Faith No More

Album of the Year

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Faith No More's 1997 release Album of the Year featured the talents of another new guitarist, Jon Hudson, who replaced Dean Menta (Menta only toured with the group in support of King for a Day before being dismissed). Like King for a Day, Album is more straightforward musically than past releases and remains one of FNM's most focused and concise works. Recorded in bassist Billy Gould's home studio, Album of the Year would turn out to be their last studio recording before splitting up in 1997. A trio of outstanding tracks -- "Stripsearch," "Last Cup of Sorrow," and "Ashes to Ashes" -- blend hard rock and pop melodicism the way only FNM can, while "Helpless" is an unpredictable composition that alternates between heavy guitar riffing and Mike Patton's tempered vocals. The explosive album opener, "Collision," and "Naked in Front of the Computer" show that the band can still compose prime heavy rockers, while other musical forms were included as well (the romantic ballad "She Loves Me Not," the evil boogie of "Home Sick Home," and the Middle Eastern sounds of "Mouth to Mouth"). For the gripping album closer, "Pristina," the '90s turmoil in Yugoslavia is used as a backdrop for a tale of lovers being separated due to war. Album of the Year was a fitting way for one of alt-rock's most influential and important bands to end its career.

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