A Perfect Circle was a band created as a side project in 1999 by Tool's frontman Maynard James Keenan and Producer Billy Howerdel. After releasing a near classic with 'Mer De Noms', it would be hard to rebound and do another good album. This CD, known as 'Thirteenth Step', is a great attempt to follow 'Mer De Noms'. This CD has a more alternative feel to it than the first one, and is more comparable to bands like 10 Years, Chevelle, and Evans Blue (I didn’t say Tool because the singer is from Tool).
A Perfect Circle was
Maynard James Keenan - Vocals
Billy Howerdel - Guitar
Josh Freese - Drums
James Iha - Guitar
Jeordie White - Bass
To start of this near classic, we are confronted with "The Package", which is over 7 minutes in length and is giving us something to do with denial. The guitar is very catchy and the overall song has an ambient feel to it. The climax is near the end of the song and you can feel the build up toward the end. The bass is used well.
The first single and the more popular one, is "Weak and Powerless". If you haven't heard of this song, then you must have been living under a rock. It is a song that is your standard mainstream/alternative rock song, quiet verse, loud chorus, bridge, ect…. You get the point. Not bad overall.
This is the song where I have to go, "WOW." This song is incredible. Along with the great lyrical content, "The Noose" flows perfectly. Quiet build up for the climax of the song. It is about how somebody is bad, and they try to correct themselves, and they end up overcorrecting. The piano in the song is a great way to make it more unique. This is one of the best songs, if not the best song on this CD.
"Blue" is another radio single, not played as much, and the one I happen to like more than Weak and Powerless. The beginning of this song could sound like it was on Donkey Kong or some game like that. The bass is used really well in this song and it doesn’t overstay its welcome or steal the spotlight or anything like that. Maynard does some exceptional singing in this song.
Another one of my favorites on the CD, "Vanishing" gives you more of a musical ambience, and Maynard puts some great effects to his voice so it blends to the music.
Into Thin Air"
These are mainly the lyrics you will hear throughout the song, mainly because it is the chorus. The guitar and bass flow perfectly together, and the song doesn’t drag on too long. One of the better ones on the CD.
To the only acoustic song on the album "A Stranger", is done magnificently. The lyrics give the song's meaning away. I won’t describe them because you should listen to them. The overall sound gives this a minor feel, the acoustic guitar with the added effects flow very well. The only problem with this song is that it ends too quick and doesn’t slow down. It just stops. Still pretty good.
"The Outsider". This is the song that will get you into A Perfect Circle if you already aren't. It is a classic alternative sound for any rock fan. It opens up with a catchy guitar line. It will turn on you the second time around, giving you a minor feel instead of a major, when it started out. Maynard sings very well in this song. It gets the point across. One of the best on the CD.
"Crimes" is a song that sounded like it could’ve been on Mer De Noms. There is nothing to special about it, except the intro is catchy and Maynard distorts his voice like no tomorrow in this song. This is a song you could probably skip.
"The Nurse Who Loved Me" is basically about, the nurse who loved Maynard. It is Maynard singing with his ballad vocals. The guitar work and extra effects flow well in this song. I don't like it as much, but there have been worse. Maynard distorts his ballad vocals a little bit in this song.
A great way to rebound from the previous two songs, "Pet" is very much like "The Outsider". It is a classic alternative song that WILL get stuck in your head. The guitar work is very good and bass is used well. Maynard does great singing here as well. The drums will get you hooked on the song. This is a great start for anybody who wants to play the guitar. It isn’t too complicated, but very catchy. Probably the best on the CD.
"Lullaby" is just Maynard distorting his voice. Listen to this song if you want to go to bed or something. It kind of follows the last song in a lyrical content. Pretty good song overall.
"Gravity" is a great way to close the CD out. This song will also get stuck in your head and gives you an ambience feel to it. The chorus is sung well. Once again, a great way to close the CD out.
Difference in the songs
Maynard provides good lyrics
Ambience feel to the album
Drums could be better
Recommended tracks -
Hope you like the review. I give this a 4.5/5. A near classic for any rock listener. It is one of my all time favorite rock CD's and a must have for anybody's CD collection.