Sound: Since Faith No More split up in 1998 fans have been circulating rumors about frontman Mike Patton's solo mainstream-pop project. For years Patton has noticed in different acts -- sometimes not really pop, sometimes not really singing. In May 2006 the word finally started to appear when talking about his new -- Peeping Tom project. Yes, finally something actually close to mainstream pop and something everybody's been waiting for years -- a debut Peeping Tom self-titled album on Patton's own Ipecac Records. It's 11 tracks, each containing a help from a different singular artist. It's noise rock, trip-hop, electronic flourishes and pop all at once, fused into something totally fashionable, groovy and very danceable.
Album opener Five Seconds, featuring Odd Nosdam, has a menacingly bass line and unpleasant vocal, shouting like straight in your ears. Unpleasant though doesn't mean Collaboration with Massive Attack -- Kill the sounds a lot like a track from Mezzanine -- passionate, with slow tripping verses and explosively loud choruses. All artists bring something of their own in songs, sometimes really close to their records, sometimes not really Like good girl Nora Jones -- Patton makes her swear and change fish is jumping and the cotton is high for sexy what make you think your only lover in Sucker. She probably tried hard to masked her voice as it doesn't sound anything close to jazz exercises.
The album is full of weird sounds and crazy ideas. The end of Celebrity Death Match is genius -- the track finishes with a piece of some kind of classic orchestral symphony. It's so unexpected and boldly that it makes you laugh. You would be surprised as a group of people supports you laughing in the beginning of the next track How U Feeling?
For Peeping Tom project Patton wrote music, swapping files with his collaborators. He never met some of the musicians he worked with and the record keeps that feel of a cold distance. Each song on the record is as individual a guest artist, so I stop rambling on about what they sound like and let you make your own discoveries. // 8
Lyrics: The first single off the album has the whole idea of the record within one song -- Roll it up and smoke it again. That's how the material was written and that's also the best way to listen to it. That would probably freak out some parents out there, but it's ridiculously to hide the drug usage by musicians nowdays, so who cares... Ooops I did it again in that case is very well fitted here.
It's more about making scary sounds, than actually singing. The only really singing track would be Kill the with female vocals from Massive Attack. Patton, known for his extraordinary vocal range, explores his abilities best here. // 9
Overall Impression: The first thing that comes to your mind is Wow, what a difference from Faith No More! Sometimes having just one project becomes a prison for creative people -- doing just one thing kills their multisided creative personality. That's why side or solo projects are often so different (think of Damon Albarn with Blur and Gorillaz). Borrowing the name from '60s psychological horror film Peeping Tom, the group of collaborators (if you let me call it this way) creates music that is more like a soundtrack to a stripper dance. That is more than obvious though, as you see the CD cover -- a naked girl through a key hole.
Trying to differentiate the music genre of the record would be really hard -- something like experimental quality pop? As Patton says himself -- that is his version of pop music. Thinking of somebody who can mix so many different styles and incompatible pieces one in one record with such a great feel of style, only one thing comes to my mind -- Beck. The only difference between the guys is Beck is already admitted genius, while Peeping Tom is just foretasting it.
- Elena Efimova 2006 // 9