Awaiting – just like the rest of the planet – for Tool members Chancellor, Jones, and Carey to finish off recording… ‘Chinese Democracy’, Maynard James Keenan reactivated A Perfect Circle, his partnership with guitarist Billy Howerdel. It is a very welcomed comeback, that of a ‘thinking man’s’ band, beyond boxes and labels.
In ‘Eat the Elephant’, Keenan’s vocal melodies are the protagonist. The music, sometimes guitar-driven and often electronic, weaves seamlessly, almost ‘discreetly’, around them. A Perfect Circle experiment with silence, minimalism, atmosphere, giving the listener the chance to focus on Keenan’s dark lullabies, and his always interesting, poignant, sarcastic, and personal lyrics. Melancholy is predominant on the record (‘Disillusioned’, ‘By and Down the River’), but its best moment could be up-tempo Princess Leia and Marylin Monroe anthem ‘So Long, and Thanks for the Fish’.
There are a couple of songs towards the end I could have done without, but, as a whole, the album is close to being on par with ‘Mer de Noms’ and my personal favorite, ‘Thirteenth Step’.