Music News

Peeping Tom

Hailing from the "kitchen sink" school of composition, Mike Patton has a sizable body of work that demonstrates his commitment to the theory that more is more. More styles of music, more layers of sound, more collaborators, more albums released — not since George Clinton's heyday has one man been so prolific. Peeping Tom, Patton's long-delayed pop project, takes this approach and gives it a steady dance beat. While one might argue that all of Patton's oeuvre has a strong pop element due to his mix-and-match writing style (yes, even Fantomas), there is no arguing that Peeping Tom is dance music. But it's dance music for adults — naked, grinding, well-intoxicated adults. "Getaway," with vocals courtesy of Kool Keith, has the grimy sci-fi vibe and loin-rubbing bass that one imagines is constantly pumping in Keith's boudoir; "Kill the DJ," with help from Massive Attack, segues from Brian Wilson-sounding opening vocal harmonies to an avalanche of synthetic bass rumble and lisping high hat that demands dance-floor or mattress fealty. Guest Norah Jones wraps herself around the sweaty groove of "Sucker" with the lithe carnality of a sex panther, purring motherfucker like she's simultaneously propositioning and scorning William Hurt in Body Heat. And throughout all the twists and musical jumps, Patton croons and whispers, moans and howls, doing whatever is necessary in service of the beat — even when that means stepping back and letting his collaborators work you into a lather. Peeping Tom may just replace those little blue pills.

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Paul Friswold
Contact: Paul Friswold