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Album Review

Mike Patton - Mondo Cane
Ipecac Recordings
Produced by Mike Patton & Daniele Luppi
Live recordings by Massimo Carli
Assisted by Andrea Carli and Roberto Monari
Studio recordings and overdubs by Mike Patton
Mixed by S. Husky Hoskulds
Pre-mixing by Anton Riehl
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen

4.5 out of 5 mics

This has been a pretty highly anticipated album. HIghly anticipated within my world anyway. Patton fans have been hoping for an album along these lines for quite a while. Patton gives 100 percent on every musical project he's involved in, but fans know that there are certain things they can expect. On Mondo Cane, there's little of the expected.

This is an album of Italian pop and film songs from the 60's. They are sung in Italian and backed by a live orchestra - The Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini. Certainly the songs are given a Patton treatment, but not in any wacky or "shtick-ish" sort of way. The performances are obviously heartfelt and given with great regard for the material. The musicians involved are mostly all Italians and hence you can be assured they would not be involved unless the project was the real deal. Italians have their pride - I can personally attest to that.

Patton really belts is out on some of these songs. It's what is called for and he delivers. But many of the songs don't call for that. Personally I was hoping for more of the crooner and operatic styles of singing that he has touched on at various times, from Mr. Bungle to Patton/Kaada to A Perfect Place. But the album is nonetheless fantastic. The Coralli Di Torino as backing choir is impeccable. Patton pulls off the Italian singing as if it was his first language.

Mondo Cane is yet another in a series of examples why Mike Patton is such a highly respected musician. Very, very few others come close to his diversity and ambitition. Name another who's performed thrash metal with the likes of Dave Lombardo and Buzz Osbourne, Italian pop songs with an Italian orchestra, an all-vocal album wth Bjork, and a hip hop album with the X-ecutioners. Think about it. That is nuts.

Production, recording, mixing, and mastering on this album are all top-notch. Go out and get it, listen, enjoy.