Kaada/Patton Romances

Mike Patton is many things (madman, innovator, annoying, brilliant) but you can say this for him: he’s never boring. And he seldom, if ever, repeats himself. His team up with Norway’s Kaada doesn’t push to the extremes of either the metallic mayhem or ambient hostility of Fantômas, nor is it as bizarre or as pop as Mr. Bungle’s cannon, but it does reference parts of much of Patton’s past work. Romances is for the most part a mellow, melodic, restrained affair for both participants, featuring laidback, near-folk, almost soundtrack-derived songs complemented by Patton’s incredible ability to sing, croon or hit any style or mood presented to him. Occasionally it breaks into its ominous moments (naturally), derailing the easy listening train, but it never goes too far. It may be an exercise in restraint for both involved, but while it never overwhelms, it does engage, soothe and torment, holding you close while whispering disturbing nothings into your ear. (Ipecac)