you’ve heard some good closers in your time. But this one just fits so perfectly that you can’t help but appreciate the various levels of detail that this band was aware of when they put this album together.

    It is, without any doubt on my part, one of the all time, and sadly unrecognised greats.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • “King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime” is often maligned as the failed Faith No More album– with Trey Spruance from Mr. Bungle replacing departed guitarist Jim Martin and joining his Bungle bandmate Mike Patton, the results are in many ways as expected. With the benefit of history, its clear this is the most Patton-driven Faith No More album. Given that I approach Faith No More as a Mike Patton fan, and its his work that interests me, its no suprise that this is my favorite Faith No More record.

    While the influence of Spruance and Patton on this recording is obvious, this is not like its contemporary Mr. Bungle albums (although in some ways, it is similar to “California”). The record is an excercise in spreading the wings, musically, of the band, and succeeds best when they move into different genres– the jazz-inflected grooves of “Evidence” (a feature for Spruance’s guitar playing) and “Caralho Voador” (a vocal feature for Patton), the horn-driven “lounge metal” sound of “Star A.D.” and the countryesque ballad “Take This Bottle” (with one of Patton’s best “straight” vocals) are all superb, not to mention the Bunglish “Cuckoo for Caca” and “Ugly in the Morning”– neither of these would be altogether out of place on a Mr. Bungle album.

    The material that feels more like the other Faith No More pieces works well too– benefiting largely from superior arrangement and variety of sonic approaches (“Get Out”, “King For a Day”, “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”, “Digging the Grave”).

    Long story short, if you approach Faith No More as a Mike Patton fan or a Mr. Bungle fan rather than an alternative/metal fan, this is the album to start with, it is bar none their best.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Faith No More were masters of bad timing. the San Francisco quintet released the groundbreaking “Angel Dust” in 1992, just as the Seattle grunge trend was peaking. you never heard “everything’s ruined” on the radio or saw “midlife crisis” on MTV.

    so it’s no surprise that, ten years after its release, “King for Day…” continues to line the discount bins in used CD stores.

    KFAD was released as the sound embodied by bands like nirvana and soundgarden was giving way to more-polished imitators like candlebox and, um, soundgarden.

    that’s not to say KFAD fit into any category; indeed, Faith No More defied categorization more than any other band at the time, save perhaps Primus. but where Angel Dust took a turn for the funky, KFAD is Faith No More’s rawest, most intricate, punked-out
    release. and it does more than stand the test of time — it gets better with each listen.

    credit for the departure largely goes to the guitar work of trey spruance, singer mike patton’s comrade in mr. bungle (another overlooked band). spruance, who was in the band only during the recording of KFAD and was out by the time it they went on tour, brings jazz inflections to FNM’s characteristic hard-edged riffs — something his predecessor, jim martin, would not or could not do. the rest of the band followed spruance’s lead.

    what you get is a potpourri of genres in one tightly-wound, coherent album, the ingenuity of which has yet to be repeated.

    KFAD shocks the listener with the hard-rocker openers, “get out” and “ricochet,” then flows into to the old-school R-and-B of “evidence.” before you know it, it’s on to the big-band ensemble of “Star A.D.” then on to the schizoid thrash of “cuckoo for caca.”

    KFAD takes a breather with the lounge-lizard smoothness of “caralho vaodor” before jumping back into the fray with “ugly in the morning” and “digging the grave.”

    the only weak point on the album is the ballad that follows, “take this bottle.” but it’s not a bad song, just misplaced. and it’s easy to skip because next up is the title track “king for a day.”

    this song is, in this fan’s humble opinion, as close to perfect a rock song as one can get. it starts with a basic but propulsive accoustic chord progression paired with a simple keyboard melody and soon folds out into a gloriously cacophonous layering of metal guitar riffage and tribal beats before coming back down to earth and hauntingly fading out. through it all is mike patton giving the performance of his career — and that’s saying a lot, considering his stellar vocal achievements before and since KFAD.

    the album wraps up with “just a man,” with its quirky reggae beat and glorious use of a gospel choir to match patton’s poetry.

    after KFAD, Faith No More put out one more album, the wryly titled “Album of the Year,” before calling it quits in 1998. while heavy and splendid in its own right, Album of the Year did not come close to the brilliance of “King for a Day…”

    nor has any other band since then. so rush out to the nearest CD Warehouse and make a B-line to the “F” division of the Rock/Pop section, pay the seven or nine dollars and bask in “King for a Day…Fool for a Lifetime.”

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now