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The Real Thing – Faith No More

The Real Thing

1989, 8.5/10
Faith No More’s first album with Mike Patton on vocals broke them into the mainstream. Patton was only 20 at the time of recording The Real Thing, and his voice is notably different on subsequent releases – his voice would drop an entire octave before Angel Dust. The Real Thing is notable for its healthy handful of rock anthems – in particular the hit ‘Epic’, which mixed rapped verses with an intense chorus, but other songs like the keyboard driven ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ and ‘Falling To Pieces’ could have also launched Faith No More into the mainstream.

Korn’s Jonathan Davis was one of many aspiring musicians inspired by The Real Thing, saying “It showed everybody you could do heavy music and not be “metal”.” Faith No More’s style on The Real Thing can loosely be described as funk metal, but the album covers a lot of bases, from accessible poppy hits like the opening duo of ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ and ‘Epic’, to more intense fare like ‘Surprise! You’re Dead!’. There’s also the eastern flavoured instrumental ‘Woodpecker From Mars’ and a fun Black Sabbath cover ‘War Pigs’. Subsequent Faith No More albums would become even more eclectic and less hooky, which makes The Real Thing an ideal starting point in the band’s discography.

With Patton’s voice not fully developed, The Real Thing is more adolescent-oriented than Faith No More’s subsequent albums, but there’s plenty of substance here too.

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