Mike Patton - Mondo Cane [Ipecac - 2010]“Mondo Cane” is not Mike Patton’s re-soundtracking of the classic 1962 pseudo-documentary of the same name, neither is it a collection of mondo or cannibal soundtracks done in Patton distinctive style. Instead it’s a selection of flamboyant, playful and quirky cover versions of 1950’s & 60’s Italian pop music.
For the album Patton is joined by a massive 40-piece orchestra, a choir, and a 15-piece band which gives the whole thing a very showy and big sounding- Yet none the tracks ever becoming too overblown or overtly indulgent. As you'd expect Patton’s vocals are the main focus here and he really sings his heart out going from: soaring and campy, onto romantic and swooning, through energetic and football shouty, onto show like & theatrical. Italian is such an expressive, fiery and flamboyant language, and Patton really milks everything out of each word and phrase, displaying easily myriad of emotions, yet keeping it fun & buoyant through-out. Though all of the tracks here are covers Patton has total made them his own from his highly distinctive vocals, down to quirky, genre mixing production and clever sonic details in the mix.
The eleven tracks are kept short and sharp as pop should be with the running times hitting between just under the three minute mark to just under the five minute a piece. The pace of the tracks nicely varies through-out, yet they never become too avant-grade or unhinged with Patton endearing nicely to the tracks original pop format, though he also adds that distinctive Patton twinkle to every connor of the tracks canvas.
The wonderful day-glow and tripped-out cover outwork, and album lay-out is really the cherry on the top of this fun, showy yet highly enjoyable record, that’s approachable yet quirky and creative – so it will appeal to both a mainstream audience as well as those with more daring and unhinged musical tastesRoger Batty