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Faust

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Year Title Rating
1971 Faust 9/10
1972 So Far 8/10
1973 The Faust Tapes 7.5/10
1973 Faust & Tony Conrad - Outside the Dream Syndicate .../...
1973 Faust IV 7.5/10
1994 >>Rien .../...
1997 >>You Know Faust .../...
1997 >>Faust Wakes Nosferatu .../...
1999 >>Ravvivando .../...
2004 Faust vs. dälek - Derbe Respect, Alder .../...
2007 Faust & Nurse with Wound - Disconnected .../...
2009 >>C'est Com... Com... Complique .../...
2010 >>Faust Is Last .../...
2011 >>Something Dirty .../...

Review last updated: March 28, 2019

The following review was selected for the front page of Rate Your Music.com in August 2013. I recently recovered it from a high school document.

Faust

Faust is not only the greatest achievement of the seventies' krautrock movement, but one of the most creative, compelling, and relentlessly bizarre albums in the history of rock music. It is the perfect middle ground between psychotic, unpredictable chaos, steady, pulsating momentum, and the expressions of the true outsider. Every part of this album was executed extremely well.

"Why Don't You Eat Carrots?" begins with what sounds like a radio transmission from a spaceship leaving the atmosphere. The top 40 hits of the sixties are briefly sampled, both to hint at the possibility of FM radio waves being sent into outer space, and to mockingly laugh at the pettiness and the philistinism of your standard three-minute radio hit. This spaceship orbits the moon, as extraterrestrials in a marching band play the fragmented melodies of other galaxies. It records the cosmic debris and the solar winds that propel it into the void. Conversations in German, haunted pianos, and the recurring marching band melodies are heard flying around in the spaceship's vicinity.

"Meadow Meal" begins with proto-industrial mechanical ticking and the grating noise of malfunctioning assembly lines. The melodramatic shouts of the band, giving vague commands to whoever might be listening, haunt the listener, like a virus that comes back as soon as you think it's gone. At three minutes, the band breaks into an energetic jamboree, a schizophrenic romp that's both synthetic and humanizing. It ends with the sounds of a church organ, comforting and shielding churchgoers from the raging storm outside.

The B side consists only of "Miss Fortune", the album's blazing final, a masterpiece of progressive rock. It travels to hell and back, juxtaposing the early electronic compositions of Schulze and Stockhausen with disturbingly hilarious, watery guitar jams and unnerving German pseudo-opera. The album ends with an existential monologue spoken by two vocalists, each speaking every other word. This ending, as corny or as ridiculous as it seems on the surface, is actually a compelling lament of the fragility of memory and the subjective interpretations of the world around us. Faust couldn't have ended their debut album any better.

And that's only thirty-four minutes.

Faust is an album that flaunts its sheer ridiculousness and unpredictability. It leaves a bigger impression on you than the lot of so-called psychedelic music. It is more compelling and thought-provoking than the most detailed, laughably insistent concept albums. It manages to be both incredibly detailed and effortless at the same time. An absolute essential for anyone who claims to enjoy music.