Mike Patton has long been one of my favourite rock musicians. And I think he has also made some objectively great music; at least six albums he has been involved with I would put on my “core” list of important music a neophyte should listen to. (For your reference, those albums are, in chronological order: Angel Dust, King for a Day…Fool for a Lifetime, Disco Volante, California, The Director’s Cut, and Anonymous.)
But even though it really hasn’t been that long since the last one of those (7 years), it sure has felt like a long time to me. I feel like the few recent projects of his I’ve actually given the full time to have all been minor works. I have certainly thought about the possibility that maybe his time as an important figure in music is over.
But this album really makes me rethink that, despite the fact that he is more of a supporting player on this record. (Please, people, read the credits before you attribute everything to the vocalist.)
I absolutely love this. And the only thing keeping me from giving it a near perfect score is that I am worried I love it in part because I was worried I wouldn’t; because my expectations were low. (Also, not that this album is about lyrics, but I feel like these are some of Patton’s weakest lyrics.)
I really, really want to check out Pateras’ past work. I really like his sensibility and I feel like these two were born to collaborate.
The only other thing keeping me from getting too damn excited about this is that the sound isn’t exactly consistent throughout; both a good thing and bad thing. I remember listening to the first or second track for the first time and just getting bludgeoned and thinking “Yes! Yes!” like this was the logical next step for the guy behind Fantomas. But you certainly don’t get that from so many of the other tracks. (Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.)
And so I am trying to temper my enthusiasm just a little bit by wondering what I will think about this in 10 years. Will I really still think it is unbelievably awesome? I don’t know.