Peeping Tom, Peeping Tom

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom
Norah Jones says the f-word!

Fans of ex-Faith No More singer Mike Patton have long thought of Peeping Tom's debut album as his Chinese Democracy. Now, six years after the project's heralded beginnings, it turns out the disc is far more like a Gorillaz for the underground. Peeping Tom combines pop and rock melodies with hip-hop and electronic beats and features a variety of guest musicians. "Kill the DJ" grooves at a slow, nervous burn with help from Massive Attack, while "Mojo," a mechanically pulsing animal about the desperation of drug dependency, features producer Dan the Automator and Roots 'beatboxer Rahzel. Some songs are more left-field, like the Odd Nosdam collaboration "Five Seconds," which shuffles from sultry to frantic and peaks with hammering offbeat rhythms. On the other end of the spectrum is "Caipirinha," a duet with Brazilian songstress Bebel Gilberto that combines smooth bossa nova and clattering rock. Stranger yet is the appearance of Norah Jones on the sinister "Sucker," which features the multi-platinum singer seductively whispering, "The truth kinda hurts don't it, motherfucker?" Regardless of the tone of the tunes, Patton's accomplished crooning seasons the material, tying together voices from disparate musical worlds. These may be his most commercial songs since Faith No More, but Patton never sacrifices creativity for accessibility, making Peeping Tom a welcome addition to an excellent and truly eclectic catalogue.