Back in the year 2000 (how fitting for this since Conan used to have a segment on his show about “The Year 2000”), while A Perfect Circle was supporting the release of their amazing debut album, Mer De Noms, and while on tour with Nine Inch Nails, they made a stop to perform “Judith” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. This performance is absolutely killer. Josh Freese is a beast behind the kit and was such an integral part of this band. It’s too bad he wasn’t involved in their recent return along with Paz Lenchantin on bass and Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar. Either way, enjoy this gem!
A Perfect Circle- Judith on Late Night with Conan O’Brien:
Way back when A Perfect Circle released their covers album eMOTIVE, there was an edition that also included an additional disc entitled aMOTION. This disc was all remixed version of their songs. There has always been one that has stood out to me over the years and that is the Tilling My Grave mix of “Weak and Powerless.” This version was remixed by Danny Lohner (former Nine Inch Nails memeber and for a time was a part of A Perfect Circle during the Thirteenth Step era) and it was also featured on the soundtrack for the first Underworld movie. Anyways, this version always seemed to have more “balls” to it and that gave it a much “heavier” vibe. Another interesting note is that this version features work by Wes Borland and Josh Eustis.
A Perfect Circle- Weak and Powerless (Tilling My Grave: Renholder Mix):
A Perfect Circle- Weak and Powerless (Album Version):
It’s been 15 years since A Perfect Circle has released an album of new original material. I don’t count their covers/remix album. That was absolutely unnecessary to even be released in the first place (but that’s for another day and debate). Enter 2018 and the release of Eat The Elephant. Despite being back in a live setting for one off shows since 2010, the groundwork for this album only started to come to fruition a couple years back. This project has always been mainly Maynard and Billy with the occasional input from other members of the band way back when (mainly Josh Freese). This new one is purely Billy and Maynard with the help of producer David Sardy (Far, Oasis and so many other bands he’s worked with). The sad part is the end result of their work.
This is not the A Perfect Circle you enjoyed when they first came out with Mer De Noms or The Thirteenth Step. What you have instead is a strange grandiose album that is at times pretentious and seems like one giant inside joke. The album’s lyrical content is very topical to the times we live in giving the album a very NOW feel. Musically though gone are the riffs and drums which are replaced with dramatic layers upon layers of keys and electronic elements. The only song on the album with that similar “classic” is “The Doomed” and even that song is very flat in terms of dynamics. That’s not to say that there aren’t moments throughout the rest of the album that have a presensce but that mainly comes from Maynard’s lyrics and delivery. Songs like “TalkTalk,” “Feathers” and “Hourglass” certainly have spots that shine. One song you might recognize a bit is “By and Down The River” which was released a few years back on a sort of best of/live album. The song has been reworked a bit but it’s still that song you heard. “Disillusioned” has a very lullaby feel. Actually the majority of the album feels like one big lullaby. The song “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish” sounds like it could be on a Coldplay or Imagine Dragons album. I could go on and on about this album but I’m not going to.
Needless to say as a fan of the band, this is a let down. After 15 years without new music from A Perfect Circle and this being the end result is not worth it. Something else that the album lacks is the performances musically. Newer members Jeff Friedl and Matt McJunkins, while they are solid musicians they just lack the “feel” and “vibe” that made A Perfect Circle so impactful. This doesn’t feel like an A Perfect Circle album after listening to it a few times. Some of you out there might really love this new side of the band, which is perfectly fine. There are also those out there that will just eat up what ever Maynard serves and hold it as gospel. Put it this way, this album isn’t for everyone. Instead I’ll wait patiently for the new Tool album, which after almost 13 years, better not be a let down like this is.
A Perfect Circle have released a new song “The Doomed” from their highly anticipated 2018 full-length album. It’s been 14 years since A Perfect Circle released anything new, so this is a very welcoming treat. This is a different approach for the band especially because they have new members in the band and that it’s been so long since we last heard anything new from them.
Check out the song and let me know what you think.
Since the announcement that A Perfect Circle will be returning, I thought making an ultimate set list for them is very appropriate.
I’m curious to see what your ultimate/dream set list would be for A Perfect Circle.
As usual here are the rules:
Rule 1: What line up of the band would it be
Rule 2: Where would you want to see the show
Rule 3: maximum 25 songs
Lineup: Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Danny Lohner, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Paz Lenchantin
Venue: Fonda Theatre- Los Angeles, CA
01) The Hollow
02) The Outsider
07) Sleeping Beauty
08) Weak and Powerless
09) By and Down
10) The Package
13) Thinking of You
16) The Noose
17) 3 Libras
I wrote a piece a while back about A Perfect Circle needing to come back. Well it seems like it is actually going to happen. During a recent stop along Maynard’s book tour in Los Angeles, A Perfect Circle guitarist was the moderator at this stop, and they both said that the band was going to get back together. Billy and Maynard both said they had been working on new music. Billy said that he has about 75% of an album completed musically. They also announced that they would be playing a show at the Hollywood Bowl, May 7, 2017.
This is very exciting news, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for a new Tool album any time soon. I don’t know about you all, but, I sure was getting tired of all the Puscifer releases.
There is one caveat I have about them getting back together and that is coming back with the right lineup. They people that replaced Josh Freese, Troy Van Leeuwen, Danny Lohner and Paz Lenchantin, are solid musicians but, they really don’t fit in the band. Let’s hope Josh and Danny come back with this reunion.
If there is one band that really should come back around and release a new album it’s A Perfect Circle. It’s been over thirteen years since they released an album of new material. Maynard has kept busy over the years with Puscifer, which is interesting and another outlet for him, but the fact that there are more Puscifer albums than A Perfect Circle albums, it’s just not right. A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel has said that “there are fully developed songs without lyrics and melody…as far as the music end goes, I’ve got 75% of the foundation of [the next] A Perfect Circle record ready to go.” And that he is just waiting on Maynard. In March of 2016 Maynard was quoted as saying “I still hope to make and release new music with the band.” Well then get on it. It’s been over ten years since there was a new Tool record, and thirteen since there was a new APC record. I get the need and want to go off and do different things, explore new musical avenues, but what I don’t get is how you can just leave a band like A Perfect Circle behind. I still remember the day that Mer De Noms came out. I was so excited and pumped to own that album and I listened to it so much I had to get another copy. Then when The Thirteenth Step came out, it elevated their game so much more, and became one of those albums that you just can’t get enough of.
Enough with the wait. It’s time to get Maynard in a room with Billy Howerdel, Josh Freese, Paz Lenchantin, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Danny Lohner and make a great new album. The world needs a new album from A Perfect Circle, it’s been too long!
During the year 2000 the world was presented with A Perfect Circle. Their debut album Mer De Noms was released to great fanfare and critical acclaim. Mer De Noms also featured a rebirth of sorts to what had been missing for quite sometime, making a cohesive album. Songs such as “Judith,” “The Hollow,” “Magdalena,” “3 Libras,” “Rose,” and “Thinking Of You” all were such standout tracks that left a lasting impact. There were a couple songs (“Thomas” and “Over”) that were out of place on their own but in the context of the album as a whole they fit. The first half of the album really shines but tends to drift and fall away towards the end. Production wise it is above superb.
In 2003 A Perfect Circle released Thirteenth Step. This album marked a growth and departure from the more polished sound of their previous album. It seemed that Maynard’s time back in Tool in between albums gave him new perspective on the direction on which to write for A Perfect Circle. The thematic tone of the album provided quite a distinctive backdrop for how the music sounded, was produced and how the songs were placed in the album. Songs such as “Weak and Powerless,” The Noose (my personal favorite),” “Blue,” “The Outsider,” and “Pet” again can stand out on their own, but really hit home more in the album as a whole. Production wise there is a more raw feel to it. It almost helps get under your skin faster and sink in.
Both records are totally different but all the while great in their own right. I lean more towards Thirteenth Step.