Thirteenth Step - A Perfect Circle
Thirteenth Step Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 114 Ratings

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  • Summary: Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan's side project returns with a second LP on which he's backed by Jeordie "Twiggy Ramirez" White (Marilyn Manson), Billy Howerdel (Tool's guitar tech) and Josh Freese (Guns N' Roses).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Once again, A Perfect Circle have quietly produced a masterpiece that challenges the very nature of testosterone-fueled angst. [Nov 2003, p.110]
  2. Thirteenth Step is the sound of a musical and lyrical maturity that normally doesn't occur until a band's third or fourth albums.
  3. Granted, Step doesn't have anything as effortlessly flawless as the classic single "Judith" from the band's last album, but it does have a number of songs ("Blue," "The Outsider") that are almost as bombastically beautiful.
  4. [The] band's winding, off-kilter rhythms and contrapuntal guitar riffs create an ominous atmosphere. [19 Sep 2003, p.86]
  5. 70
    With greater degrees of deliberate construction than Mers De Noms, Thirteenth Step is more cohesive band effort, less ad hoc side project. [Nov 2003, p.132]
  6. Sounds more like the dusky thrum of Disintegration-era Cure than it does any of the members' previous bands.
  7. 40
    This is a classic 1970s-style headphones record that is both arty and unusually undisciplined. [Nov 2003, p.108]

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 71
  2. Negative: 2 out of 71
  1. Feb 27, 2014
    If any album ever should get the attention of anyone who has ever had a problem, this is the one. The whole album is about the overcoming of struggle of drug abuse. Drug abuse can be interpreted into many different things in life. This album has helped me so much though out the years, and still does. I feel this is APC's best work. I am very grateful for this album. I made an account just to express this. Thank you! Take a listen, close your eyes, and fix yourself :) Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2010
    It's hard to objectively review an album that launched several of my favorite songs of all time and pretty much defined my years as a young adolescent, but it's still just as good as it was seven years ago. Haunting lyrics combined with bittersweet melodies results in a sound that isn't just "Tool Lite" but carves its own trail. Expand
  3. Sep 25, 2010
    usually when i first listen to keenans work, it takes a few listens before it leaves a lasting impression. not w/ 13th step, it immediately reeled me in. this album trudges through thick and thin addiction, suicide, and everything around and in between. but it also leaves you with a positive message of hope and satisfication, w/ the last song on the record titled, "gravity" a song about humbleness and healing from your mistakes & diseases. "i choose to live" - mjk. Expand
  4. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    A very good album with a dark atmosphere and rock tunes that'll kick your teeth in. They definitely built off their awesome debut Mer de Noms with great tracks like 'Weak and Powerless', 'The Outsider', and 'The Nurse Who Loved Me'. Expand
  5. Apr 14, 2012
    One of the best albums I've ever listened to. A Perfect Circle is my favorite band, and this is arguably their best album. Only Mer de Noms could be considered better. It's a great mix of soft rock (The Noose) and all out metal (Pet). The album also has underlying tones that can be perceived in different ways. The songs almost tell a story when listened to in order, one after the other. My only problems with it are that The Package drags on too long and The Nurse Who Loved Me is just terrible and it doesn't fit with the rest of the album (besides story wise). I don't think Maynard was ready to make a love song yet. Expand
  6. Dec 2, 2011
    Such an amazing album, with tracks such as Blue, The Noose and Pet the ones which really stood out for me in this album, It's certainly an alternative to Tool, but you'd never know they were related to each other if you heard any of them for the first time. Collapse
  7. Apr 10, 2013
    Musical its boring, unimaginative radio rock. Much less inspired than Keenan's work with Tool. The lyrics can be pretty ridiculous at times too. You might as swell just listen to their debut. Expand

See all 71 User Reviews