Album Review: A Perfect Circle – Three Sixty

Published On November 10, 2013 | By Stephanie Ochona | Albums, Music

The ghosts of alt. rock past have come back to bring a greatest hits compilation of the supergroup A Perfect Circle. After their 5 year hiatus from 2004-2009, the band emerged for some live performances, but it has been 9 years since we’ve heard any new material from them. Through Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdell’s friendship A Perfect Circle was born. Since the formation of the band in 1999, A Perfect Circle have released three studio albums, but there is still no confirmation for a fourth release from the band.

A Perfect Circle - Three SixtyThree Sixty is the band’s first greatest hits album, and features their new track By And Down, the only new material from the band in almost a decade. While the standard edition only includes their hit singles, the deluxe provides 2 discs with live and recorded tracks from their 3-album discography. Three Sixty serves as both a way to discover the band’s sound and for any fanatics who are dying to hear what the band’s ‘new’ music sounds like.

From the band’s debut album Mer de Noms, we have the songs The Hollow, Judith, Orestes, and 3 Libras. Mer de Noms was released all the way back in 2000, and made it all the way to the Top #5 of the Billboard charts. With this success A Perfect Circle received solidified their reputation as one of the biggest rock bands of the decade.

Their popularity was heightened even more with extensive touring but eventually they were able to release their second studio album Thirteenth Step. Outdoing their already great record, the second album reached the #2 spot on its debut week. Three Sixty highlights the iconic singles from this album, including the tracks¬†Weak And Powerless, The Noose, The Outsider, and Blue. The concept of addiction and recovery in Thirteenth Step is done beautifully and can definitely be argued as the best album of the band’s three releases.

Around the time when Emotive was released, the US presidential elections were on. The band decided to cover all types of political songs from artists like Lennon, Black Flag and Devo, as well as two songs written by the band itself. Three Sixty includes the tracks Imagine, Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of War Drums and Passive from the rebellious third release that sure made heads turn as everyone in the US awaited a new president.

The standard edition of Three Sixty ends with A Perfect’s Circle’s new track By and Down. The twinkling of the chimes grab you as soon as the song starts. Keenan’s raw vocals power through the dim accompaniment of the piano, crashing drums and booming bass. There’s evident experimentation with vocal work and layering in By And Down. Unlike the inhibited ¬†raging raucous of A Perfect Circle’s earlier work, there’s a sense of organisation in the song, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As each instrument plays out their part and the song comes to an end a bright hope for the future of A Perfect Circle is clear.

If you’re just keen for the basics of A Perfect Circle only really need their new song, the standard version of Three Sixty is for you. But if you want to full experience, which comes with more tracks such as Rose and The Package, as well as a ton of live recordings then you’re better off with the deluxe.

4 / 5 stars     

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