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MIKE PATTON, JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER On Top of the World gets 8/10


Mike Patton, Jean-Claude Vannier
On Top of the World
Ipecac Recordings

8/10

In a collaboration that was no doubt on everyone’s lips (not), legendary vocalist Mike Patton of Faith No More and countless-other-music-projects fame has teamed up with French composer Jean-Claude Vannier, notable for his work with Serge Gainsbourg among others. Such a collaboration is actually not too much of a stretch for Patton, who is one of rock’s true originals – a supremely talented musical polymath who has dipped his toes in every genre imaginable. While his music is normally centred around hard rock, he flirts with jazz, lounge, r&b, folk, and whatever else strikes his fancy at any given moment.

So in grand Patton tradition, this is a delicious stew of influences. It starts with Patton stretching his growly vocals over some big Vannier piano chords. He transitions to a smooth falsetto over some cheesy funk licks before we hit the big bluesy breakdown of a chorus, all slide-guitars and ridiculous lyrics (“If I get on top of the world / I’ll take a shit right down on this Earth / If I make it all of the way / I’ll take a piss down into your flames”). Patton is a delight throughout, tongue firmly in cheek and obviously enjoying himself.

A big warm dollop of cheesy funk/ soul/ boogie-woogie gumbo, this is exactly what we want from Patton at this stage in his career. If the upcoming album can maintain this pace, it’ll be one to remember.

MATIJA ZIVKOVIC

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