A Perfect Circle makes a perfect comeback

Brie Coder, Courier Staff

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For 14 years now, longtime fans of A Perfect Circle have waited for the day when the band would stop trolling them on when they were going to make a new album, and actually start recording one. Well on Friday many of these fans’ wishes came true. Their fourth studio album “Eat the Elephant” was released, and has taken the rock community by storm. During the current age that we live in where it’s all about technology, fake news, self-obsession and a disconnect from life itself, lead vocalist Maynard James Keenan has heard the struggles his fans face, and created a 12 song album discussing his philosophies on the matters mentioned above. The first song off the album “Eat the Elephant” strips down A Perfect Circle’s usual trademark sound. Guitarist Billy Howerdel plays silently in this piece, while the drums complement Keenan’s singing. It has a soft indie rock sound. It’s the type of music you’d hear when the bar is about to close and is trying to calmly get the drinkers out. Keenan sings about the fear of embarking on a new path, but frozen in his own goals and hoping he’s made the right decisions throughout his life. “Eat the Elephant” weaves into “Disillusioned” perfectly, by encouraging their listeners to “put the silicon obsession down” and reconnect with people around them. This song starts to introduce the listener back into what they are known best for, having heavy musical elements in their music along with unpredictability, but they don’t display all their heavy elements just yet. “The Doomed” is another piece that brings in all their heavy charm It’s has an odd mix of electronic and war metal elements in the rhythm section. Following “The Doomed” is “So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish.” This song is a tribute to the late great entertainers who have brought a lot of joy in our lives including Gene Wilder (“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”), David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Carrie Fisher. In one part of the song Keenan sings, “Now Willy Wonka, Major Tom/Ali and Leia have moved on, signal the final curtain call/in all this atomic pageantry.” If you’re like me, those lyrics give you goose bumps every time you hear it. The seventh track off the album, “By and Down the River,” is the one song that lets Howerdel take the driver’s seat and lead the song through his guitar playing. For a long time now, Howeredel has been in the backseat with his playing for many years. Instead of A Perfect Circle focusing in on Keenan’s songwriting ability, they decided to listen to their fans, and let someone else take charge, which made the sound flow better. These songs are the most memorable off A Perfect Circle’s newest album. The other songs were either forgettable or had way too many electronic elements. Overall for an album that has been in the making for 14 years now, it had some strong elements that correlates to how the modern age sounds, along with the message for people to focus on the true meanings of life and to try to keep their sanity through the process. Even though this album sets the bar high, I’m more of a fan of Keenan’s other alternative metal/art rock band, Tool. I like how their sound is compared to A Perfect Circle. A Perfect Circle has a calmer approach to their music, whereas Tool is very bold and one of those bands that you know you’ve heard one of their songs before, because of their haunting sounds and piercing lyrics. Keenan hasn’t stepped out of the recording studio just yet. In between touring and promoting A Perfect Circle’s new album, he is working on a new album with Tool, one that too has been in the works for 12 years. Our fingers are crossed that Tool’s new album will be released long before we become old and gray.