California review by Mr. Bungle

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  • Released: Jul 13, 1999
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (27 votes)
Mr. Bungle: California

Sound — 10
A veritable musical melting pot of ideas, Mr Bungles final album, is also their most accesible. Reference points here would be surf pop, jazz, rock, and an unmistakable element that can only be described as "Bungle-esque". Their habit of changing styles halfway through a song is much less apparent, and helps to compliment the song, adding an interesting dynamic, rather than being abrasive or irritating. The songs are catchy for the most part, especially The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, and the incredible Retrovertigo, the chorus of which will leave your jaw on the floor, and which leaves no doubts about Mike Pattons singing ability.

Lyrics — 9
Unusual lyrical ideas are the forte of Mr Patton, and he manages to write some incredibly thoughtful ones here. From the waking moments of a coma victim, to the final moments of a suicide victim, his scope and vocabulary are breathtaking. Mike Patton excels on this album, harmonising with himself perfectly, and alternating between chanting, crooning, and all out singing with such ease.

Overall Impression — 10
While it is much more "safe" than Mr Bungles previous work, it still manages to be incredibly forward thinking and different. It's a musical patchwork of ideas; a journey you'll want to repeat again and again; a lost classic, and the work of a band who, if they wished, could rule the musical world. Unfortunately, such genius cannot last forever, and the band who made it imploded from inter-band rivalries. Many bands today boast about being "genre-bending". Mr Bungle literally destroy genres, then rebuild them to suit their own purposes. If someone stole this, I would let them keep it and listen to it through once, before killing them.

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