Peeping Tomby Peeping Tom
Mike Patton's "pop" project Peeping Tom kept fans waiting for a really, really long time. Consequently, the four years between its inception around 2002 and fruition in 2006 were a gestation period for urban-legendary speculation about the release to flood the public consciousness. Was he really working with Norah Jones? What did he mean by "radio-friendly pop record"? Given the thrashing, acidic nature of Patton's other projects like Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, and Tomahawk, nobody expected this album to be "Mike Patton Sings the Top 40," and most fans figured the notoriously enigmatic musician was just doing what we pay him to do: messing with us. But Peeping Tom actually does make a pretty good case for itself as pop music. The band might be better characterized as an alt-hip-hop project, but in the end, it's a Mike Patton creation -- it resists categorization. On "Mojo," the album's first single, gangsta-style squealing synths and reverb bass push ahead while Patton embraces a slicker and smoother take on his trademark blend of clean vibrato, nasally tension, and belting clarity. This is not any kind of rock-rap that's been heard before; it bears no likeness to Limp Bizkit or even Faith No More. This track is also as good a place as any to discuss the open mockery that pervades the record, deriding the very style it embraces through moments where it cartoonishly veers into musical caricature, or drops in lyrical references to known R&B-style pop songs. When Patton sings "Roll it up and smoke it again/Bottoms up and drink it again/Fix it up and shoot it again/I can't believe I did it again," he is keenly aware of how it sounds for such an avant-garde songwriter as himself to recite such perfect rock & roll clichés. Circumventing any possible debate on this topic, Patton literally quotes Britney Spears' "Oops, I Did It Again" as a postscript on the track. All of this should come as no shock: if Patton is anything, he's self-aware. He knows exactly what he's doing when he gets VH1-friendly songbird Norah Jones to sing "The truth kinda hurts, don't it motherfucker?" on "Sucker," and he knows just how mockingly clever it comes off when he sings "I know that assholes grow on trees/But I'm here to trim the leaves" on "Don't Even Trip." Of course, all this smirking could be interpreted as Patton acting cooler-than-thou about the modern musical landscape, but on closer inspection, Peeping Tom is too fastidiously crafted to be a mere middle finger aimed at the mainstream music scene. Look a little deeper, and you'll notice that Patton seems to be poking fun at himself as well, pointing out that the cult acclaim and indie cred he's garnered in his own corner of the industry are really no more meaningful than the commercially driven teen pop stardom that's so often thought to be his very antithesis. Peeping Tom is certainly Patton's most accessible work since Mr. Bungle's 1999 album California. On that record, he often baited you with a clever hook before shocking your system with an abrupt left turn. Patton confuses the senses here in just the same way, and proves that we still love him for it. ~ Cammila Albertson
- Release Date:
- Ipecac Recordings
Performance CreditsPeeping Tom Primary Artist
Dale Crover Drums
Bebel Gilberto Vocals
Robert "3D" del Naja Synthesizer,Guitar,Keyboards
DJ Disk Turntables
Amon Tobin Synthesizer,Percussion
Kid Koala Turntables
Norah Jones Vocals
Stu "Bassie" Brooks Bass,Keyboards
Technical CreditsMassive Attack Producer
Stuart Brooks Composer
Mike Patton Composer
Neil Davidge Programming
Robert "3D" del Naja Programming
Amon Tobin Producer,drum programming
Dan the Automator Composer
Keith Thornton Composer
Joe Tomino Composer
Martin Kvamme Artwork
D.P. Holmes Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I love Mike Patton and was excited to get this album. At first listen, I thought it was good. It wasn't till I went for 2 days singing Mojo in my head that I went back and listened to it again. I was addicted, one song at a time. Each time I try to listen to another CD, I find myself going back to Peeping Tom.
I get the feeling that Mike Patton is simultaneously patting me on the back for being a good little fan and giving any of his musical endeavors a few spins while chuckling quietly to himself at the notion of the thorough enjoyment I get out of this particular album. "Peeping Tom" is undoubtably a rip on contemporary pop culture, an hour-ish musical interlude of the classic "wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more" Monty Pythonism. Even the name itself implies that Patton is sitting just outside the spectrum of pop culture, peeping in on the happenings there-in and spewing out a discombobulated deciphering. I haven't yet figured out if it's all for a cynical kind of mockery or if he just wants to drop his two cents into the vending machine of pop culture and, honestly, I couldn't care less either way. From the inescapable hookery of "Mojo" to the interstellar musings of trippy space travel anthem "Your Neighborhood Spaceman," this album is simply brilliant through and through. Each song retains a distinct tone and tempo, eccentric and unfamiliar, whilst Patton's impeccable production skills keep the entirity of the album symbiotic. Throw in a few guest spots [Nora Jones gets her, assumably, first chance to utter a big league curse on tape] and you've got the makings of something truly original. With nary a throw away track, I can't really give this any less than a 5 and feel good about it. If you enjoyed Mr. Bungle's "California" a little, or Lovage's "Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By" a lot, then this album is definitely for you.
Mike Patton's a genius, in just about any genre, and this cements it. One of best "produced" and "mixed" albums I've heard in a long time, but that's not surprising considering who's involved.
Mike Patton is the kind of person where you either love him or hate him! well, in my case i absoultely love him! This peeping tom album is amazing from start to finish! With guest apperences from Kool Keith, Dan the Animator, Norah Jones.....and list goes on!....As for this album being "pop" haaaaaaaa yea sure go ahead and call it that but it is FAR from pop.When I think of pop, I think of something that gets air time on some lame radio station. It seems more like Mike is makin' fun of pop by quoting Brittney Spears lyrics..."oops I did it again" As a HUGE patton fan I laughed my @$$ off when I heard mojo! It's SO great! If anyone gets a chance to see any of patton's groupd perform I highly recommend it!! i saw Fantomas back in 02 or maybe it was 03 but by far the best live show i've ever seen! Mike has the most energy than any performer I have ever seen! Best song on this album 5 seconds! hands down! PICK UP THIS ALBUM NOW!!