The Circle is Broken on the Less-than-perfect Thirteenth Step

Jen Creed

Jen Creed

Maynard James Keenan of Tool takes his side-project, A Perfect Circle, a step further.

Two new-comers, Jeordie White, ex-bassist for Marylin Manson and James Iha, ex-guitarist for Smashing Pumpkins make their debut appearance in Thirteenth Step.

A Perfect Circle’s debut record, Mer de Noms, is bound with heavy, symphonic tracks like “3 Libras.” The success that from their pioneer album makes Thirteenth Step one of the most anticipated albums of the year.

With the addition of the new band members one would assume this album would triumph over Mer de Noms. However, this is not the case. If you are looking for a follow-up of Mer de Noms, you are not going to find it here. A Thirteenth Step steps back from the heavy and steps towards mellow-dramatic. Even so, the poetic darkness and self-reflection of lead singer, Maynard is still there.

Thirteenth Step is still a great album which encompasses you to dwell into your human psyche. Maynard and lead guitarist Billy Howerdel remain passionate about their work and their reputation of hitting each listener personaly is still evident.

The song, “Weak and Powerless,” is as heavy as the CD gets. Yet “The Noose,” “The Outsider,” and “Pet” are filled with moody lyrics and a beat that will send you right into a mental institution.

If you are a huge Mer de Noms fan- like me- you might feel a little short-changed with Thirteenth Step. However, if are over-whelmed with Mer de Noms , and are looking for the same taste, but on a lighter evel, Thirteenth Step is definitely the right album for you. If not, throw Mer de Noms into your stereo.