Peeping Tom Peeping Tom Review
Artist: Peeping Tom
Album: Peeping Tom
Genre(s): Rap, Rock
Subgenres(s): Rap Rock, Trip Hop, Trip Rock
Length: 44 minutes
Label(s): Ipecac Recordings
01. Five Seconds
03. Don’t Even Trip
05. Your Neighborhood Spaceman
06. Kill the DJ
08. Celebrity Death Match
09. How U Feelin?
11. We’re Not Alone (Remix)
Peeping Tom is the debut album of Mike Patton’s rap rock music project of the same name. Put into motion in 2000, the album was recorded from then to 2006 and subsequently released that year. A wealth of guest performers and producers including Dan the Automator, Massive Attack, Kool Keith, Norah Jones and Rahzel amongst others are enlisted to bring a different sound to each song.
As this is a pop album of sorts, Mike Patton and his collaborators embracing rap, rock and downtempo music that is then blended into a broad set of rap rock and trip hop/trip rock songs with mostly conventional song structures and fewer of the eccentricities associated with many of his other bands (namely Fantomas, Mr. Bungle and his collaborations with John Zorn).
Some songs (Five Seconds, Mojo and We’re Not Alone) draw back to the rap rock sound of the late 1990s by alternating between rapping and singing to the well-established loud/quiet song structure dynamics. Thankfully the overblown angst ridden lyrics are out of the equation and this prevents it from becoming a pale imitation of the scene it draws inspiration from.
Mike Patton is a flexible vocalist as his long, meandering career has proven time and time again. He puts on a strong performance for the rock-centric parts of the album and while he can rap and beat box, it’s evident that it is not his forte and the guest vocalists often outshine him in this element.
Getaway, Your Neighborhood Spaceman, Celebrity Death Match and How U Feelin? favour a heavy helping of hip hop influences to balance out Peeping Tom’s sound while We’re Not Alone (Remix) is a brilliant summary of what Peeping Tom offers: hard guitar sounds, relaxed trip hop beats, diverse vocal performances and enough song progression to feed Mike Patton’s eccentric tendencies without alienating the listener.
Mike Patton never loses track of what he set out to accomplish with Peeping Tom and while it is certainly not a jarring effort, the breadth of styles used do give the album plenty momentum and a real sense of unpredictability.