Boomkat Product Review:
Never one to conform to expectations, Mike Patton returns with a brand new solo album, and this one's an Italian language orchestral pop record that leans towards the golden age of easy listening music with delightfully schlocky but ultimately very well-observed Euro-soundtrack fodder.
'Il Cielo In Una Stanza' begins in a familiarly Morricone-esque fashion (in fact Morricone's 'Deep Down' is covered later on in the sequence), full of atmospheric sound designs, only for some wonderfully sugary strings to roll in with Patton's powerful (if somewhat tongue-in-cheek) vocal delivery. Given all the eccentricities and extremities associated with Patton's varied back catalogue (taking in Fantomas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom and most famously Faith No More, among innumerable other collaborations) it's easy to forget what a versatile and dextrous singer he is.
On Mondo Cane, Patton makes like an Italian-speaking Tony Christie, launching into a knockout, lung-purging style that's a fine approximation of trad. crooning - although the tone does frequently overshoot the mark, sounding more than a little cartoonish and exaggerated. 'Urlo Negro' takes a slightly wilder slant, proving to be a little more like the wailing, unstable Mike Patton performance we've become accustomed to, assaulting the ears with unreined larynx pyrotechnics. The arrangements are incredible throughout the album, utilising the services of a thirty-piece orchestra and a supporting choir, and while at times you might find yourself unsure whether you're supposed to be sniggering along or listening attentively with a straight face, you can't help but be impressed.