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Music Review: Mike Patton – A Perfect Place

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Mike Patton is a fascinating artist. He burst onto the scene after joining the band Faith No More for their sophomore outing, The Real Thing. He would later start up a side project called Mr. Bungle. Following the dissolution of Faith No More, he would go on to have, and continue to have, a number of bands including Fantomas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Mondo Cane, and probably many others that I have never heard of. The man is always busy with something. With his breadth of experience, would you believe that A Perfect Place is the first time he has ever scored a film? Well, it is. With this interesting work under his belt, I would love to see him do more in the world of film scoring.

This Mike Patton-composed score is quite an interesting listen all on its own, even without knowing the movie. It is distinctly broken down into a number of tracks, making it feel more like an album and less of a score, though the styles of the various tracks fit in nicely with the film. The score runs 35 minutes, ten minutes longer than the film, which does not have music for its entire runtime.

The music contained is fascinating, as it contains cues and motifs that should be familiar to anyone with any knowledge of Patton's always expanding body of work. However, that is not what it is all about, at least not entirely. Working with someone else's vision is something new to Patton, as he has always been about going in his own direction, even when collaborating on some of his numerous bands. Here, he had to work toward the goal of backing Derrick Scocchera's vision for what A Perfect Place was meant to be. That said this is quite a focused work that features some dark ambiance blended with tracks that would be right at home in a 40's or 50's era noir.

Even more impressive is that Patton not only wrote the music, he also played all of the instruments, save for some percussion on "Main Title" and "Batucada." The man truly is a musical wonder. His work here is focused, mature, and ever present within the fabric of the film. Whether it is jazz, experimental rock, or pure experiment, this work features a focused Patton whose work is mature, interesting, and just plain different.

While music is not always playing, there are a variety of interesting ways in which the sounds are introduced. While it is technically a score, neither Patton nor Scocchera approach its use in the typical way. Sounds are sometimes introduced as a score overlay, other times through the radio, or the old woman's Victrola, sometimes through the changing of the dial on an old car radio. The use of music is never typical, but always effective at furthering the mood.

The score album will be released as a special edition digipak containing both the CD as well as a DVD of the film. It is being marketed as a Mike Patton album, delivering more music into the hands of Patton fans, as well as spreading the word of the film.

Recommended.

Track List:
01. Main Title 3:15
02. A Perfect Place 3:30
03. Car Radio (AM) 1:01

04. A Perfect Twist (Vocal) 2:44
05. A Little Poker Tomorrow Night? 3:10
06. Seriously Disturbed 1:18
07. A Dream of Roses 2:34
08. A Perfect Place/Main Title (Reprise) 2:45
09. Batucada 2:18
10. Another Perfect Place 1:42
11. Car Radio (FM) 1:55
12. Swinging the Body 1:57
13. Catholic Tribe 2:28
14. Il Cupo Dolore 2:06
15. A Perfect End 2:46

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About Draven99

  • zingzing

    just so you know, mr. bungle formed in 1985 and released several tapes before patton joined faith no more. search them out! they are, at times, just as interesting as bungle’s “proper” albums.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    zing is correct…

    Mr. Bungle was Mike Patton’s High School band & I believe it was with Trey. Their “first” CD on Warner Bros. Records was actually somewhat a compilation of older material. Their older demo stuff is actually pretty cool. Yes, Mr. Bungle was prior to FNM.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Nice Review..

    With his breadth of experience, would you believe that A Perfect Place is the first time he has ever scored a film?

    Probably because alot of film makers don’t know what a real score is anymore. Alot of movies contain way too much popular music or the music that the producer is a fan of. I’ve always wanted to hear what Patton’s Soundtrack material would sound like…This stuff is pretty cool, though, Fantomas is far more satisfying.

  • kraes

    The Real Thing was actually Faith No More’s third album, the first being titled “We Care A Lot”.

  • T39aw

    I love fnm, mr bungle, fantomas, mordoror, viva mike patton.