Maynard is prefers to be mysterious about the inner meanings of many of the songs he writes and the terms he uses, encouraging fans to actually go and figure it out for themselves. Of the vague information he will give out, this is what he says about the meaning of the word Ænima:

"The word anima is a Jungian term (from noted psychologist Carl Gustav Jung) meaning soul, while an enema is an anal douche."
He adds that this doesn't denote merely a cleansing of the soul, of sorts, "It's more of a contemporary version of that. It's about change, cleaning out the house to refurbish or redecorate and start over."

courtesy of Maynard himself and

This album, Tool's third (after Undertow and before Lateralus), was released in 1996. Considered by many to be Tool's best album, Aenima defines the sound of Tool to a great extent. This album is much more restrained than the previous two (particularly Opiate with its almost-excessive screaming and distortion), but at the same time the music is often much more emotional, and filled with toolgasms.


  1. Stinkfist, 5:11
    This song is about desensitization in modern society: "It's not enough, I need more, nothing seems to satisfy/I don't want it, I just need it, to breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive." It's also one of the most graphic songs on the album. Consider the title of the song, the title of the album, and the progression in the choruses from "finger deep within the borderline," to "shoulder deep within the borderline," and .. well, I think you get the idea. Toolgasm toward the end at "Something kinda sad about, the way that things have come to be/Desensitized to everything, what became of subtlety."
  2. Eulogy, 8:29
    This song is about Jesus and Christianity and probably religion in general. This is one of the more angry songs on the CD, with some of Maynard's harshest singing. It takes a definitely anticlerical position: "Come down, get off your fucking cross/And leave the fucking space, to nail the next fool martyr." Toolgasm right at the end at "..step out of line/Goodbyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee."
  3. H., 6:06
    While I have absolutely no idea what this song is about, I feel it is one of the best songs on the CD purely by musical merit. Maynard is at his softest, most gentlest in this song, and you can hear him pouring emotion into his singing. I could not really find an actual single point of toolgasm in this song (although the drumroll at the end of the solo leading into the last run of the chorus comes pretty close), but rather it's one continuous toolgasm.
  4. Useful Idiot, 0:38
    38 seconds of scratching and various other noises.
  5. Forty Six & 2, 6:04
    This is, in my most humble opinion, the absolute best song on the album, by all measures: lyrical complexity, musical complexity, and plain old listening pleasure. The lyrics are more fully explained in the node for the song - suffice it to say here that they have to do with Jungian psychology: "My shadow's shedding skin/I've been picking scabs again.." The music itself is some of Tool's most complex, although it may not appear so at first hearing. Two fairly simple (and similar) riffs are played through the entire song, though varied and messed with in an almost fugue-like manner; layered on top of this with the second guitar and the bass are small, seemingly insignificant bits, but without which the song feels entirely empty. About 1:30 away from the end of the song, the complexity peaks: first the drums become syncopated and then (I think) discard the rhythm of the rest of the band entirely (in such a manner as to still sound musical .. somehow..) before reentering with a drumroll and taking a backseat so the guitars can regain dominance over the song. By the end of the solo the main riff is being played an octave higher, and when Maynard reenters with the chorus, this is used with the wah pedal for a greatly heightened trippy effect bringing the listener to toolgasm right as Maynard sings the ending "Forty-Six and two, just ahead of me."
  6. Message to Harry Manback, 1:52
    "Message to Harry Manback is a recording of the words of an uninvited Italian guest who came to Maynard's house one day. A so-called friend of a friend of a friend of Harry's .... Before we finally managed to figure out that nobody really knew him, he had already emptied the fridge and run up a huge phone bill. He got kicked out of the house." --Danny.
  7. Hooker With a Penis, 4:33
    This song deals with the idea of selling out and its absurdity. It's also quite funny and revels in profanity. This song pulls no punches: "All you know about me's what I've sold you, dumbfuck, I sold out long before you ever even knew my name, I sold my soul to make a record, dipshit, then you bought one!" Musically too the song is pretty good, although somewhat shorter than regular Tool fare.
  8. Intermission, 0:56
    This song is, as the name suggests, nothing more than an intermission - and quite funny too, once one gets it. It's the main riff of the next song, Jimmy, being played on -of all thing- an accordion, polka-style.
  9. Jimmy, 5:24
    This song is like one big great gradual crescendo. It starts out with just the one guitar, fairly soft, slowly adds a bass, singer, distortion, gets louder, to where by the end Maynard is pretty much screaming the final lines. irexe is the man here and helped me out on the meaning: its sung to himself (Maynard "Jimmy" Keenan)at age eleven.
  10. Die Eier Von Satan, 2:17
    Literally, the eggs of Satan. Figuratively, Satan's balls. The song: a German recipe for a certain kind of cookie. With no eggs.
  11. Pushit, 9:55
    Most people will disagree with me that 46&2 is the best song on the album - and this song is the reason. Another very emotion-filled song, this song deals with its subject matter pretty straightforwardly: the pressures of the expectations of someone else (in Tool's case, probably their fans: "But I'd trade it all, just for a little peace of mind .. You're pushin, shovin, scramblin..") A fellow Tool fan at a concert I attended, where Tool played this song, put the sentiments of many Tool fans best: "Now I can die happy; I have heard Pushit live!" Toolgasm at the very end: "Remember I will always love you/As I tear your fucking throat away/It will end no other way/It will end no other wayyy."
  12. Cesaro Summability, 1:26
    The title is the name of a mathematical theorem; beyond that you'd probably have to ask the band themselves. Yet another weird Tool segue that probably has some meaning to the band but leaves the rest of us clueless.
  13. Aenima, 6:38
    This song is about L.A. falling into the sea after an earthquake ("Learn to swim, see you down in Arizona Bay"), and metaphorically about flushing away the cruft surrounding modern life: "Fret for your figure and fret for your latte and fret for your lawsuit and fret for your hairpiece and fret for your Prozac and fret for your pilot and .. bullshit .." Another excellent song and a contender in some circles for the position of best song on the CD.
  14. (-) ions, 3:59
    From Scott Cronshaw has this to say about the title: "They are supposed to be 'good' ions. They are found in high doses near waterfalls, streams, forests, etc. Negative ions have (reportedly) beneficial effects on humans ... increased metabolism, higher resistance to ailments and a generally more happy attitude. Positive ions, on the other hand, are 'bad' ... they can be found in mass quantities in cities, airports, garbage dumps, etc. Also, computer monitors output a large amount of positive ions. And, of course, positive ions are supposed to have the opposite effects on humans: depression, weight gain, sickness, etc."
  15. Third Eye, 13:47
    This song finishes out the CD, and as has become traditional on Tool albums, it is very strange at first listening. It opens with a Bill Hicks comedy bit about the war on drugs before entering the actual song. The song is about opening our supposed third eye ("PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE"), but the lyrics meander all over the place, as does the music. Its a fairly trippy song, and truly appreciating it requires a good 10-15 listens, but once you appreciate it, you are in danger of a sensory overload, as there are lots of toolgasms, and lots of screaming.

All in all, this is an excellent CD - probably my all-time #1 album, competing only with another Tool album, Lateralus. Listen to it. Learn all the lyrics. Swear by it.

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