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Fantômas - The Director's Cut CD (album) cover





3.72 | 85 ratings

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3 stars 3.5 stars

Ladies and Gentlemen ... Mike Patton sings!

In Fantomas' discography so far, The Director's cut is the joker in the pack. We have the high concept - cover versions of famous film theme songs; the Zorn reference - Naked City's debut album likewise featured several adaptations of movie themes; but on this occasion Mike Patton chose to sing at least some of the songs with intelligible lyrics in the English language and recognisable melodies. The results are highly - and surprisingly - enjoyable, and show yet another intriguing facet of Mike Patton's bizarre imagination.

The Director's cut works for several reasons. First and foremost it's a valuable reminder of just how good a singer Mike Patton can be, and his voice lends itself especially well to the themes of the films noir and horror movies which have been such a strong influence on his work. It's also a project that doesn't take itself too seriously - although Mike and the boys play it more or less straight, their tongues are planted firmly in their cheeks and there's a camp, slightly ghoulish sense of humour in evidence throughout. None of which means that Fantomas have gone soft - far from it. Many of the songs feature an interlude of the ear bleeding death metal that they do so well, but some of the genre blending eclecticism of Mr Bungle is also in evidence; their take on the cocktail hour jazz of 1960s is remarkably convincing. Finally, they pull off the neat trick of remaining faithful to the spirit of the original versions while still sounding unmistakably like themselves. Stand out tracks include Rosemary's Baby and Experiment in Terror, the latter featuring a relatively straightforward vocal part, but there isn't a weak track on here.

The Directors Cut is the most accessible Fantomas album to date, but also the least representative of their ever mutating sound. Apparently What A Feeling from Flashdance was to have been included, which would have been intriguing, and it would have been interesting to hear their interpretation of a James Bond theme (From Russia With Love would get my vote, in the extremely unlikely event that any of the band read this [and should they decide to make Directors Cut vol. 2]), but you can't have everything. Recommended.

Syzygy | 3/5 |


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