by Sara Huguenard
Friends! I come to you today to let you know that within the realm of darkness that is today’s commercial music landscape, there is light! Today I am here (hear!) to preach salvation! Salvation in an era wrought by plague for those of the aural faith! Today I ask you to repent – repent the sin of every unworthy recording you have acquired in recent years in that desperate search to expand your horizons by embarking on a new path – one of hope – a guiding force that can lead us beyond the shadows!
I speak to you of course of the latest brain child of Mike Patton – and the voyeuristic universe that is Peeping Tom! A sensual world where the most talented names in the industry lend themselves to an incendiary masterpiece. Listen closely, children, as I advocate a new gospel: found in The Book of “Experimental / Ghettotech”!
It is quite true. Having had my devotion so tested in recent years, surprised was I to find promise in such an unexpected place: while much of the music on this album would not be something I would normally be captivated by so instantaneously…so completely…it was just that uncharted realm that was so seductive…from opening note to intense lyric, that just as the name would imply, was concealed an uncontrollable force which seemed to be compelling me to take a closer look…just one more little peek.
I would hate to call this album a collection if it were in any way to detract from the genius that went into creating it, but it is the extensive range of influence contributed by the album’s many artists that guides it; that lends itself to such a potentially broad appeal, just as its creator likely intended. Peeping Tom is a veritable playground for the best of the best: Nora Jones, Massive Attack (Could “Kill the DJ” be the best song released this year? I would venture a resounding “yes” on that!), Dan the Automator and Kid Koala have all seemingly been given creative license to do what they wish, which results in a unique three dimensional vision for each individual foundation. And at the same time, it would not have the great unpredictability, yet incredible cohesiveness that it does without Mr. Patton at the helm. In just the opening song (“Five Seconds” featuring Odd Nosdam), the listener is exposed to a symphony that melds hip/hop, funk and blues with an industrial / metal fusion, which propels the listener to a magical sensory climax before the end of the first track, thank you verymuch (hallelujah, I have been saved!)!!! Okay, so maybe with all of that going on, it would almost be wrong to cite influences. Peeping Tom has pretty much taken everything it could get its creative mits on and molded it into a sound that is all its own. Quite frankly, over the course of his career Mike Patton has shown that he has developed into a master of just that – a “prophet”, if you will, usually way ahead of his time.
So by now I know what you are probably thinking, dear reader – a great track or two? An impressive resume? Probably worth checking out…but no, no my friends – really! All kidding aside, I must say that in the past year I can probably count on one hand the number of albums I have at first listen fallen truly head over heals in love with. This is one of them. But you needn’t just take my word for it. Check out Peeping Tom and judge for yourself. If you like what you hear, go out and buy – I guarantee the rest is well worth every penny invested.
More on Peeping Tom: www.myspace.com/peepingtomispatton.