A Perfect Circle isn’t trying to mince words on Eat the Elephant, their first wholly original effort since 2003, nor are they trying to hide the fact that Elephant drips with political verse and imagery — from the on-the-nose cover and title it should come as no surprise to anyone giving this badboy a listen.

We live in political times and we always will. And I believe good art will always reflect the current political and religious atmosphere from whence it originated.

In other words, fans who go into this new record expecting Mer de Noms 2.0 are going to be sorely disappointed. That stellar record released in different times, almost two decades ago — in a world where Brittany Spears and boy bands were still relevant and topping the charts.

No, Eat the Elephant is a much richer listening experience — more mature and refined. More world-weary and melancholy. And what an experience it is. Maynard’s vocals evoke anger, sadness and regret by turns. You’ll be hard-pressed to find the raw rage of tracks like Judith, but the band’s artistic edge has never been sharper with Howerdel’s piano taking center stage on many of the tracks, creating beautiful, lush soundscapes and texture.

It’s a pure pleasure to listen to and the tracks swim nicely with one another, with perhaps the exception of So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish (ironically enough), which seems largely out of place here.

The Good:

  • APC is back!
  • Beautiful piano work.
  • Maynard’s voice is as haunting as ever.
  • Multi-layered goodness.

The Bad:

  • The political focus may turn some people off.
  • It’s not a double LP.

Eat the Elephant was absolutely worth the wait. This is A Perfect Circle harnessing anger of a different kind, at a different target. It’s packed with smart, gorgeous songs that are extremely enjoyable to listen to, as long as you’re not expecting the band to rehash the anger they wielded in the early 2000’s.

Highly recommended.



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