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Mike Patton - Adult Themes For Voice CD (album) cover


Mike Patton


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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Being a Mike Patton fan I decided to check out his two solo albums released under his own name. I first got "Pranzo Oltranzista" which was an excellent avant-garde release in the vein of some of John Zorn's works. Ignoring all warnings I picked up this one too eventually and well, this certainly isn't for the faint of heart. This album was recorded in various hotel rooms in 1995/96 during a Faith No More tour, and the only instruments used are Patton's vocals and a track mixer. Patton basically makes some random noise with his mouth and then often mixes it into something even more bizarre than it already is. Sometimes the result actually works well and there are several tracks here that actually are very interesting to listen to but unfortunately, 45 minutes with all tracks only be in this style quickly get too much and rather swamps the project rather than making it into something extraordinary. I'm not saying that there isn't variety here cause this album is very varied all the time, kinda like Fantômas' first album without instruments, yet it gets too much after a while even though it is very original. This album is really inaccessible too and is one of the best examples of a "like it or hate it" album. I think most people will hate it rather than liking it.

A very interesting release; bizarre, noisy and pure weirdness is the best descriptions I can give to this one. Unfortunately I can't recommend this one to anyone but the most hardcore Patton fans, or people who wants a highly experimental vocal album. I would have given it more than 2 stars for its interesting and original concept, but it's inaccessibility and noisy approach only merits it to 2 stars on my scale. Patton collectors and fans only!

Report this review (#113474)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Mike Patton has got to be the most versatile singer ever. He can do anything, even imitate noises. While touring with Faith No More, he recorded vocal parts on over 30 tracks and mixed them for a solo release. The songs consist of Patton using his gift for imitation to make a rather bizarre and completely inaccessible record. Think Disco Volante, then place it in a vault and drop it in the ocean. This is interesting if you are alrready a Patton fan, but it doesn't hold my attention for 40 minutes. This album is for only the most open-minded of listeners/die-hard fans of Mr. Patton. I suggest getting his second outing, "Pranzo Oltranzista, which has the benefit of actual instruments other than vocals.

Grade: D

Report this review (#113491)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This Patton album is certainly original, i think everyone will give him that. Sometimes these experiments work, sometimes they don't. For me, this one did, just can't stop listening to it. Most of the songs differ from each other a lot, each has it's own unique sound. But they have a lot in common too, they all consist of various strange sounds that don't seem to be human made, but they are, voice is the only instrument on this album. It is like a whole new genre. And it is only the matter of taste will you like it or will you not. Most people prefer Pranzo Oltranzista, but i find it boring. Maybe one day it will fit my mood perfectly and i will finally discover it. This album also seemed terrible at first listens, but then i found that it has to be listened with eyes closed, lying and thinking about nothing else. And you mustn't be tired. And you must be really open minded. However even listening to it like that, i (die hard Patton fan by the way) find some bits very boring(like all Guinea Pigs) but other songs compensate it. 3,75 stars mostly for giving a whole new view to the art of music. Recommended if you are searching for something original.
Report this review (#173448)
Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars Mike Patton - 'Adult Themes For Voice' 1 star

I can't take this.

This is one of those albums, that no matter how interesting and unconventional, just gets completely unlistenable. I just about every album where Patton is featured on vocals, the music mixed in with his vocal work is usually pretty interesting, but an album of him doing his 'trademark' vocal work can be one of the most irritating things to the ear. What this album contains is 33 fairly short to some going above a minute of Mike Patton shrieking and making noises as varied as he possibly can. That is simply the only way I can describe te content on the album. As far as my opinion goes, it is annoying, overdone and dumb. A one-star rating is the best I can possibly give this work.

Report this review (#196821)
Posted Thursday, January 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Mike Patton has a large cult following for his versatility & diversity.He's contributed guest vocals to dozens of bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan,The X-ecutioners,Bjork & massive attack whilst leading his own bands & projects such as Tomahawk,Fantomas,Lovage,Mondo Cane and maintaining a solo career,composing scores for film as well as lending his vocal talents for Transformers 2 & I am Legend.He has very close ties with Avant Garde/Jazz saxophone player John Zorn & collaborates frequently with high school friend & bass player Trevor Dunn.

His high school band Mr Bungle,a group of friends gained him notoriety amongst musicians.Their fusion of genres such as surf,funk & metal made them certainly unique and inspired many bands of the nineties such as Korn & Incubus to blend multiple genres with metal.But it was when Faith No More member Jim Martin wanted to Patton to their replace current vocalist Chuck Mosley and upon joining with give Patton his hugest commercial success.This could be seen as a stigma to people not familiar with his other/more frequent others works.

The album under review is possibly the most risky début ,I have ever head.Fortunately being a fan of his for a while cushioned the blow of how much of an abstract approach he took to recording it.The album just comprising of vocal tracks and various themes in which he creates noise and sounds with his vocals reflecting the themes and vice versa.When listening to this,it can help to acknowledge the title and you may see what the vocals are trying to replicate.The tracks & theme their selves are very dark & sometimes deranged with many of the titles involving death & sex such as titles called ""I Killed Him Like a Dog...And He Still Laughed"" & "Red Mouth, Black Orgasm". His approach his very similar to his work John Zorn with the Moonchild trio where lyricless vocals & sounds are performed over experimental/Avant Garde music,this certainly shares the same category but minus the instruments your left with 43 minutes of noise vocals.When the concept of an Avant Garde is clear you can begin to try & understand what's really trying to happen.Sometimes I think the idea & release of the album is more a statement then the music itself.I really love the idea of this album,Patton's vocals are spine chilling & performed impressively.He creates sounds which sound impossible to replicate or for that matter even sound like they were created from a human beings mouth (again possibly the point album).The album can grow tiring three quarters of the way through,the beginning feels exciting & unique,because it's certain you've never heard anything like this before but once those feelings diminish it can feel like a novelty and there are moments where there are genuinely hilarious moments such as "Inconsolable Widows in Search of Distraction".

An Avant Garde album with one of the most unique vocalists ever and despite whether you like the album or not,you have to appreciate the effort & creativity.It's not one I play regularly but am glad to listen to once in a while.

Don't expect Faith No More or even anything Patton has done before.

Report this review (#247888)
Posted Monday, November 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
1 stars 'Adult Themes For Voice' - Mike Patton (1/10)

Mike Patton has one of the greatest vocal ranges around. Best known for his work with Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, the man is a legend, well-known for his eccentric personality and remarkably inventive music. Keeping that in mind, there's no reason why 'Adult Themes For Voice' should have been such a travesty. Mike Patton has no dearth of creative energy, and his voice can be challenging and beautiful all at once. What we have here though is something that's weird, without necessarily being creative. Instead of using his voice to its potential, Patton defaults on cheap gimmicks and bad humour. Listening to street traffic is more entertaining than this.

It feels odd that such a musical intelligence like Mike Patton has created one of the worst albums I have ever heard, and I only wish it wasn't true. Created with a four track portastudio, I imagine it took more time to think out the thirty four stupid song titles than it took to compose this, that is, if a composition stage ever took place. To put it bluntly; 'Adult Themes For Voice' consists of forty plus minutes of Patton making various noises into a lo-fi microphone. To Patton's credit, the listener is privileged to a wide variety of different vocal noises, from monkey screams, to monkey howls, to heavy breathing, and even a few hand claps thrown in there for the sake of variety. Often, Patton's screaming ends up sounding like harsh radio static, due to the cheap recording.

Musical open mindedness is obviously an issue with every avant-garde album a listener will come across, but not every experiment is genius. Save for a couple of bland echo effects, this is a forty minute exercise in complete, utter ambivalence on the part of Mike Patton. The only thing here is his voice, and if 'Adult Themes' was all you had to go by, you would not even guess that he may be one of the greatest vocalists of the modern age. An experiment with vocal noise could have been brilliant if it was done the right way, but this is at best a squandered concept, and at worst, the most tasteless waste of talent I have ever come across.

Report this review (#585468)
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
2 stars MIKE PATTON's first solo album ADULT THEMES FOR VOICE is a bona fide journey into the avant garde. Unlike anything else in his career before or after he decided to splice and dice vocal recordings he made in hotel rooms on a mini-recorder and for whatever reason released them for the world to scrutinize. This is just his vocals and some production manipulations. With such a low rating it seems like much of the world is not in tune with Mr PATTON's strange and bizarre world of vocal shredding. This album is in the same vein as Demetrio Stratos' solo albums where Mike is simply showing us his ability to take his voice to strange unthought of places. Strange indeed. At times he screams, squeaks and moans, howls like a monkey and does things I lack the proper vocabulary to describe.

This album was inspired by his love of Japanese noise bands like Hanatarash. I have owned this for quite a while but have only listened to it a handful of times. It is basically a sonic diary of a creative vocalist spontaneously doing what he feels inspired to do and then taking it apart and sewing it back together. The result is a very mixed bag. I actually find some of this stuff highly creative and a tad interesting. This isn't however an album that one puts on often because 45 minutes of its inconsistency is a little too much. Some tracks taken on their own are downright ingenious and beyond bizarre. An interesting experiment but I would definitely file this one in the "collector's / fan" category because very few will find anything redeeming in this. I actually much prefer Mike's following album "Pranzo Oltranzista." That is a truly bizarre avant-garde album that works for its entirety.

Report this review (#1207964)
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2014 | Review Permalink

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