A Perfect Circle - Eat the Elephant

A Perfect Circle
Eat the Elephant

Maynard Keenan is a really busy guy. Besides being in A Perfect Circle He is also the main thrust of the band TOOL, Puscifer, has a family, has a winery and is basically  pulled in a thousand different directions. That is likely why it took A Perfect Circle 14 years to get together and record a new album. With this much time inbetween records you would expect them to come back guns blazing breaking down any door they can possibly see. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this record Eat the Elephant is not the come back you are looking for. Instead of a prog-rock magnum opus A Perfect Circle have shifted towards the middle, and a more nebulous alternative rock sound. The first ten to eleven minutes of this record barely reach any sort of rockness. On "Disillusioned" Maynard sings "It's time to put the silicon down" a call for more realness in our daily lives, but it is sung over this slog of a piano driven track almost completely devoid of any rocking. The double bass is no where to be seen for so much of this record something that would be totally unimaginable in A Perfect Circle's days of yore. It feels like Maynard is doing a hell of a lot more preaching on this album and keeping the music more spartan to make sure you listen. The only problem is the result is boring as all hell. I had been hesitant to start this record because I didn't want my ears blown out, but fear not the only times they get even close to that kind of musical power is extremely rare. This record is all sizzle and no steak constantly building to something that never happens which just leaves you incredibly frustrated.

In my opinion A Perfect Circle were always more intense than TOOL. They had this edge that was more rock focused and less about production and experimentation. Their wild style came from how fucking good they were at their instruments, but none of that artistry is on display here. "So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish" a nod to Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is damn near a ditty bouncing along chalk filled of platitudes and have baked ideas about, again, the problems of plastic surgery. "TalkTalk" a song about gun violence also lands with a thud; these are just ideas that we have heard so many times and in such more eloquent ways why would we care what A Perfect Circle has to say on the topic? This entire album feels like the music A Perfect Circle would play when they were jamming or warming up for a show, not something that would be their first album back after 14 years. The record just sort of hangs around as well coming in at 57 rather uneventful minutes. "DLB" a two minute interlude of sorts has almost nothing to offer but filler, which is really how so much of this album feels. This album doesn't feel like something that A Perfect Circle needed to get out, or an record that they worked and battled over; instead it is just some songs vaguely reminiscent of the music they used to make. I hate to be this down on them, but wow have A Perfect Circle fallen hard on this one.

2.0 out of 10


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