A Perfect Circle -- eMOTIVe

Rearranged/Written by A Perfect Circle (individual artists listed alongside tracks)
Produced by Billy Howerdel
Released on Nov 2, 2004
Running Length of 48 minutes, 13 seconds.


Introduction

This album is a collection of covers (and two originals) "about war, peace, love and greed" as described by vocalist Maynard. Apparantly it was conceived of a year before the release date of November 2 2004. Because Maynard was returning to work with Tool and had no time to write new songs, but the band seemed to feel strongly about world affairs, rearranging pertinent covers seemed like a good idea.
Although released on Election Day, the album does not attempt to sway voters or speak on specific issues but addresses general themes of war and peace.

Track Listing:

  1. Annihilation originally by Crucifix
    vocals - Maynard, guitar - Billy, programming and keys - Billy and Danny Lohner, piano - Billy
  2. Imagine Originally by John Lennon
    vocals - Maynard, additional vocals - Billy, guitars - Billy, bass - Billy, piano - Paz Lenchantin and Maynard, strings - Paz, drums - Josh Freese
  3. Peace, Love and Understanding Originally by Elvis Costello
    vocals - Billy, guitars - Billy, programming - Charlie Clouser and Billy, strings - Paz, drums - Josh
  4. What's Going On Originally by Marvin Gaye
    vocals- Maynard and Billy, guitars - Billy, bass - Billy, programming - Charlie, drums - Josh
  5. Passive Originally written for the Tapeworm project
    vocals - Maynard, additional vocals - Billy, guitars - Billy and Danny, bass - Danny, piano - Paz, drums - Josh
  6. Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Originally by Black Flag
    vocals - Maynard, additional vocals - Danny, guitars - Billy, bass - Danny, harmonium - Billy, drums - Josh
  7. People are People Originally by Depeche Mode
    vocals - Billy, la la la's - Maynard and Danny, guitar - James Iha, bass - Jeordie White, programming and keys - Billy and James, drums - Josh
  8. Freedom of Choice Originally by Devo
    vocals - Billy, additinal vocals - Maynard, guitars - Billy, bass - Billy, drums - Josh
  9. Let's Have A War Originally by Fear
    vocals - Maynard, guitars - Danny, bass - Danny, drums - Josh
  10. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums Original
    vocals - Maynard, additional vocals - Billy and Danny, additional instrumentation - Danny, tenor and baritone sax - Jason Freese, drums and rhodes - Josh Eustis
  11. When The Levee Breaks Traditional
    vocals - Maynard, guitars - Billy, bass - Billy, piano - Paz, drums - Josh
  12. Fiddle and the Drum Originally by Joni Mitchell
    vocals - Maynard

For reference, at the time of this album A Perfect Circle are:

Sleeve Art
eMOTIVe's cover is a lot less interpretive than the previous two albums. The cover has a peace symbol made of concrete that is crumbling. In the far distance a burning city can be seen. When unfolded we can see an array of billboards that carry such comforting messages as "Don't Be Concerned. Stick To Your Daily Routine" and "Keep Placid. Immerse Yourself in Work" A credit mentions that these are original World War Two posters that have been retouched by Steven R Gilmore and supplied by Northwestern University Library.
On the other side, when unfolded, there are the liner notes and, a first in any of Maynard's projects, the lyrics to Passive and Counting Bodies. On the page with the members of APC is a photo of a flock of sheep.
Interestingly, there are no examples of the Perfect Circle Alphabet that cover Mer de Noms and feature on Thirteenth Step. Further evidence that this release is not a fully fledged album?
Where Mer de Noms had a black and red CD and Thirteenth Step had green and orange, eMOTIVe is dark red and brighter red, the colours of flames or blood.

Song Meanings
Note: If you would like to contribute your feelings toward any of these songs, or you think I may be wrong, /msg me and I'll add it.

  1. Annihilation rearranged by: Billy and Maynard
    This song is Maynard whispering aggresively and rhythmically over a toy piano. Effective but not engrossing. Somewhat similar to Over. production to hasten the nation to its destruction/ it's your choice, your choice, your choice/ peace or annihilation
  2. Imagine rearranged by: Maynard
    Many people find this version of John Lennon's classic plea for peace depressing. The music is dirge-like and dark and Maynard's examples of a loving society seem far out of reach. You may say I'm a dreamer/ but I'm not the only one./ I hope some day you can join us/ and the world as one.
  3. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding rearranged by: Billy
    Billy's voice is noticably higher than Maynard's but rings over this song beautifully. The songs key question sounds more heartfelt and serious than whimsical and the listener has to ask themselves the same question. Where is the Harmony?/ sweet harmony./ Cause each time I feel it slipping away/ it just makes me want to cry
  4. What's Going On? rearranged by: Danny
    A soft song that exhorts people to talk about their differences, particularly when within the same culture and one side is attacking the other. Mother, mother, mother/ theres too many of you crying./ Brother, brother, brother,/ far too many of you dying.
  5. Passive written by: Danny, Maynard, Trent Reznor and Billy
    A song written from someone who wants a confrontation, a final reckoning, with someone else and that person has found a way to hide, ignoring the writer. Imagine if someone you had to finally confront hade gone into a coma. Frustrated and angry but slighly desperate also.
    Update: Eidolos mentions that the song could refer to people who don't use their minds, leaving the 'Dead as Dead can be' in the context of taking part in Democracy and questioning their leaders. This would fit better into the albums political themes.
    This song was written for the Tapeworm project with Trent Reznor as the song Vacant but has come out on this album, implying that Tapeworm is never to arise. Go ahead and play dead, I know that you can hear this. / Go ahead and play dead, why can't you turn and face me? / You fuckin dissappoint me.
  6. Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie rearranged by: Maynard
    A grasping greedy song, my sister thought it was Marilyn Manson for a second the first time she heard it. I know the worlds got problem/ I've got problems of my own/ they're not the kind that can be solved with an/ atom bomb
  7. People are People rearranged by: Billy
    A song that sounds very '80's' but works. Another song that asks questions, in this case why should people hate each other? I'm relying on your common decency/ so far it hasn't surfaced but I'm sure it exists/ Just takes awhile to travel from your head to your fist.
  8. Freedom of Choice rearranged by: Billy
    This song comes across as very run-of-the-mill rock. The usualy atmospheric effects that APC like use are absent. But its not bad. The song is critical of those who don't want to take part in Democracy. Freedom of Choice/ Is what you've got./ Freedom from Choice/ Is what you want.
  9. Let's Have A War rearranged by: Maynard
    A song that races along wonderfully. The vocals are varied, from the whispered repetitive "There's so many of us," the swooping "Let's have a war" to the gruff verses. Cynical and dark, this song lists false and wrong reasons for war. Let's have a war/ Jack up the Dow Jones./ Let's have a war/ We can start in New Jersey.
  10. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To the Rhythm Of The War Drums arranged by: Maynard and Danny
    This song has a familiar crunch to its rhthym. I basically see this as the renholder remix of Pet.
    Update: According to commentary on aMOTION, this is totally a new song, most of it being recorded fresh, rather than a remix. Maynard considers this as a sibling to Pet, which was mostly concerned with Drug's control over people. This song is political leaders control. I'll be the one to protect you from/ your enemies and your choices, son/ they're one and the same/ I must isolate you/ Isolate and save you from yourself
  11. When The Levee Breaks rearranged by: Billy and Maynard
    Haunting and the vocals are muted so it comes across very soft but it doesn't grab the listener because of this. It's hard to hear the lyrics also. If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break/ And the water gonna come in, have no place to stay
  12. Fiddle and the Drum rearranged by: Maynard
    My favourite song on the album. Entirely sung a capella and with layers of Maynard singing behind himself. The song is a touching plea for the change to violence to end and return to the good things that used to be. You raise your sticks and we fall/ Oh my friend, how did you come/ to trade the Fiddle for the Drum?

RECOMMENDED TRACKS:

  1. Fiddle and the Drum
  2. What's Going On
  3. Imagine
  4. Let's Have A War

This album seems similar to System of a Down's Steal this Album. It doesn't feel like a 'true' album and many people find issues with that ('They're just doing it for the money/ to get out of the contract' etc). Others seem to have issues with the political element to the songs, though most of the songs were written a long time ago and therefore do not specifically refer to contemporary events. But the songs are great in their own right and eMOTIVe should be enjoyed by most APC fans.


Sources:
www.aperfectcircle.com
www.thirteenthstep.net

E*mo"tive (?), a.

Attended by, or having the character of, emotion.

H. Brooke. -- E*mo"tive*ly, adv.

 

© Webster 1913.

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