A Perfect Circle
Three Sixty


3.5
great

Review

by H. USER (119 Reviews)
December 4th, 2013 | 48 replies


Release Date: 11/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One Eighty

There are certain bands that you just don't expect to release a Greatest Hits album. For some bands, a greatest hits compilation would break up the smooth flow of their records, a flow that they work extra-hard on producing. Other bands don't release Greatest Hits simply because they are against the concept of rounding up their most popular tracks and putting them all out on one album. Sometimes, if a band only has a few albums, a Greatest Hits record would be unnecessary when one could just buy all of their studio efforts.

I don't think it would be that far-fetched if I said that I was not expecting A Perfect Circle to release a greatest hits album.

First of all, Maynard is pretty open about his views on greatest hits compilations; he doesn't release any Tool material on iTunes because he wants people to listen to the albums from front to back and not as individual songs. He did allow APC albums to be sold, though, most likely due to Billy Howerdel and James Iha's influence. With that in mind, maybe it's not so crazy that one man's opinion was vetoed out by the rest of the band. Still, there's a certain flow to albums like Mer de Noms that just get interrupted when tracks that originally transition nicely into each other are haphazardly misplaced on the track listing. That one section of Mer de Noms from "Judith" all the way from "Sleeping Beauty" is full of flawless transition from brash to calm, creating a perfect flow of balanced emotion. Other bands, like Radiohead, proved that releasing these compilations can completely annihilate what made their individual albums so good in the first place.

However, for a greatest hits collection, Three Sixty is more than generous with its song selection, offering thirteen tracks (nineteen if you purchase the deluxe edition) of APC’s best singles. It’s pretty diverse with its track listing, with four from each one of their albums plus the new single “By and Down”. The Mer de Noms portion of the album opens up with “The Hollow”, just like it did on the band’s 2000 debut. The aforementioned “Judith”-“Sleeping Beauty” section is surprisingly left intact, albeit without the latter track, and it still flows nicely together. From Maynard’s angry, fuming attack on his mother on the former to the calming, heartfelt “3 Libras”, Three Sixty does a good job of showcasing Mer de Noms’ most popular songs.

Thirteenth Step, often regarded as A Perfect Circle’s best effort, is represented with some of the band’s most well-known tracks; Chart-topper “Weak and Powerless” and top five follow up "The Outsider" show the catharsis of Maynard's inner demons, whether it be drug abuse or suicidal thoughts. The songs sound great on Three Sixty (just as good as they do on the radio), but to fully immerse yourself in the greatness of tracks like "Blue" or "The Noose", you have to listen to Thirteenth Step, front and back in order to truly experience how excellent the songs are. Having "The Outsider" bombard itself between those two aforementioned tracks completely obliterates their buildup and transition. All four songs are absolutely great, but their disjointed placement and flow detracts from their quality.

Following some of the group's best singles is the extremely weak and disastrous eMOTIVe section, composed of nothing but dark covers of political songs. Equally represented with two covers and two "original" tracks, these four singles are easily the worst part of Three Sixty. Turning "Imagine" from an optimistic, cry for peace into a brooding, 'all-hope-is-gone' downer may seem like a good idea on paper, but it's just executed so poorly, and the same thing goes for their take on Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks". There is one light at the end of the tunnel; "Passive", which has got to be one of the best songs A Perfect Circle have ever performed. The previously unreleased track by Maynard and Trent Reznor's project Tapeworm is a sure highlight of the whole compilation: the aggressive lyrical content delivered in a semi-truculent manner surely shines amongst all of the group’s masterpieces.

It’s hard to deny the quality of Three Sixty’s songs; all but two of them are excellent, and considering the band’s short lifespan, thirteen tracks is pretty abundant. However, the main problem that plagues the idea of an A Perfect Circle greatest hits collection is that it is completely unnecessary. Who actually needs this album? For longtime fans of the band, there’s no new material save for the lone new track, “By and Down”, which is far from their best work. It drags on for far too long, overstaying its welcome, and doesn’t really build up until midway through its five and a half minute runtime. Buying Three Sixty for the sole purpose of owning "By and Down" really isn't a good idea in the age of mp3s and file-sharing. And if you're just starting to get into A Perfect Circle, then buying their albums separately would be a much better option. They only have two (not counting the horrendous and completely unnecessary listen eMOTIVe), plus the flow and transitioning of the songs are much better than they are on Three Sixty. There's no doubting how great these songs are, but in the end, this probably isn't the best method to listen to APC tracks.



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
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good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
December 3rd 2013


11790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really good review. Pos'd. Won't be getting this because it really is unnecessary.

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

ScuroFantasma
December 3rd 2013


2532 Comments


well written and justified review, pos

Digging: Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun

conesmoke
December 3rd 2013


5288 Comments


Such unnecessary. Cannot believe.. or can I?

pizzamachine
December 4th 2013


12572 Comments


Engaging read, pos.

loneNLwolf
December 4th 2013


141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Passive" was previously unreleased? I don't think so. Either way, pos'd. Great review.

NeroCorleone80
December 4th 2013


30109 Comments


So pointless. This is basically just half of each of their two albums.

YoYoMancuso
December 4th 2013


11222 Comments


man Maynard finds new ways to screw with people every day

nice review

Gard3n
December 4th 2013


302 Comments


"man Maynard finds new ways to screw with people every day"

I really don't like the guy, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't his idea.

TalonsOfFire
December 4th 2013


9630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was pretty unexpected, but I think the record company wanted them to do this. At least APC tried to make it better
for the fans by having the special edition with more tracks and everything, but yeah it's still pretty pointless.

NakedSnake
December 4th 2013


313 Comments


WTF is that cover art.

Green Baron
December 4th 2013


20325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the covers of all their albums/singles in a circle

gnrcdstrtdpwrchrd
December 4th 2013


100 Comments


in all honesty that looks pretty shitty

PostMesmeric
December 4th 2013


397 Comments


I'm happy that APC's covers of "Imagine" and "When the Levee Breaks" were included. Those were two of the best covers on eMOTIVE. Not sure where all the hate for that album comes from; I'm just glad they didn't include the Black Flag cover. Now that was a bad cover...

@loneNLwolf

"Passive" was unreleased for the Tapeworm project, but it was fixed up and released as a single with A Perfect Circle.

loneNLwolf
December 5th 2013


141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, gotcha. The review made it sound like "Passive" hadn't been released until just now.

thesanctuary
February 3rd 2014


19 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This seems like such a sellout move for Maynard. Come on, man.

Gard3n
February 3rd 2014


302 Comments


Yea what an asshole

thesanctuary
February 3rd 2014


19 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

He's spoken out against stuff like this though. He hates Greatest Hits - and now he's sucking up to the label.

Gard3n
February 3rd 2014


302 Comments


You really don't understand sarcasm, do you? This was NOT his idea, read the others comments. Not even Maynard is that stupid to make a GH with just two albums. Besides it's not even his band but Billy Howerdel's.

Blame the label.

Tunaboy45
April 18th 2014


3162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I almost expected him to say "Difficult not to feel a little disappointed".

Digging: Electric Wizard - Dopethrone

Salvidian
April 18th 2014


752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You guys realize that the only thing Maynard does with this band is write lyrics and sing, right? He has nothing to do with writing the music, production, management, or any of that nonsense. Billy deals with all of this garbage, and to be honest he isn't the best guy when it comes to that stuff. There's a reason why Ashes Divide is sub-par.

If you want to see Maynard manage a band, look into Puscifer. It's nothing like APC. And no, Maynard doesn't really manage Tool either.



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