11 Years of Peeping Tom’s “Mojo”

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11 years of who? You may not hear of the band “Peeping Tom” everytime you turn a corner, but the authenticity of the band’s music is beyond extraordinary, and their song “Mojo” from their 2006 self-titled album “Peeping Tom” is worth celebrating 11 years of wicked truth portrayed via a sound that was so different for its time.

The first time I heard this song was as it played in the background during a scene in the first episode of the show “Californication”. Normally I don’t pay much attention to the songs played behind scnenes in a television show (unless it’s one that I’m a very big fan of), however this song was absolutely hypnotizing and forced my attention away from the show – simple beats matched with a dark and quirky concoction of more “classic” hip hop and rock sounds (an interesting mixture to say the least), “Mojo” has always been and always will be one of a kind.

About The Band

Peeping Tom is a band led by the eclectic and vocally skillful Faith No More singer Mike Patton. Patton – a notorious workaholic that has an impressive vocal range of six octaves – is an artist that has been heavily involved in various musical and film-related projects, though he has often found himself placing most of his focus and artistic energy on “experimental” and “alternative metal” centered projects. Being intrigued by and experienced in facilitating these two unique styles of music has enabled him to create oustoundingly “out of the box” tracks in the self titled album “Peeping Tom” – “Mojo” arguably being the best of them all.

Mike Patton w/ “Faith No More” in 1992

It has been said that “Peeping Tom” is known as Patton’s most “mainstream accessible work since his days with Faith No More.”

 

“Mojo”

The Video and The Lyrics

In first listening to this song, I thought it was obviously about addiction. However, it wasn’t until I decided to watch the music video that I realized the lyrics were much deeper than the “surface level” picture they were painting for those whose thoughts and interpretations never seem to venture towards the “deep end.”

Addiction is used as a metaphor in “Mojo.” In the song, addiction is a common topic that is utilized to confront a more “taboo” yet equally as common issue in our society – media, and the prison-like control and poisonous influence it has over each and every one of our lives.

The music video is brilliant – it is not complicated or hard to follow, and it portrays television and the various programs that flood it in a way that is captivatingly haunting. The way in which the TV programs are organized within the video reveals the unsettling truth behind the intentions of these programs – to program you to think, feel, and act in a very particular way, just like substances lead you to think, feel, and act in a certain way.

The lyrics “I can’t believe I did it again” are placed at the end of each chorus, which I feel represent a couple of things – have you ever endlessly binge watched hours of your favorite show on Netflix only to realize you’ve wasted a chunk of your life that you needed to accomplish something else? “I can’t believe I did it again” – you can’t believe you let yourself be pulled into the made-up or overly-dramatized “based on a true story” scenarios that took away from you being involved in real-life scenarios, though you can’t get yourself to stop thinking about the show and “what’s going to happen next.” Another possibility is  the unfortunately common situation which involves you being falsely informed via news channels or you’ve allowed something you saw on TV to bleed over to how you react to situations in the real world, and you don’t realize until afterwards that you are being “controlled” by what you are being continuously subjected to on your television. “I can’t believe I did it again” – you can’t believe you allowed something you watched on TV to affect you so heavily in your personal life.

Truly there are endless interpretation possibilities regarding all of the lyrics in this song, as addiction is a very personal issue that is reacted to differently depending on who it is that is experiencing it. Ultimately, however, “Mojo” poetically organizes the metaphor and the lyrics in a way that no matter how they are interpreted, each interpretation consists of a common truth – acknowledging the reality of addiction, the strong influence it has on your everyday life, and how difficult it is to free yourself from that hold.

 

The Sound

It is dark and hypnotizing, and this is what initially captured me – starting out with simple drums, the song then suddenly (yet soothingly) transitions to a remarkably intriguing blend of well-known rhythms and funky/out-of-this-world instrumental overlapping that is sonic and deep – the sound reaches a level within you which literally traps you in a trance of bliss and powerful focus.

 

The entire album is worth listening to if you haven’t already, even if you have heard it before – listen to it again! It’s a treasure that’s hiding right under our noses, and it’s baffling that more people aren’t talking about this phenomenally artistic and brilliant album!

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