Mike Patton - Mondo Cane
Tie a blindfold round your head, spin around 10 times and see what direction you are facing. Could this be Mike Patton's decision-making process? Following the recent Faith No More reformation shows, Mr. Patton has returned with an album of 50s and 60s Italian pop covers. But he hasn't come alone: backing him are a band, a choir and a 40 piece orchestra.
Through the years Patton has been one of music’s most exciting and experimental vocalists. From the chopped up screaming insanity of Adult Themes For Voice to the funky vibes of his General Patton V.S. The X-Ecutioners project he has never been one to rest upon his laurels, fearlessly leaping between genres and styles, all the time supported by that voice.
This project has been the cards for some time. Having spent time living in Italy and also marrying an Italian, Patton's love affair with the country's music began to blossom. Choosing to dust off these songs and replay them with such epic and grandiose orchestration highlights their solid musical foundations – these tunes have stood the test of time for half a century and remain vibrant and full of life.
As much as his demented yelping in other projects may have challenged expectations and produced extreme and abrasive noise, this opportunity provides a setting for him to really sing. From the operatic opening of 'Il Cielo In Una Stanza', where he bounces off the choir before taking centre stage and allowing himself to meander through the orchestra, there are any number of goose-bump moments where he quite simply amazes.
Knowledge of the source material is utterly unnecessary, but after listening you may be tempted to rummage through the back catalogues of Fred Bongusto, Ennio Morricone or Gino Paoli. Fans of his previous work will be delighted that yet another musical change of direction has yielded such a compelling and exciting album. Now where's my fucking cornetto?