A Perfect Circle

Virgin, 2004


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


The idea behind eMOTIVe is a disaster to start with. Covering classics that have been etched into the minds and hearts of generations and giving them a makeover so drastic, thereby rendering them unidentifiable, is not palatable by any means; even Maynard has his limits and eMOTIVe will go down in the history books as the one mistake the “flawless” Maynard ever made.

There is no one place where one can start to describe where the album goes wrong; the fact is, there are just so many of them. First and foremost, there is so much melodrama infused in the name of protest that the album is practically unlistenable, not to mention the complete murder of the originals. Jonathan Davis’ abrasive screaming kills “Gimme Gimme Gimme” in the worst way possible. 

Other times, like on “People Are People,” Maynard and crew seem totally clueless as to what they are doing -- the completely awkward rhythm, the horrendous interpretation of the chorus, and mindless rape of all other parts of the song makes one wonder if the song was ever played to Depeche Mode before it found its way into the album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If that’s not enough, APC decides to kill its very own child. In what seems to be some sort of an extension of the exhilarating “Pet” from Thirteenth Step, “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drum” is like a weird remix where neither the beats nor the vocals have any congruence to the other and behave to provide the best possible alternative to chalk on board. The only thing worth a mention about this song is the title: it is long.

But bad is good when things are worse. And in this pile of garbage, one can find stuff that might not be the best, but taken into the present context, turn out the Cadillac of songs. Granted, no one can ever record decent enough versions of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?,” or Devo’s “Freedom Of Choice,” but APC has at least gotten the basics right when it came to these numbers: there is a structure to the songs, there is no supererogatory glut of emotions, and in fact, they sound pretty good if taken in isolation from the originals.

APC really shines on “When the Levee Breaks” and on Joni Mitchell’s “Fiddle And The Drum,” where the execution of the songs is completely unlike the band’s usual morose style. On “Levee,” Maynard sings soulfully (almost childish in pitch) while heavenly pianos play behind him, and on “Fiddle” he does the entire song a capella.

The single “Passive” -- an APC original -- is one of the few moments on the album where APC really shows form and class; maybe the band should learn something from this great number: write your own protest songs, don’t butcher others’.

And APC’s interpretation of Lennon’s “Imagine”? It’s best left undiscussed if one wants to strive for a peaceful and better world just like the guys in APC do.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Virgin, and is used for informational purposes only.