Faith No More, The Real Thing

Eclectic, fresh and sharp, running the gamut from hip hop to headbang with some prog and jazz sandwiched inbetween. The best decision the band ever made was ditching Chuck Mosley for Mike Patton, because his delivery and his lyrics glue what could have been a very disjointed effort into a cohesive blend of related styles. It helps that none of them are antipodal. Isn't every raspy headbanger, shouting out rapidfire lyrics to an insistent beat assault, just a stone's throw from rap? Isn't every prog anthem just a guitar amplifier setting away from metal? The genius here was recognizing what they all have in common, which is why the jump from "From Out of Nowhere" to the trend-setting "Epic" to the basher "Surprise! You're Dead!" and the gritty progger "Zombie Eaters" (what a hateful child!) never seems forced or sudden. And if they end on the jazzy "Edge of the World," well, it's just because they can. Heck, let's throw in a Black Sabbath cover too, because with an album this infectious, even a retread still sounds like The Real Thing. (Content: violence, innuendo.)