eMOTIVe – A Perfect Circle

Must Have

So yeah. I was doing some reading on their site, as well as a few fansites. There was alot of speculation on some sort of contractual obligation the group may have had with their publisher to produce a third album or whatever. Before purchasing, I was completely convinced that a “covers album” coming from them would be, while perhaps musically pretty good, of somewhat low production value, and perhaps also hastily pushed out the door.

I’m pleased to say that this is simply not the case. This is a tasty piece of work. Production value is excellent, having been handled artfully by Billy Howerdel. The general theme (appropriately timed) is all about the evils of War. While all of them are good, several of the songs stand out in particular.

The remake of “Imagine” (John Lennon) is dark and somber, definitely setting a different tone from the original. It almost gives the song a whole different message, just by changing the tone. “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye) is also done in a completely downbeat mode, slowing the song down and making it almost heart-wrenchingly sad. “People are People” (Depeche Mode) was a particular treat for me, since I was a huge fan of DM growing up. In particular note about this one is that the original song is almost completely gone. If you were to listen to just the tune of it, you would never even know what it was. As soon as the vocals begin, though, it becomes obvious, and man, what a great variation.

Finally, to finish off the list is “Fiddle and the Drum” (Joni Mitchell). Holy shit this is good. I can’t compare it to the original since I haven’t heard that. It was both re-arranged by and sung by (all voices harmonized) Maynard. I have to say, this is just a masterpiece. I’ve had several … I’ll call them ‘episodes’ of listening to just this song (all 3 minutes of it) over and over for 20 or 30 minutes. It is completely haunting and melodic. And the lyrics (thanks Joni!!) are masterful and poignant. Phew.

Anyway, I was awed. A definite must have.

[xrr rating=8.5/10]