Let Us Now Listen To The Discographies Of Various Musicians

Mike K

A Perfect Circle: Thirteenth Step

*Thirteenth Step* (2003)

I've decided to start giving myself breaks in the middle of discographies at times, but this one went on for a little longer than I meant it to. Regardless, I'm back.

This has a little bit of a different feel to it than Mer De Noms: Not necessarily any darker on the whole, just with a little bit more emphasis on the moodier elements of the first album. Aside from some lineup changes and not wanting to repeat themselves, the fact that this is something of a concept album about addiction is probably related (even the cover song, Failure's "The Nurse Who Loved Me" fits the theme). It actually opens with their most Tool-esque track yet, the 7 minute "The Package", but even there the heaviest part is very slowly built up to - distorted guitars don't show up until four minutes into it.

As a result, this album generally feels a bit more cohesive: Mer De Noms had it's heavier tracks and it's softer ones, whereas here those two sides feel more integrated. Even it's heaviest tracks ("The Package", "Pet", "The Outsider") at least have more sedate moments for contrast. It generally feels a bit more Alternative Metal on the whole, but there are still experimental moments as there were on Mer De Noms. The most surprising of these is "The Nurse Who Loved Me", which gets an appropriately woozy, psychedelic pop treatment, but there's also the mostly instrumental "Crimes" and "Lullaby", the latter of which feels like an extended Last Note Nightmare ending to "Pet". Overall Mer De Noms might have more high points, but this is the album I'd direct someone to if they wanted to know what APC sounded like.

Key Tracks: The Package, Blue, The Outsider