Thirteenth Step

( 165 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
This new-generation supergroup, while prone to some of the excesses of the all-star bands of generations past, has managed to carve itself a niche that none of the participants can fill on their own -- and that's quite a significant accomplishment. Frontman Maynard James Keenan, who consistently insists that neither APC nor Tool can be considered "side projects," whispers not-so-sweet nothings into the baroque constructs that his bandmates erect on dark pieces like "The Package" and "Weak and Powerless," both of which seem to be rooted in the 12-step concepts alluded to in the album's title. Keenan doesn't try to steal the show, however: He tones down his stylized ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
This new-generation supergroup, while prone to some of the excesses of the all-star bands of generations past, has managed to carve itself a niche that none of the participants can fill on their own -- and that's quite a significant accomplishment. Frontman Maynard James Keenan, who consistently insists that neither APC nor Tool can be considered "side projects," whispers not-so-sweet nothings into the baroque constructs that his bandmates erect on dark pieces like "The Package" and "Weak and Powerless," both of which seem to be rooted in the 12-step concepts alluded to in the album's title. Keenan doesn't try to steal the show, however: He tones down his stylized delivery considerably for much of Thirteenth Step, allowing the spacious, angular guitar of co-writer Billy Howerdel to prod listeners into fugue-state journeys, most successfully on "Blue" and "A Stranger." The latter tune conjures up images of early post-punk Britain, an era when the Cure and Joy Division were first starting down roads dank and dusky. It's on these more atmospheric tracks, as opposed to the more conventionally gnashing metallic tones that creep in toward disc's end, that APC are most convincing, thanks in large part to the surprisingly deft bass playing of Jeordie White the artist formerly known as Twiggy Ramirez, from Marilyn Manson. There's not a lot of room to breathe in these grooves, but claustrophobia has rarely felt so good.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Three years after the release of its debut Mer de Noms, A Perfect Circle's Thirteenth Step sees the light of day. By that time, Troy van Leeuwen and Paz Lenchantin had left and been replaced by bassist Jeordie Osborne White, formerly of Marilyn Manson, and guitarist James Iha, formerly of the Smashing Pumpkins though he doe not appear on the album. While van Leeuwen appear on part of the set, guitarist Danny Lohner helped out after he departed. Amazingly, despite the changes, the sound is still very much the creation of Billy Howerdel with the unmistakable vocal of Maynard Keenan from Tool. Produced by Howerdel and mixed by the inimitable Andy Wallace, Thirteenth Step is a moodier, tenser, and more atmospheric if that is possible recording than its predecessor. Written mostly by Howerdel and Keenan, the songs traverse a particular associated with surrender, loss, having the nature of a person stripped away, and turning in the twilight of those feelings toward a kind of slow transformation into something that can only be called "other." There are no easy outs and no easy answers, only hard questions throughout "Weak and Powerless," where surrender is necessary but far from desired. The title bitingly refers to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, but this is not your average recovery outing. Tracks like "Blue," "Vanishing," and "Lullaby" one of two tracks featuring the amazing Jarboe on vocals feature a kind of barely restrained menace caught in a trap by rock & roll vulnerability. The wide dynamic swathes that were so prominent on the band's debut are all but absent here. The squalling guitars have taken a backseat to carefully crafted melodies where atmospherics are maximized and pulled taut over the listener. While not a radical departure from Mer de Noms, there is a real progression here. However, the explosive, heavier-than-heavy rock-ism of A Perfect Circle is so well known for it is readily evidenced on cuts such as "The Outsider" and "Pet." As moods shapeshift from the sepia-toned murk of "The Package" and "The Noose," the over the top hard rock to the Baroquely scaled "The Nurse Who Loved Me" and "Gravity," with its beautiful guitar effects and crystalline bassline, the listener becomes aware of just how much water has traveled under A Perfect Circle's bridge. The Thirteenth Step is the sound of a musical and lyrical maturity that normally doesn't occur until a band's third or fourth albums. Lyrically, musically, sonically, the Thirteenth Step is proof positive that mainstream rock has plenty of life and vision left in it.
Entertainment Weekly - Jim Greer
[The] band's winding, off-kilter rhythms and contrapuntal guitar riffs create an ominous atmosphere. (B)

[The] band's winding, off-kilter rhythms and contrapuntal guitar riffs create an ominous atmosphere. (B)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/2003
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • UPC: 724358091823
  • Catalog Number: 80918
  • Sales rank: 24,616

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Package (7:40)
  2. 2 Weak and Powerless (3:15)
  3. 3 The Noose (4:53)
  4. 4 Blue (4:13)
  5. 5 Vanishing (4:51)
  6. 6 A Stranger (3:12)
  7. 7 The Outsider (4:06)
  8. 8 Crimes (2:34)
  9. 9 The Nurse Who Loved Me (4:04)
  10. 10 Pet (4:34)
  11. 11 Lullaby (2:01)
  12. 12 Gravity (5:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
A Perfect Circle Primary Artist
Jarboe Vocals
Josh Freese Drums, Background Vocals, Group Member
James Iha Group Member
Maynard James Keenan Vocals, Group Member
Danny Lohner Guitar
Troy Van Leeuwen Guitar
Billy Howerdel Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Jeordie White Bass, Background Vocals, Group Member
Devo Keenan Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Jon Brion Instrumentation
Josh Freese Composer
Maynard James Keenan Composer, Executive Producer, Artwork
Greg Edwards Composer
Danny Lohner Producer
Steven R. Gilmore Art Direction, Digital Photography
Ken Andrews Composer
Kevin Patrick Warren Instrumentation
Troy Van Leeuwen Composer
Billy Howerdel Composer, Producer, Engineer
Paz Lenchantin Composer
Jeordie White Composer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 165 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(149)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Finally something original!

    This is one very fluid album. Try not to concern yourself with the lead singer being from TOOL (even though TOOL is amazing) or else you're going to set yourself up on this one. To be honest, I believe that Mer De Noms felt alot more like TOOL than this album. 13th step is definitely a step in a better direction, for originality purposes and just being all around hypnotic. Don't get me wrong, Mer De Noms was a great album. What band could pull off using a xylophone that wasn't in grade school? I think that "Pet," "The Noose," and "The Outsider" are really the standouts on this album, but there's not one song on this cd that I don't love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Insinuating and moving

    I love A Perfect Circle.I just got into this band a couple of years ago with their cd Emotive and I absolutely loved it. Their lyrics are compelling and the music is almost like an emotionally-charged,picturesque background.To me,they symbolize the imperfections of life:they're name is A Perfect Circle, yet their band symbol is an imperfect and broken thing resembling a circle.The cover for Emotive is also very thought provoking because it shows war and desolation to the max,especially with the broken peace sign, so I like that they are very focused on contemporary concerns, though they never mention any of the worlds problems directly.A lot of their work makes it seem as if they are asking the question "Life is hard and imperfect,so what are you going to do about it?" This cd does the same thing in most of the songs,especially "The Noose,"which is supposed to be a halo in the song.Entirely contradictory and paradoxical.I especially love the songs "The Package,""Weak and Powerless,""Gravity,"and "Vanishing."A Perfect Circle is different from any other group or singer I have ever heard,and that's why I love them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Maynard is singing, not Billy

    Maynard is singing on all of these songs. That means you don't have to listen to bad singing from Billy. Three really great songs on here are "The Package," "Weak and Powerless" and "Blue." Another great song is the big hit "The Outsider." The best song on this CD is "The Noose." Listen to the samples.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Smart rock n' roll

    A Perfect Circle isn't a great band out on the road but rather the best band out on the road. Their songs are the most emotional songs that I've heard anyone write down. The lyrics for Gravity, The Noose, and The Stranger are some of the best lyrical songs I've ever heard. It makes you reflect on life and wonder what the guys were thinking when they wrote the songs. The harder songs such as The Outsider and Pet give you a sense of appreciation of the uniqueness and genius quality of the songs. APC has truely impacted the rock era as the best bands to ever play.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Circle Has Never Been So Perfect

    There are hardly any bands out there who have even a fraction of the strenth that Alice in Chains has. AIC has to be my top band for metal,of course,there are other bands I like as well,in different catigories that is. When you hear A Perfect Circle you stop and think,"Who is that band,and WHO posesses that amazing voice?" For me,it's all in the voice,and a pretty damn good guitarist. Little things like piano and strings really bring a song together,even though I know it would be a great song with out them,too. I like the suffering in the lead singer's voice,it lets you know that he has SOME feeling and enthusiasim for his music. I can't stand an empty singer. They have to love what they do,other wise the song you are listening to is no more than some sounds in the back of your head.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Perfect Step

    When I think about bands, I notice something strange about the way I listen to them. Sometimes I listen for deep vocals or piano, any sounds that seem to work well with a voice that is whimsical. A Percect Circle has taken the sound of music to a whole new level, bleeding sounds together that create lively emtions inside of you. In alot of ways, APC has defined a purpose that cuts off all doubt, a purpose with which all human life can respect and look at with peace and understanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of maynard's many masterpieces!!!

    WOW!! this album is unbelievably amazing. much better than "mer de noms" in my oppinion. billy, and maynard are a great team; and the 2 new members: jeordie white (twiggy ramerez when he was with marylin manson), and james iha (an astounding guitarist, previously with the smashing pumpkins) helped make this album a complete masterpiece!!! outstanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Do sheep listen to A Perfect Circle?

    Manard James Keenen is a lyracist and a respective philosopher in his own right. Couple that with a musical Technician/master/producer/engineer named Billy Howerdel and you have "A Perfect Circle" of musicians. Mix with various other musicians such as James Iha of "Smashing Pumpkins" fame to spawn one of the greatest rock albums of the decade.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This album does not live up to it's title...which is good

    With all the Alice in Chains ripoff bands and punk posers, it's hard to find good musicians to listen to these days. If you're looking for a hardhitting, yet beautiful artistic piece of music, then "The Thirteenth Step" from A Perfect Circle is the album to buy. Even though they were just a side project, they turned out to be possibly one of the greatest bands of all time. "Mer de Noms" showed how APC would have potential in the future and was a very good album, but it's not the masterpiece that this album is. "The Package" is an interesting song with neat guitar parts, and "Blue" is a very emotinal and complex song that keeps you wanting more and more. "The Outsider" is probably the turning point of the album, until you hear "The Nurse Who Loved Me," the album's most beautiful track. Buy it, you'll love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    More deep, thought provoking music

    It is very rare to find a CD where you like all the songs on it, actually before this one, I dont think I have found one, but when I got this album, I found it easy to listen to all the songs repetitively. Sure there's certain songs that stand out more than the rest, but all the songs are great. And I know Maynard cant be given credit for the whole album's greatness, but he does have the most unique and sexy of voices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A definite step forward

    I admit that I am an uneducated, though steadfast, fan of APC. While the tone is considerably different than Mer de Noms, the atmosphere remains, and Maynard's subdued vocals lend an ominous sound throughout the album."Weak and Powerless" and "Blue" are beautiful, haunting songs, and the more one listens, the better this album gets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awsome album

    If you like Tool even if you dont like Tool this is an album to buy. I love this album. 5* stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    JUst few of many, i hope

    A superb buy. But that's maybe an overstatement. Do not expect it to be like any of the lead singer's other works; he is exploring his emotions that seem more foreign. Stigma? perhaps. Good investment for the deep thinkers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    sounds like tool

    I was really disapointed with this album,it lost the melody from the first one.Weak and powerless should have been on their first album and the rest of the songs should have been on a tool album.Buying this album is like buying a new Tool album not Perfect C.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the kind of music that "Mozart" would make if he were still alive!

    I LOVE this cd! My favorite song is "the noose"! It doesn't get any better than this! The music pulses with passion and beauty. This is a very complicated cd so it will take about 3 or 4 listens just to scratch the surface of what lies beneth! Give it time and you too will agree that this is one of the greatest cd's of all time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great CD

    While unlike most fans of Maynard I love both Tool and Perfect Circle. This particular cd is excellent though. The only thing that I really found I don't like is the fact that it is a LOT more mellow than the previous cd. But it's really good still!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Weak but not completely powerless

    The latest release from A Perfect Circle is good, but not great. On the day the CD was released I ran to the store to buy it. I had already been introduced to three of the new songs besides the single "Weak & Powerless" when I saw them on their warm-up tour in August. The CD is musically well produced and as a collector of Maynard's work I enjoy everything that he lends his voice to. This album seems, to me, to be lacking the same power as the first album "Mer de Noms". The lyrics seem a little thin and the usual philosophical poetry feel is absent in many of the songs. I also found "Blue" to be very poppy and not what I want to hear from these guys. Stand out tracks that make "Thirteenth Step" worth buying "Weak & Powerless", "The Noose", "The Outsider", & "Pet". I kind of get the impression that Maynard is running low on ideas and perhaps needs a break from making music. Don't get me wrong, I love A Perfect Circle and as long as Maynard is a part of this band I will continue to collect their work. In conclusion if you really liked their first release you maybe disappointed by "Thirteenth Step", but you make the call.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Different than the first, yes. Still amazing, for sure.

    APC does it again, intricate lyrics, Maynards haunting voice, incredible instrumental artistry from all involved, and while Paz will be sorely missed, the new members have more than taken up the torch. Unparalleled production quality, APC will reach into everyones soul, take hold of it, and put it right in your face for you to study in depth. If you don't have their first release, buy it. If you do, buy a second copy just to let this band know we need more. If your local DJ's don't have the nuts to play this on their own, request the hell out of it, tell them we need intelligent music, not more of the current boy bands thinly disguised as punk, rock, and/or alternative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Thirteenth Step Is Amazing!!!!!!

    I bought the album the day it came out and I've got to say,APC You rock!!! Sweet, mellow, jagged and angry all intertwined to create an album that is highly addictive tugging at your emotional strings and pounding your soul with every drumbeat! Maynards voice tears through the listener like a sharp knife at times then caresses you and licks your wounds. A truly inpiring album that I am proud to own!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Perfect Album

    This is A Perfect Circle's second album, and it is another work of art. Much of the album is a bit heavier, but it does not take away from the artistic value of the music. Their first track "The Package" is part mellow, part hard-core, with each being perfectly balanced. and tracks 3-6 have the memorable APC softness and asthetic to the melodies. "The Outsider" and "Pet" capture APC's talent to play such diverse tempos and moods. "Gravity" displays, Maynard James Keenan's smooth, ethereal singing voice that adds to the thought-provoking lyrics and atmospheric music. This album should not be missed!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews