Mike Patton Mondo Cane

Mike Patton Mondo Cane
Patton launches a full-on offensive against his fans with big, bold, vintage Italian pop project Mondo Cane, or at least that may be how many head scratching devotees will interpret it. Then again, the Patton Nation is well versed in the art of head scratching. Teaming with a 40-piece orchestra, Patton has created a highly original interpretation of retro soul, Italian style. And soulful it is; Patton pours himself into the bel canto styling of many of these songs as easily as he utterly shreds the one-time garage rock groove of "L'Urlo Negro." The orchestra and his voice work together beautifully. Whether summoning the innovatively arranged male/female backing vocals, de rigueur swirling strings or many different flavours of percussion, Patton lets the arrangements unfold before soaring above them. He's game for quieter moments as well, such as "Scalinatella," which floats along gently. The supporting elements of electric instruments, electronics and random noisemakers add to the overall range of the project. I can't vouch for Patton's pronunciation, but his passion is clearly expressed and ultimately that should wash away any scepticism about Mondo Cane. It's a record as kinky and internationally appealing as its cinematic namesake. (Ipecac)