Peeping Tom
Peeping Tom


3.0
good

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
May 30th, 2006 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


I think if most intense music fans were asked to name one of the most vocally talented rock musicians, a few names would almost always come up. Jeff Buckley, Bjork, and the psychopath responsible for Peeping Tom, Mike Patton. Patton has an extremely lengthy history in music beginning in the ‘80s with two very important musical acts, one being the forefather of “rap-rock", Faith No More who most people know due to their extremely popular hit, “Epic". The other band and the band Patton is mostly recognized for being a genius in is the genre slaughtering army of Mr. Bungle. While Faith No More favored more stereotypical song structure, Mr. Bungle was far more experimental and often would run through nearly three separate genres in every song they created. The band’s opus, “California" is seen by most as their perfect record, and I have a tendency to agree. Since, “California’s" release in 1999, Patton has been concentrating on much heavier and avant garde projects (Fantomas and other experiments with Tzadik head, John Zorn) that lack the quirky pop sensibility that made Mr. Bungle so memorable. But all of that changed, when Patton’s five year project based in the genre of pop finally announced its release to an eager audience of loyal fans. Peeping Tom is a return to what made Patton an interesting but successful star in the underground music scene.

While, Peeping Tom is defined as Mike Patton’s pop experiment, it certainly isn’t the type of pop the average music listener is comfortable with. Combining genres and a superstar cast of guests ranging from Dan the Automator, to Norah Jones, Patton is able to create a bizarre sound that only his group of starlet misfits could produce. The album starts off with the hip hop centered “Five Seconds" that clearly shows us this album isn’t going to be one of Fantomas’ experiments in noise. The song is the catchiest thing since the doo-wop opener of “California", and it’s an excellent way to start of the album and lead way into the Middle Eastern tainted single “Mojo". “Mojo" is Dan the Automator’s track and it shows in a way, but it certainly isn’t similar to any of the things the Automator is known for (Dr. Octagon). While mentioning Dr. Octagon, it’d probably be important to note the song “Getaway" which is basically a typical rap song, with Patton voicing the chorus, and Kool Keith fronting the verses. The spacey effects of “Getaway" and the bridge Patton “sings" for himself are what help make the song different from the average rap song, and a lot more interesting vehicle for Kool Keith to deliver his lines in. “Kill the DJ" shows Massive Attack and Patton’s experiment in a dance track and the excellently titled “Sucker" is what seems to be an attempt to create a extremely sexual “jazz" song with singer Norah Jones. The eclectic range of sounds on this album is excellent and really adds to its replay value, as well as the cast of extremely talented musician’s ability to share their various expertises with Patton’s unique vocal ability.

While Peeping Tom is an eclectic pop album, its lack of emotion and bland middle section do harm it’s rating as a better album than previous Patton works. Like most pop music, Patton falls into the problem of sacrificing relation to his audience for hooks. Songs like “Your Neighborhood Spaceman" just seem bland, and for the sake of writing, rather than actual works of art from a talented artist. This blandness isn’t seen all over the album, the closer “We Are Alone" is an excellent example of how Patton has the ability to shed some personal insight into his songs, it’s just the middle section of the album seems to drag with bland rehashes of boring ideas. This may be because of the lesser known, and less talented artists that are featured in songs like “Caiprianha" and “Celebrity Death Match", or as I think it is probably due to the fact that Patton was just looking for filler to complete the album. This project has been in the works for five years, and according to Ipecac (Peeping Tom’s label) “three albums worth of material have been recorded" so Patton could have the desire to spread out the best tracks in a gimmick to make more evenly matched albums. Whatever is the case, the album certainly drags at points and loses itself in mediocrity which is disappointing to something that could’ve been so excellent.

All in all, Peeping Tom is a solid pop album. While not as revolutionary or as interesting as Patton’s previous works, it is a good album and a unique experience. If more pop artists were willing to take steps into this kind of pop, the mainstream music scene may be a lot more interesting and entertaining. Sadly, we need a vocal guru, whose main work consists of “metalesque" projects, to get bored with his projects and make an original pop album. Still, Patton mostly succeeds in his job of creating an entertaining and interesting listen, and hopefully volume two of Peeping Tom can better this album’s quality or at least match it.



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user ratings (229)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
antihippy (4)
Another release by the prolific Mike Patton, and this time it's his take on radio music. Considering...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dimes Make Dollars
May 30th 2006


241 Comments


Very nice review. I've gotten bored of Patton lately but I'm looking to check this out anyway.

pixiesfanyo
May 30th 2006


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's not the typical Patton affair. I suggest checking it out.

YDload
May 30th 2006


1207 Comments


do you know if any of these songs will be on the radio? i'd like to listen to them but i don't want to actually look for them

Two-Headed Boy
May 30th 2006


4527 Comments


I must buy this, seeing as Mr. Bungle and Faith No More are excellent bands.

pixiesfanyo
May 30th 2006


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

YD, Mojo is the single.



I saw it on Conan the other night.

incubliss
May 30th 2006


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually really love this. I've been listening to it loads.

Zebra
Moderator
May 30th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

At first I disliked this album because I found myself comparing it to other Patton albums. Once I stopped comparing and actually let the album sink in it is actually a very enjoyable listen. Great work on the review.

montague
May 30th 2006


35 Comments


nice review, but i thought the album was utterly boring.

Honeymoon_Croon
May 30th 2006


297 Comments


I really want to get this, I'm a huge Mike Patton fan.

ThaFleastyler
May 31st 2006


36 Comments


Nice review, pixiesfanyo. Well written. I'll have to check this album out.

Kyle
May 31st 2006


667 Comments


nicely written review, to the point, and informative, I'll check this out soon I think.

FA
May 31st 2006


127 Comments


I've heard a lot about Peeping Tom the past few days, I should give them a listen.

onefortheman25
May 31st 2006


196 Comments


finally! a decent review that conveys a well thought out opinion without either drooling over, or bashing the artist.
I will probably never check this guy out though.
But like I said. Good job.

Jawaharal
May 31st 2006


1832 Comments


I'm liking it so far. Good review too.

DanD
June 1st 2006


86 Comments


I haven't really listened to it in a while, but I do remember that it had a nice mix of mainstream styled music with Patton's signature quirkiness, which was cool. The only problem was that nothing stood out to me, I've had no reason to listen to this very often.

spoon_of_grimbo
June 18th 2006


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

took a few listens to sink in, but patton's genius is apparent once again! i even find myself liking the hiphop tracks, which is a genre i usually HATE with a passion!



mojo's a pretty good choice for a single, altho the "we're not alone" remix (anywhere we can hear the original non-remixed one?) would be good too, mainly for hte massive FNM style chorus!

spoon_of_grimbo
June 18th 2006


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also, this album is rivalling tool's 10000days and nevermore's godless endeavour, for the title of coolest cd packaging ever!!!



you pull the tab, and the cd slides out... GENIUS!!!

STLMiguel
June 18th 2006


335 Comments


how can you hate hip-hop with a passion?

pika122689
June 21st 2006


15 Comments


Favorite thing from Patton in awhile. While I like his more experimental things like Mr. Bungle and Fantamos, I prefer songs from him with this sort of structure.

First half of the album is a little more memorable.

spoon_of_grimbo
June 21st 2006


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how can i hate hiphop with a passion? maybe by finding that i dont like the majority of hiphop, and find the lyrics shallow and pathetic. just my opinion, i'm not forcing you to agree with me STLMiguel.



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