Review Summary: Another release by the prolific Mike Patton, and this time it's his take on radio music. Considering his many experimental projects, would this have a happy ending? Read on to find out."And i know that arseholes grow on trees
but i'm here to trim the leaves.
and i'm afraid
daddy you're still my friend
and you're just a piece of ***
but i can over-look it today
'cause you're still my friend."
'Don't even trip'
I've gotta admit, I'm a Mike Patton fanboy. Has been one ever since I reallised just how brilliant Mr. Bungle is. Every project he has done has, to varying degrees, won over my heart. So what is it about him and his music that attracts me so much? Maybe it's his freakish yet beautiful voice, maybe it's his love of creating daring and experimental music (Fantomas, Mr. Bungle), or maybe it's the fact that he's just a little crazy in the head. Either way, he definitely holds a special place in my heart.
Peeping Tom is one of the many projects that Mike Patton is involved in. While all his other projects have little or none radio appeal (except for Faith no More and, at a stretch, Lovage), this one is created to do just that. Mike Patton's take on radio (pop) music is about as catchy as the man gets. Filled with hooks and also having a decidedly hip-hop flavor, it nevertheless still has the Mike Patton flavour to it. In fact, it wouldn't be that far off to call it the hip-hop version of Faith no More. The album packaging also has a rather neat pull-slide feature, where when you pull panel on one side, another panel with the CD slides out from the other side.
Every song has a hip-hop/trip-hop feel to it, with burst of hard rock here there. Mike Patton favours using his Faith no More era singing and rapping (not the nasally one on The Real Thing, the Angel Dust and beyond one) instead of his trademark scat vocals of the Fantomas. Either way, he pulls it off remarkably, showing us again why he is widely considered as the
Master Vocalist. While the music is in a standard pop format, Mike Patton manages to spice it up, as examplified with Five Seconds, where the trip-hop is contrasted nicely with the hard-rocking chorus. Also, the cast of guest musician, from Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, Kool Keith and Norah Jones, helps give each track an individual flavour.
Another strength of Mike Patton is also his lyrical skills. It could go from whimsical (Faith no More), to bordering insanity (Fantomas). Either way, he know's how to have fun with his lyrics. The lyrical subjects on this album could go from the stereotypical subject of drug abuse (Mojo), sticking by your friends even though they mess up (Don't even trip), to god-knows-what (Celebrity death match, Your neighborhood spaceman). He could confound you and humor you at the same time too, and you'll find yourself giggling at the lyrics while wondering what some of them mean.
So, what's the end product of it all? The album succeeds in it's purpose, creating catchy and fun songs, with nearly every song single-worthy. It also manages to be able to catch the interest of the listeners with various subtle elements, each of them well-placed and appropriate. Still, it suffers, like every pop album, for the fact that it's a little stale, with some of the soul being sold for the hooks and catchiness. But that's the only blemish, and the in the end it's still another strong release by the very prolific Mike Patton.
Besides, who wouldn't giggle when Norah Jones says "mother***er"?
How U feelin?
Don't even trip