Mike Patton—seemingly always full of surprises, confounds again with the completion of his latest project Peeping Tom. Patton, known for his association with the strange (Fantomas, Mr. Bungle) and his eclectic record label Ipecac, decides to go pop.
Now before cringing at the thought of Mike Patton associated with pop music, consider this: Peeping Tom is not the normal, watered-down industry controlled formulaic pop music rot. Instead, it represents a collaborative effort of unique genre-jumping music completely free of the typical pop format.
The oft-shelved six-year project was completed via file-swapping between Patton’s proposed list of potential contributors, some of whom he has never met. Working with collaborators as diverse as Norah Jones, Massive Attack and Dan the Automator (to name a few) has made this release different than anything Patton has ever done.
Mainly beat-heavy, each track contains its own individual flavoring that’s surprisingly listenable throughout. The highlights include contributions from Amon Tobin on “Don’t Even Trip,” Kool Keith on “Getaway,” and “Mojo” featuring Rahzel and Dan the Automator.
Norah Jones presence is felt on “Sucker” and Bebel Gilberto’s efforts on “Caipirinha” represent the more surprising elements of Peeping Tom to offset the hip-hop laden tracks and contributions from Bay-Area artists in dose one, Odd Nosdam, Jel and Kid Koala.
Still, despite the varied collaboration base, Peeping Tom is a Mike Patton record. Fan or no fan of Patton, his version of pop music provides a much-needed injection of creativity into the staleness of mainstream music.