Romances – SHAWN PRINCE (Review)




The last Mike Patton album of the year comes from a collaborative project with Norwegian musician Kaada and is an interesting and (in normal Patton fashion) almost genre-less collection of songs that belong somewhere between a movie soundtrack and halloween album, mixed with a splash contemporary compositions and vocals.


As per usual it is difficult to describe a Mike Patton album unless you are already familiar with his various works with different artists. If you are familiar with his other works then some of this album would likely remind you of some of the slower songs from the Fantômas album The Director’s Cut with some of the atmosphere from the same bands last effort, Delirium Cordia.


There is a very interesting mix of classical instuments combined with modern elements of music and mixing infused within the framework to give this album a familiar yet new sound. This is complemented by various use of Patton’s vocals which vary from straight singing to operatic howling to layered harmonizing and instrumental accompaniment. For the most part it all comes across as a pretty soothing experience and is far more accessable than the works I related its similarity to.


For the elements that were sung in regular (?) style they were done so in English. My reason for mentioning this is most of the song titles are in French. I take it to be an artisitc decision that really didn’t have that much to do with the music so much as giving the album an identity of its own. So just to quell my curiosity I ran all the titles through Babel Fish and here’s what I came up with:


So there you go. All in all this is a pretty mellow album with some really great atmosphere and more fine vocals by Mr. Patton. The sound quality is clean and detailed leaving your ears very capable to pick apart the many layers of its composition.


Overall: 8/10