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Old 08-14-2012, 08:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Leeds
Posts: 4
Default A Perfect Circle - Mer De Noms (2000)

Over the last couple of decades, I have amassed quite the CD collection. I have recently decided that my collection needs a cull, mainly because there are some albums that I probably haven’t listened to in over a decade.. Over the next few months, I am going to be reviewing each of my CDs and deciding whether to keep the album or give it to a charity shop.

First up we have A Perfect Circle’s 2000 album ‘Mer De Noms’. I first got into A Perfect Circle in summer 2001. At the rock nights in and around Keele University, the only people who seemed to wear A Perfect Circle hoodies seemed to be chubby insecure girls with pink hair and lip piercings, and so I dismissed them out of hand, assuming that they were essentially Tool for girls.

A friend of mine made me a copy of the album on mini-disc, urging me to listen to it. I thanked him, and put it in my bag, where the mini-disc sat, no doubt gathering the type of the dirt that only ever seems to gather in bags, for the next few months.

After my first year of university, I spent the summer with my family in Wolverhampton. After spending almost a year living on campus, cooking, sleeping, and getting in when I wanted, I quickly fell out with my parents. We get on great now, but as a petulant teenager who had recently discovered ‘freedom’, I had to get out of there, and went and spent a few weeks with a mate in a dodgy student house in Levenshulme, Manchester. It was a last-minute decision to go, so I threw a bunch of things into a bag, hopped on a bus, and got on the next train to Manchester.

On the train, I remember being sat next to a girl who was ranting into her mobile phone, I clocked her accent as being from somewhere like Stevenage: a hoarse southern accent, with the word “****ing” making up for all adjectives and adverbs in her lexicon. Annoyed, I rooted around my bag for my mini-disc player, only to realise that the player was empty. Panic set in as a hurriedly searched for my little box of mini-discs I was sure I’d packed. The only mini-disc I found was A Perfect Circle’s ‘Mer de Noms’ which had been sitting in a pocket of my bag for about six months and had never been played.

I don’t think I can put into words how much I enjoyed the album’s opener ‘The Hollow’, not just because the music blocked out the adjacent girl’s voice, but because the track was awesome: it had layers of subtle guitar; the vocal melody was dark and built to an awesome crescendo; and, most importantly, it rocked. Every track on the album was a revelation, with songs like ‘Judith’ and ‘3 Libras’ standing out in particular as superb pieces of music.

Revisiting the album in 2012 brought back a lot of memories from this period, but does it stand the test of time? Is it an album to keep or cull? The production sounds a bit dated, as like most metal records produced in the late-90s, too much compression is used on the mix, so the songs don’t sound as dynamic as they should or could with better production. Some of the lyrics on this album are laughably cheesy, drawing on all of the gothic clichés one could think of if asked on Family Fortunes. This being said, many of the songs are still excellent, and taking into account the nostalgia factor, it looks like A Perfect Circle’s ‘Mer de Noms’ is a keeper.

Sorry Scope, maybe next time.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 360

I think Mer De Noms (translated Sea of Names) is almost flawless. It definitely stands the test of time for me. Many people think APC is Keenan's band, but Billy Howerdel is really the band leader.

"Judith" is amazing... love how Paz ties her hair back with her pick in her mouth at the 1:55 mark, then starts playing again; great video.

My music reivew site: RMR Music Reviews
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