ALBUM REVIEWS

A PERFECT CIRCLE – “Eat The Elephant” (2018)

Written by Jadranka Balaš

A PERFECT CIRCLE
“Eat The Elephant”
Alternative Rock / Atmospheric Rock
BMG (2018)

If you expected another “Mer de Noms” or “Thirteenth Step” you will be disappointed. Still, you must not forget that many years have passed since and you should not live in the past. If you were expecting “just” a new album of two music geniuses like Keenan and Billy Howerdel then you are in the right place.

A PERFECT CIRCLE is one of the few bands on whose new release we waited longer than the new album of the Tool. surprise, surprise, both bands are fronted by the same man. Mr. Maynard James Keenan. What is absolutely certain, he is not sorry for letting us wait 14 years. After such a study break, the question is whether “Eat The Elephant” was worth the wait or not?!

The answer always lies in “depends on what you expect.” If you expected another “Mer de Noms” or “Thirteenth Step” you will be disappointed. Still, you must not forget that many years have passed since and you should not live in the past. If you were expecting “just” a new album of two music geniuses like Keenan and Billy Howerdel then you are in the right place. It’s the same band that you loved just evolved and more mature. The basics of the well-known APC sound are here, but they came in a slightly different way, which if you had any expectations surely did not expect.

“Eat The Elephant” is a glittering alt record of old masters who after many years, though, you will not believe, are not there to please you but to express themselves. Record of opposing anger and soft melodies. Grandiose piano pieces, classical guitars, a more peaceful place and a perfect vocal performance from the start will refuse or attract you. If you’re a fan I’m advising you to try again. And once again. This review is delayed for justified reasons and I am glad because after about ten days of a break when I played the album again I felt it quite differently. Like good wine, “Eat The Elephant” has to lay down.

The criticism that began in 2004 with anti-war cover songs on the album “eMOTIVe” has continued on “Eat The Elephant” in a bit different way, but I’m not sure how much words that Maynard sings are always effective and “right in the target”. Nevertheless, his critique of modern society, religion, and political issues is more than clear. Musically, the album is an extension of the previous work but based mostly on piano and electronic elements, making it much mellow than its predecessors. Instead of trying to revive the orchestral alt-rock that made them famous, “Eat The Elephant” is more of a collection of songs on which Billy and Maynard shine in a different light. On this album are some of the best clean vocal performances Keenan ever sang. Though he may not be controversial as the previous albums, the band’s anger towards the existing order and modern society you can feel clearly but only brought up in a more subtle way.

What is certain, although it may not have “Judith” caliber hits, for example, “Eat The Elephant” contains elements of an emotional, moody hand that APC is known for but in a more restrained and more atmospheric way. Aggression and more direct access to earlier works are replaced by delicate piano melodies, electronic tones, and more peaceful guitars. If you open your mind only a little and listen, for example, to the genius “Get The Lead Out”, you may come to the same conclusion as me – it was worth the wait.

Tracklist:

01. Eat The Elephant
02. Disillusioned
03. The Contrarian
04. The Doomed
05. So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
06. TalkTalk
07. By And Down The River
08. Delicious
09. DLB
10. Hourglass
11. Feathers
12. Get The Lead Out

About the author

Jadranka Balaš

Editor

Contact
jadranka@hardwiredmagazine.com