Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Thirteenth Step-
A Perfect Circle
Status-Out as of 2003
Label-Virgin Records
Rating-3 Feathers

After an album like Mer De Noms, A Perfect Circle was put in the perfect position to make an album that was a lot heavier, hence recruiting a larger number of Tool fans as fans of there’s instead, they went down a new, more experimental/progressive path that is Thirteenth Step. Starting with ‘The Package’, the album clearly has a different feel than it did for their debut. It almost sounds like the beginning to Our Love To Admire by Interpol. It becomes much heavier half way through which makes it feel more complete. It’s a decent lead in, but it’s not really my favourite. ‘Weak and Powerless’ is far from what the title suggests. It has a soft aura but with a heavy feel. It has a really good feel so it thoroughly helps the pacing of the album. ‘The Noose’ is such a terribly beautiful song. I mean, you think it’d be pretty vile being called ‘The Noose’ and everything, but it’s very soft and Maynard’s vocal delivery just makes it perfect. After hearing such a nice-twisted sorta song, it would make you ‘more than just a little curious’ for what’s going to happen next. ‘Blue’ is another lyrically twisted song. It seems to be about a woman sitting suffocating to death while the narrator is just staring at her. They are very clever in their writing as seen in such lines like ‘call an optimist, she’s turning blue’. Cutting to the chase, it’s a very good song. ‘Vanishing’ is a very dreamy, semi-upbeat tune, but it’s not that great. The whispering of ‘disa-ppear’ at the beginning gives it the A Perfect Circle flair that you’ve come to know. Right before your attention span disappears, ‘A Stranger’ comes in. It starts out nice, with clean guitar and pleasant strings, but it quickly turns into a drone that makes you lose consciousness of the world around you, which is never good. ‘The Outsider’ sounds a perfect cross between their new sound and their Mer De Noms sound. It has very good placing on the album for the fact that it comes in right before your about to hit your r.e.m. state. ‘Crimes’ seems like a bit of a mess. Lacking vocals and proper melody really just makes it just an unpleasant filler. ‘The Nurse Who Loved Me’ is extremely weird. It has a trippy dreamlike melody equipped with a kind of harp sound. I guarantee that at the end you’ll be thinking, did I just hear what I think I heard? ‘Pet’ is by far the heaviest song on the album, and my personal favourite. It’s a very deranged lullaby as seen through lines like ‘Lay your head down child, I won’t let the boogie man come’. Also, after ‘they don’t care about you’ he whispers ‘like I do’: It’s the creepiest thing that has ever graced my ears. To give frame of reference, it sounds similar to the tune of ‘Thinking of You’ from the debut. ‘Lullaby’ is a continuation of Pet, but so much more nightmarish. It starts with a faint whisper of ‘go back to sleep’ which quickly dissipates into a 70’s drum sound with someone imitating the main theme found in the previous. ‘Gravity’ is really not a great ending. It repeats the same thing several times and it gets pretty tired quickly. It doesn’t give you that zest for more. Overall, this album was a nice follow-up to their debut. What they managed to accomplish is creating a sound that was new and completely original. But, what they weren’t able to accomplish is creating something that leaves you wanting more and that surpasses their previous work. In general, they have the appeal of an indie band, but the sound of a metal band, so they hopefully won’t disappear any time soon.
“Because I think reading is a thinking process, and I would prefer that people feel the album first, and just let it sink in. Because you might get something out of the music that you might not get from thinking about it, and watching the words go by. I usually put the lyrics online a month or so after the release of the album, but it's better to feel them first.”-Maynard James Keenan

Live video for The Outsider

A Perfect Circle's Official Website
Note: Last week I only posted one review, so this week I'm going to try getting 3 out, this being the 1st of three. I posted a live performance of a song rather than a video because I really didn't like any of the videos made for this album, but this performance really gives you an idea for who they are. I hope you enjoy. I didn't realize how off center the picture was so ignore it. Thanks for your time!

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