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


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.


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