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Mike Patton - Mondo Cane CD (album) cover

MONDO CANE

Mike Patton

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.72 | 36 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Mondo Cane" is the 5th full-length studio album (including a couple of soundtracks) by US rock/metal artist Mike Patton. The album was released through Ipecac Recordings in May 2010. Patton is probably mostly known for his work with acts like Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, and Tomahawk, and for his experiments with the human voice, but on "Mondo Cane" he goes down a quite different path. "Mondo Cane" does continue the Mike Patton tradition that you should expect the unexpected though.

This time around the singer has chosen to cover 50s and 60s Italian pop songs backed by the Filarmonica Arturo Tuscanini orchestra and choir (conducted by Aldo Sisillo). "Mondo Cane" has a pretty interesting recording history, as it was recorded live during the first three dates of an Italian tour. No performance was kept intact though, and instead the album was created from various instrumental and vocal tracks and spliced together for the final mix. All tracks feature Italian language lyrics. The idea for making the album came to Patton while he was living in Bologna, Italy, and was touched by the "older" music playing on the radio. Patton had learned the Italian language and moved to Bologna when marrying Italian artist Titi Zuccatosta, and I´ve read comments from more than one Italian fan, saying that although Patton has an American accent, he actually nails singing in Italian pretty well.

As usual a bold move that Patton more or less pulls off with seamless ease and also great conviction and passion. Patton has a strong voice and an extremely versatile vocal style and while it's only "Urlo Negro" which features some semi-aggressive vocals, we're still presented with a plethora of different "clean" vocal styles on the album. The choir backing and the orchectra work really well and provide/support the tracks with the right atmosphere but it's Patton's vocals that are the center of attention. There's a nostalgic and sentimental atmosphere to most of the tracks that really graps my attention (this is music which wears its emotions on the sleeve), but images of spies and femme fatales also come to mind during the most energetic of the tracks like "Che Notte!" and the above mentioned "Urlo Negro". The material are predominantly just a really warm and pleasant listening experience.

Although the album essentially was recorded live, "Mondo Cane" feels like a studio album (you won´t hear audience noise or talking between tracks), and a very well produced on at that. The organic and warm sounding production suits the material perfectly. So upon conclusion "Mondo Cane" is a quality release through and through. It´s one of his more easy listening releases and some fans may find it a little too safe and not experimental enough, but to those who enjoy Patton's voice and and support his eclectic mindset regarding the boundaries of music (which means no boundaries in his case), this could prove to be a litte pleasant gem. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |

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