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  • Feature: The Top 10 A Perfect Circle Songs

    Tue, 15 Oct 2013 07:40:10

    Feature: The Top 10 A Perfect Circle Songs - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    • A Perfect Circle - By And Down (Live At Red Rocks)
    • A Perfect Circle - Passive

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    A Perfect Circle remain one of the greatest rock bands of the twenty first century. Even with only three studio albums, their impact is undeniable. On November 19, they'll release Three Sixty, a comprehensive retrospective, followed by A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone And Echo November 26, the ultimate live collection from the group. In honor of those releases, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino set out to compile a list of the ten best A Perfect Circle songs—in no particular order. Now, this is completely open to your interpretation as well. Every piece of music the band has recorded or even played live could be on here. This took careful deliberation…

    That said, take a look at the list below and let us know what you think in the comments or what you would have added.

    ARTISTdirect.com's Top Ten A Perfect Circle Songs

    "Imagine" — eMOTIVe

    If you're going to cover a John Lennon tune, you not only have to pay the right amount of reverence to it, but you also must add your own panache. Taking on "Imagine" would be a lofty task for anyone, but A Perfect Circle imbued a sense of haunting elegance to the song, drawing out the resounding keys and erecting a wall of sound. At the same time, it's emblematic of the band's ability to artfully encode vulnerability inside of darkness or, conversely, encode harsh truth within melody. Either way, Mr. Lennon would be proud.

    "Passive" — eMOTIVe

    At one time, this was a song for the Tapeworm project entitled "Perfect Enemy". A Perfect Circle often played it while touring behind Mer de Noms, and it became a fan favorite. Any righteous fanatic possessed some Limewire-d bootleg of it. The boys retooled it as "Passive" for eMOTIVe, and it captures the same aggressive snarl that Maynard James Keenan conjured with lines like "You fucking disappoint me" live.

    "By and Down" — Three Sixty

    "By and Down" first saw the light of day during the band's 2011 touring cycle. It marked their first new music since 2004, and it whet fans' appetites for more, often closing sets. Now included on Three Sixty, "By and Down" echoes with Billy Howerdel's lush soundscapes offering rapturous sanctuary as Keenan pleads pristinely almost a capella at points. It feels like another evolution, and that's something no one does better.

    "The Noose" — Thirteenth Step

    The brilliance of Thirteenth Step becomes crystallized in this sprawling, spiraling slow burn. The imagery conjured remains utterly entrancing as everything cascades into a blissful burn of instrumental tension and vocal remorse.

    "Blue" — Thirteenth Step

    The visual of "she's turning blue, such a lovely color for you" as delivered by Keenan's signature croon makes for one of the group's most melodic and majestic ruminations. Howerdel's playing feels downright cinematic as everything collides on that sinisterly sweet hook.

    "The Package" — Thirteenth Step

    The waiting, the horrors, and the spite of addiction come to a head on the Thirteenth Step opener. It could be evoking Gollum as much as it could Trainspotting or Requiem for a Dream. It begins with a dreamy guitar before slipping into one of the group's most powerful riffs. It's an epic for the ages.

    "Orestes" — Mer de Noms

    Keenan actually mentions the words "perfect circle" here, and it's another dark, definitive opus punctuated by spacey guitars and the soft sinew of a chorus worth remembering forever. It's definitely a centerpiece of the perfect Mer de Noms.

    "Judith" — Mer de Noms

    This one started it all as the band's first official single. With that shotgun clink of an unmistakable riff by Howerdel and the poignantly screamed "fuck your god" by Keenan, it's quintessential A Perfect Circle.

    "Over" — Mer de Noms

    Barely song above a whisper the swan song of Mer de Noms feels fragile. It's as beautiful as it is brooding, especially once the piano begins in strange vaudevillian fashion. In many ways, this is the A Perfect Circle beast at its most impactful.

    "The Hollow" — Mer de Noms

    "The Hollow" opened the rabbit hole into A Perfect Circle's wild and wonderful world. It's got all of their trademarks wound together in magnificent fashion.

    Order the standard edition of Three Sixty here and the deluxe edition here!

    What are your favorite A Perfect Circle songs?

    Listen to "Judith" (live) here!

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