Sunday, May 17, 2015

All For One - Album Review - Faith No More / Soul Invictus

The cool thing about the staff at My Music, My Concerts, My Life is that we all like each other.  Most of the time.  Behind the scenes we are constantly chatting, joking, and discussing music.  Quite arguably the best part of My Music, My Concerts, My Life that no one ever sees.  How do we rectify that?  We bring it directly to you.  Collectively, we all wanted to review the new Faith No More album.  So why not do it together?  We all listened to the album as it was streaming before its release and then entered a chat room to discuss.  This is the result.

Fran: Welcome to the joint staff album review of Faith No More's Sol Invictus.  First order of business. Roll Call. Who is here?
Cathi: Me, lol.
Steph: Steph. You may call me goddess.
Fran: Steph it is.
Steph: Fucker.
Fran: Anyone else? Someone wake up Joel...
Joel: Joel :) computer challenged, but lovable.
Fran: Scott's hatred of FNM is so great he has refused to participate
Cathi: that is disappointing.
Joel: i'm bummed about that
Steph: I understand, that's how I feel about Garth Brooks.
Joel: That's how i feel about 99% of everything.

Fran: Who is sober?
Steph: Sober. Working on a Shiner Bock.
Cathi: I am sober!
Fran: That's a first.
Cathi: Sadly. How many days has it been?
Steph: The day's still young
Fran: I am sober today.

Fran: Who's naked?
Joel: Me.
Steph: Y'all said I had to put on clothes!  If Joel's naked, I'm disrobing right the fuck now!
Steph: It's not even on video!  Cathleen, get naked with me. Solidarity.
Joel: YES!
Steph: I can always count on Joel.
Cathi: I never answered! Who says I'm not?
Steph: Ha ha!

Fran: What is everyone's relationship with Faith No More. Do you like them? Have you seen them live? Starting with Cathleen
Cathi: Ok...I first heard of Faith No More my freshman year of high school, sometime in 1986. One of maybe five punk rock people in my high school gave me a mixtape containing “We Care A Lot.” I liked it OK, but when The Real Thing came out in 1989, the summer before my senior year, I lost my mind over it and Mike Patton.
Joel: I've bee a fan for years. saw them in SLC in about 1993, Kyuss opened for them. I'm also a pretty big Mike Patton fan.  I like FNM more than any of their side projects.
Steph: Never seen them live or otherwise. The Real Thing by FNM was released in 1989. "Epic" was all over MTV, you couldn't escape it. It got in the way of my watching Phil Collins videos. I thought they were weird, high, white boys who could be cute if they cut their hair, got off the dope and sang right. Haven't listened to anything of theirs since. I heard "Motherfucker", the first single off Sol Invictus on my Spotify new releases, I listen every Tuesday night. It immediately went on my workout playlist and I started backtracking their catalog. "Midlife Crisis" is my favorite "old" song so far. "You're perfect, yes, it's true, but without me, you're only you". What a lyric.
Cathi: Nice, Stephanie...Midlife Crisis was my first favorite off of Angel Dust!
Joel: My favorite off of Angel Dust is "Everything's Ruined". Actually one of my favorite songs period.
Fran: I have never listened to Angel Dust.
Cathi: Fran...this is a major oversight on your part. LISTEN TO ANGEL DUST.
Fran: No.
Joel: Yes.
Fran: I never really got them. I liked Epic. It came out the year after I graduated High School. I thought the rest was hokey. It's just surprising that so many of my music friends are fans.
Cathi: At 19, I was working at a real estate office and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life when I bought Angel Dust on its release date (June 8, 1992?) In my opinion, FNM was at the top of their game on Angel Dust and I was hell-bent on seeing them that year. I managed to score a backstage pass for that tour and meet the band.
Steph: So you've met Mike Patton?!
Cathi: Yes...he came stomping up to me like he was trying to keep the floor down. All I said was, "You're Mike Patton." All he said was, "Yep." The End.
Steph: Have your lips ever been anywhere on Mike Patton?  Honestly, I think he got better with age.
Fran: Or anyone else backstage?
Cathi: Nope! But the second time I was backstage at their show I used their bathroom while they were playing...I left Patton a note in lipstic k. Honestly cannot remember what it said!
Steph: OMG! I bet he remembers it! Way to go!
Joel: Very briefly I met MP when he was here with Tomahawk.

Fran: Let's go track by track and give a quick thought for each.  Sol Invictus.
Fran: I actually Dug the darkness and the hypnotic drum beat. Completely drew me in.  It wasn't what I was expecting.
Steph: Sol Invictus is Latin, means Unconquered Sun, also is the official sun god of later Roman Empire and patron of soldiers. Given the translation, this could only sound regal, if done right. They carried "regal" off, in spades, in true FNM style. "The sun keeps burning my face". Nod to the sun god and Unconquered Sun. "Where's my faith?" I thought it couldn't have been more perfect to lead off the album. As a stand alone song, I love it. Strife, angst, questioning faith. What's not to love?
Cathi: Sounds like he's singing in Latin on Sol Invictus.
Joel: It's really weird for an opening track.
Steph: It is weird but I think it goes along with the feel of the album.
Fran: I liked it for an opening track.
Joel: Reminds me of "Pink Cigarette" by Mr. Bungle.
Cathi: I like it as an opener as well...built up suspense.
Steph: As a stand alone track, it's weird. If you buy into the "album as concept" deal, which I usually don't, it works.
Joel: Totally.

Fran: Superhero
Joel: I hear a lot of their side projects in this album.
Cathi: Rocks Real Thing style. Familiar and powerful, reminiscent of “From Out of Nowhere” with King for a Day-era vocals.
Joel: Totally.
Fran: It sounded like something I should like. For the most part I did. But there was an element of cheesiness that annoyed the fuck out of me. Probably something I would love live
Steph: Second single released off album. I liked it, had it on my favorites playlist but it's since come off. I just like some others better.

Fran: Sunny Side Up
Fran: The black parade meets the dope show. Nuff said
Joel: I think that it's one of the better tracks.
Fran: I agree with Joel
Cathi: Agreed, Joel!
Steph: Still has that majestic feel with some funk this time and humor. Lyrics, I don't think he's just talking about eggs. But he does very well acknowledge he's just one of her many lovers. He seems fine with that, is trying to be fine with that. Even uses humor to make it sound like he's okay with it but I don't think he truly is. "Come on ride my wave, till the ocean ends, I'll see you there". He's in this for as long as she'll have him. I loved it, the lyrics, the entire song.
Steph: Did I mention I'm a lyric whore?
Fran: You left out lyric.
Joel: That's awesome.
Cathi: When I first heard Sunny Side Up it did nothing for me...second listen it quickly grew on me.
Joel: FNM albums always have to grow on me. I did NOT like Album of the Year the first time i heard it.
Fran: I am surprised I liked it as much a as I did.
Cathi: YES. Listen to Angel Dust, Francis.  I promise you will convert.
Fran: Maybe

Fran: Separation Anxiety
Steph: One of my favorites off the album. I love the wording. "I can't let you go, cause you're a part of me, not apart from me". I think it's a lover because there's also a desperate cry to "capture me". Lyrics and very driven music, a homerun for me.
Joel: Also reminds me of California era Bungle though.. not that its a problem
Fran: I'm actually digging this track. It was trance like. Some of the vocals reminded me of Zeppelin. Is this what their older stuff is like?
Steph: Not that I've noticed but remember I'm still digging into their catalog.
Cathi: I dig it but it wasn't a standout for me.

Fran: Cone of Shame
Steph: Holy shit, Cone of Shame. My favorite off the album.
Joel: this is my favorite track on the record, probably because its the most metal.
Fran: I could feel the isolation and the angst in this one but instead of going to a darker place the drums transformed it into a groove. I wanted to listen to his one again in the dark. My favorite track so far
Cathi: WINNER!
Joel: best track for sure
Steph: Snare drum was fantastic. Lyrics, wow. Holy fuck. They read my mind about the perfect way to write a perfectly perfect breakup song. I'm fucking floored. Listen to this poetry of rage.
Cathi: Patton is poetry.

Fran: Rise of the Fall
Steph: The first misstep of the album for me. Not completely bad but not my thing with the kind of Latin beat.
Joel: I really like this one a lot. I love the drums in particular.
FranWHAT JOEL?!?  A reggae beat? Really?!? It's not bad but it didn't really fit. Way to kill the vibe from the last two songs. It went from reggae to circus music back to reggae. This is exactly he reason I never got them.
Steph: Yeah! Reggae. I couldn't place it. Not my thing. Exactly, Fran!!!  You summed that up nicely.
Cathi: I get what your'e saying Fran...but they keep you guessing.
Fran: Guessing why I am listening to it.
Cathi: Ha!

Fran: Black Friday
Steph: Starts off kick ass. Very driven beat. Love it. Lyrics, bad ass. I think it's about consumerism and greed, as a whole. A commentary on priorities in the modern day. They're dead on. Don't think it'll make it onto my Christmas playlist, though.
Fran: This had a Mission UK vibe to it. Even though the album is overall dark the influences are all over the place. I like that
Joel: I actually don't like this track at all.  It should be at the end of a b-side comp.  Filler.
CathiHa! Nice, Joel.  Maybe my least favorite track.
Steph: It's not my least favorite but not my favorite. Middle ground here.  It fits in better than Rise of the Fall, in my opinion.

Fran: Motherfucker
Steph: That and Cone of Shame are my favorites on the album.
Fran: - I liked the chant-like melody until I realized it was the same as 'Master of the House' from Les Miserables. You can say Mother Fucker all you want but at the end it's still a Broadway musical. And this was a single?
Steph: I felt like I was standing in front of the firing squad from the very first beat. The lyrics, holy hell. I think it's a commentary on how all of us this age were raised, by parents, school, church, and government. "The truth is our youth was a carpet laid with stones". Also an angry breakup song. "Goodbye, Motherfucker, my lover, you saw it coming". Sometimes the ones we love can give us small pox ridden blankets. This is poetry as lyrics at its best. Permanent spot on my workout playlist. I think it's the masterpiece of the album.
Cathi: Ominous piano notes and chanting…then Mike Patton’s signature opera-style vocals are first sung melodically then spat out psychopathically.  LOVE.
Joel: I did NOT like this song when I first heard it a few months back. It has grown on me.  That's pretty common for me with FNM though.
Cathi: I didn't like it the first time I heard it, either.
Fran: Thank you Joel.  I will pass on it when it hits Broadway.
Cathi: Damn...
Joel: Ha!  I take it you felt the same way Fran?
Steph: I'll go with you, Cathleen!
Fran: You are all out of your minds.
Steph: We'll write on Mike's mirror together. Shit we won't remember.
Cathi: I'm in for that, for sure!
Steph: I like that the keyboardist sang this.  Sorry, he's not as cute as Mike so I don't remember his name.  I'm shallow like that sometimes.
Fran: When you guys going to start reviewing Andrew Loyd Weber songs?
Steph: I don't do show tunes or opera. Sorry.
Fran: Then why do you like this song?
Joel: The song does show their sense of humor though.
Cathi: Roddy Bottum.  I had to look up the spelling.
Steph: Motherfucker. Seriously? With that title?! It's like he wrote it for me.
Joel: Right?
Steph: It's a kick ass workout song, btw. That beat. Seriously. Take it to lacrosse sometime.
Cathi: Yes, Joel...the humor...which I think is lacking from their usual albums. This one is more serious, I believe.
Steph: I can't believe I just typed "take it to lacrosse". Shit, I'm Southern.
Fran: Did you mean "Take it to the cross"?
Steph: No, Southern Baptists never get the cross mixed up with a Yankee sport.
Joel: Did you just call Fran a Yankee?
Steph: Damn Yankee.

Fran: Matador
Cathi: One of my favorite tracks on the album...heavy, badass tune.
Fran: It was OK. It didn't make much of an impression on me. Like a Segway track. I'm glad they didn't end he album with this
Steph: Started very slowly, I didn't like it. But if transformed into this driving, inspirational opus. I think it's about lovers torn apart by war and death, and even those are conquered in the end. As close to a love song as FNM can get.
Joel: I don't know what to say about this song because I want to like but I don't.
Steph: I'm listening now and still don't really *like* it. It's kind of Queen-ish?
Joel: Totally Queen-ish!

Fran: From the Dead
Steph: It's a war hero's welcome home. Literally. Sol Invictus was also the saint of soldiers. They came full circle from the literal meaning "Unconquered Sun" and sun god to completing the symphony with Sol Invictus", the patron of soldiers. Beautiful imagery conjured up by the lyrics and I can't help but think that FNM considers themselves the soldiers. This album was the battle, the war. And they feel like they've won. I agree
Joel: I straight up like this one.  It's a good ending for the record.
Fran: I feel like this track could have been on AM by the Arctic Monkeys. This was a fitting closing track. It was lighter and still a little hokey. A fitting summary.
Steph: I don't see AM singing this.
Fran: It was a similar vibe IMO Steph.
Cathi: I very much enjoy From the Dead. Proficient their swan song, literally. Perfect, not proficient.
Joel: The last tracks on all of their albums end up being favorites of mine.
Fran: I think we actually all agreed this was a great closing track.
Steph: Lord, there will be Hell fire and earthquakes tonight.
Cathi: Stephanie, I appreciate you doing your homework!
Steph: You're welcome, Cathleen! I really enjoyed doing this.
Joel: I kinda want to karaoke this one.
Cathi: We'll be there, Joel.
Fran: That would be awesome!
Steph: I would pay good money for that videotape, Joel.
Joel: YES!!!
Cathi: On no...road trip!
Steph: We can do the background chorus. It'll cover up your shit.

Fran: In Closing...Give me your overall impression and rate it out of 5 stars.
Cathi: I'm giving it a 4. Valiant effort, fuckers. Love you. Call me, Mike!
Fran: I was surprised that this album was only 39 minutes. Surprisingly. I wanted to listen to this again. And I will. I liked it. Parts of it I loved and parts I didn't. I wasn't expecting that at all. 3.5 stars out of 5.
Fran: FINE. I WILL!!!
Cathi: Then King for a Day...the Gentle Art of Making Enemies...Cuckoo for Caca...
Steph: Five fucking stars. This is an album I will go to again and again for decades to come. Every song was a hit for me. It's complete badassery. Hands down. Would've loved a love song but hey, it's FNM. They're still bad asses but with a lot less hair. They're way hotter in my opinion now. Way hotter. Favorite tracks, Cone Of Shame and Motherfucker. Hands down. Both earn spot on workout playlist. I don't normally buy into the "album as a concept" thing but this works. It's pretty much the perfect example of what a concept album should and could be. It goes full circle. The sun burns their face at the start, it's Unconquered, but in the end it's conquered. They couldn't have done this better after an 18 year break. This should be the example of a comeback album. Period.
Joel: I'm going 3.5, but talk to me in 6 months. It'll probably be closer to 5.
Steph: I just now read Joel's Tiny Tim on helium remark. Lmao.
Cathi: I'm giving it a 4...but exactly what Joel 6 months it'll likely be closer to 5.
Joel: ZERO stars, sincerely, Scott.
Steph: I want to back track. I wrote every song was a hit for me. Not true. There were a couple missteps. But as a whole, I can listen to the whole thing without lunging desperately for the fast forward button. That's success for me with an album.
Cathi: I believe they aimed for the fences and cleared them.
Steph: Agreed with Cathleen.
Joel: They just barely cleared the fence.
Cathi: I just hope Patton's voice can last the tour!
Steph: Yeah but in the scheme of 18 years! 18 years! Really? They did a fucking super job.
Fran: That means My Music, My Concerts, My Life has given this album 4 out of 5 stars.
Steph: Now we can get drunk. And go to Wal Mart.

Don't just take our word for it.  Buy it on the 19th or listen to it now here.

See you when the needle drops!!!


  1. This was the best time I've had in a while! Great job at putting this together, Fran!

    1. Thank you Steph. Seriously, this was a blast.


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