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4.8 out of 5 stars
47
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 7 December 2006
When I first listened to this, I didn't quite appreciate its depth and scope - it sounded ok to me, a bit strange (despite previous familiarity with other 'strange' music), and perhaps overly heavy in parts. Additionally, it didn't quite sound like 13 songs - it was long enough, but it seemed as though some of the material was repeating.

However, the album quickly grew on me, and the atmosphere the album manages to create with each song and overall is just tremendous. The album starts off particularly well with The Package (which was one that almost immediately appealed to me) giving a dark and ominous build up, Weak and Powerless being intricate yet driving, Halo - my favourite, and Blue again being driving. Only Lullaby actually repeats a theme - it holds interest in its own way, but it's not a proper song like the other tracks.
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on 22 September 2003
There's something about band names; Pantera just sounds so good (named after an American sports car), Blind Melon is just wacky, and Hottie And The Blowfish is just...well, strange. 'A Perfect Circle' is a very good band name, and it almost adds an air of mystery around the album as it sits on the shelf. It suits the band down to the ground, in their own way, but it does have its own problem; Where Pantera could go truly as fast as a 6-litre sports car, can A Perfect Circle be just that? A circle (or in this case a perfect one) is never-ending.
Having never heard the bands debut fully, only taking in a couple of tracks (the fine '3 Libras' and 'Judith' which for me personally wasn't so impressive), I had the chance to start with APC on a clean sheet, whereas many can't and may criticise 'Thirteen Step', for not being quite so good, as some fans who have heard their debut have already told me. But as someone who is new to APC I was pleasantly surprised, and on this offering, the circle may carry on for some time if this takes off, as it deserves to.
Many didn't expect a second helping from Maynard and co. but in 'Thirteenth Step' they shouldn't be disappointed at all. As someone who has never heard their first album, I cannot say whether it is harder or softer, other than this is an experience. At times, it is low key and vulnerable, and at others (not as much so as the first), it's heavier and spits rage and bile. Only 3 moments on 'TS' truly rock out. It takes a few minutes to let the near 8-minute opener, 'The Package' to come out of it's spikey shell, but when it does, it leaves an impression. Keenan's vocals are as good as they ever have been in Tool, as particularly shown on one of the other rockers, 'The Outsider', and not so much on the final sure-fire assault, 'Pet', but they are all fine songs indeed. But for the most part 'TS' is a sombre affair, with more quiet and thoughtful, than brazen and brain disintegrating. Curious first single, 'Weak And Powerless', is one of the albums best tracks, with some fine layered vocals, and some superb musicianship, but why choose it as the first single? It's is not a particularly strong 'single' song, though one of the best on the album, although you can see the point of them not putting out a straight out rocker, to confuse the public into believing that this is going to be a very heavy affair. Other fine low key stunners, are 'The Noose' which has a terrific introduction and fine lyrics, 'Blue' is one of those songs that just wants to rock, but is beautiful in its simplicity, the nearly completely acoustic, 'A Stranger' is mournful, and 'The Nurse Who Loved Me' is just out of this world, and as I have read quite rightly, 'almost Disney-esque' in its ways. But it's another fine song showing vulnerability in mind, and strength in song writing, to a pretty diverse album.
Less impressive offerings, such as the short, but un-needed, 'Crimes', and the almost drugged-up, 'Lullaby' are depraved in their ways, but poor compared to other offerings and even pointless, but they don't really seem to detract from a fine album, made by some fine musicians.
So overall, 'TS' is one of the best albums of the year to date, and is finely put together, that does have its faults but is more than made up for by a fine collection of songs, that should keep the circle going around for some time. The question is, after two albums of fine music, can the circle still keep going around and staying fresh and perfectly rounded?
4 Stars.
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on 26 March 2012
This is a proper album, rather than just a bunch of songs on a record. There's a real attention to detail that pervades individual performances, song structures, and arrangements. I was very impressed with this record. It's also very addictive and I think this is mainly due to the vocal melodies. However, there also some great riffs and 'Pet' is a particular highlight. Josh Freese is of course an excellent drummer too and he lays down some fantastic parts on this album. Highly recommended.
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on 19 December 2003
I just got this the other day, i was waiting to get it for quite a long time;I have one tool album and I love them but when somebody from my Fav band joined (Twiggy from Marilyn Manson who is now known as Jeordie)it gave me that extra push to buy it. Even though i love Marilyn Manson's bass lines they are simple (dont get me wrong they are better than lots of Bands Linkin park Good Charlotte Blink 182etc)and i now respect Jeordie more as a bassit and musician.
I wasnt dissapointed it is a great album from a great band, I Thought it would sound like tool, but it doesn't but it does have its Tool influences along with someothers.
If you love Tool buy it If you love "good" Hard rock music buy it and if you love Emotional music buy it
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on 10 July 2009
Before I bought this, I had heard 'Blue' before. It made me want to buy the CD. It is an amazing album, with no flaws for me.

If you aren't familiar with A Perfect Circle, it is a supergroup which, at the time of this album's release, was made up of Billy Howerdel (Guitar, producer), Maynard James Keenan (From Tool; Vocals), Jeordie White (From Marilyn Manson/Nine Inch Nails; Bass) and John Freese (From The Vandals/Nine Inch Nails/Guns N Roses; Drums).

The album is amazing (as mentioned before). It is very different to the bands that the members are a part of. If you can find something or someone that sounds like APC, you deserve a medal. Personally, I would recommend Thirteenth Step to anyone.
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on 26 January 2004
Personally, I find it hard comparing Mer de Noms with Thirteenth step as they seem to me to be linked purely by the band name. I bought Thirteenth Step because I loved Mer de Noms, but a warning - don't expect anything like the same. If anything, Thirteenth Step is much more of an "album" abum, holding together much more as one solid recording than Mer's collections of awesome songs. Much more melodic and emotive than Mer, standout tracks for me are Blue, The Outsider, and despite other reviewers, The Nurse Who Loved Me, as against my will they wrenched a powerful emotional response from me which happens all too little in modern music. A great buy, regardless of your usual musical tastes.
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on 9 April 2007
the second album from a perfect circle, thirteenth step stands up there with my favorite albums. The album flows in a magical wau making the whole greater than the sum of its parts, dont get me wrong some of the individual tracks are absoloutly amazing like the gentle yet brutal 'noose' and the understated 'outsider' but none of them are better than the album played through as a whole. whlist other artisits have one or two standout tracks, but the ablum istself is a little weak, thirteenth step succieds in showing something that seems crafted as an album, rather than just a collection of songs. the end product will have the craving a 'thirteenth step'
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on 4 August 2005
People have not mentioned these two words enough when reviewing this album: 'THE OUTSIDER'! This is in my opinion the stand out track of the album and if you are unsure about purchasing the entire thing just get this single!!! This song is astonishingly brilliant, I am an aspiring musician and music fills my ears nearly all day long and this song simply stands out as being beautifully powerful......
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on 16 August 2013
This a superb album. The recording is excellent. The songs are beautiful. I own this album on CD and just had to own it on vinyl also.
The package it was sent in though was thin as paper, and so when it arrived, the vinyl cover was crinkled and torn. Much more attention should be taken in the packaging Amazon.
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on 10 December 2003
Though I normally dislike music I have to listen to repeatedly in order to like, I must praise this CD. It was actually not the fault of the music, but rather of me that TS didn't seem special at first - I simply had to soak it all up and let it twirl a bit around in my head. The second time I heard it (and without any distractions this time), I embraced it. I'm certain you will too.
As others have mentioned the craftmanship, skill and care that has gone into this music is enormous and this alone is enough reason to buy the CD. But the element that, in my opinion, makes this CD great is the feeling, the spirit... I'm not sure what to label it, but the album has an etheral feel to it - it's walking, but I'm not sure its feet touches the ground...
I'm sure any fan of rock will enjoy this.
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