Sooner or later this was going to happen:- Mike Patton, former singer of Faith No More and curator of a dozen musical projects, has been given the opportunity to write the musical soundtrack to a movie and it's an opportunity he does not let go to waste. Patton's fans will have long recognised his fascination with the melodies of John Barry, Angelo Badalamenti and Henry Mancini, and this is the place where he finally gets to show that he really has the musical chops to stand alongside his influences. Patton fans will therefore have some pretty solid expectations of this project and I can safely say they won't be dissapointed. Imagine Fantomas' Director's Cut album, minus the thrash metal element and with new melodies, and you're halfway there.
The strongest influence is perhaps John Barry - specifically Barry's theme for the Ipcress File - and these tracks resound with zithers, theramin and spaghetti-western guitars. There are only three vocal tracks, one of which is sung in Italian, but the rest of the record plays just like a soundtrack ought to - with established themes, reprises and re-arrangements of the main melodies.
The soundtrack has a longer running time than the movie, which is more of a short film and is included in the package on DVD - but regardless of its contextual use, the music stands up really well by itself. The main theme is very catchy - I've found myself humming it in its various forms while I go about my day - and this can only be a good thing. For the future, Patton has expressed an interest in working with David Lynch, and I think he's easily man enough for the job, but whether they end up working together or not, this record at least proves that someone should give Patton a proper big-budget full length movie soundtrack to compose.