To cheer myself up, I decided to post about some awesome music. Not just any great music (I could go on forever about wonderful music that you've all heard about already), but music that should be far better known than it is. Since there is so much of it, I will just start with a single album - Mer de Noms by A Perfect Circle.
I was really unsure what to think when I heard about this album coming out. I was a great fan of the progressive metal band Tool, but only the singer Maynard James Keenan was going to be a part of APC. The band formed when Maynard heard some of the music written by one of Tool's guitar tech's, Billy Howerdel. Billy wrote the songs with a female singer in mind, but Maynard loved them enough to offer to sing.
Maynard is perhaps the greatest musical genius of our times. He has a magical way with vocals - the ability to soar with choir boy beauty one moment and scream like nothing you've heard in another, but all in perfect timing and pitch for the needs of the music.
The funny thing about this first album was that I listened to some of it (basically the singles that were released to the radio) and wasn't impressed, so I put it on my 'to sell' pile. I actually had it in a pile at a yard sale when something made me decide to give it one more try. I'm so glad that I did, because it has become one of my all-time favorite albums. The problem was that the songs they chose to release as singles were just the so-so ones. Once I gave the other songs a few listens I was blown away by their beauty. I still cannot believe that I nearly gave up on one of the greatest rock albums ever.
The best song is 'Thomas', with a gorgeous mix of soft, pretty music and chorusing voices ramping up to some amazing grungy riffs. Also worthy of five stars in my iTunes are 'Magdalena', 'Thinking of You', and 'Sleeping Beauty'.
If you can get into heavy metal music performed by intellectuals, give both Tool and APC a chance. Listen to the songs a few times, as these ones need to simmer a bit. You won't regret it.
Spring: N M Browne
50 minutes ago