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Thirteenth Step Image

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

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Universal acclaim- based on 153 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).

Top Track

The Outsider
Help me if you can It's just that this, this is not the way I'm wired, So could you please Help me understand why You've given in to all... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Alternative Press
    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. Entertainment Weekly
    [The] band's winding, off-kilter rhythms and contrapuntal guitar riffs create an ominous atmosphere. [19 Sep 2003, p.86]
  5. Sounds more like the dusky thrum of Disintegration-era Cure than it does any of the members' previous bands.
  6. Mojo
    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]
  7. Blender
    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 73
  2. Negative: 2 out of 73
  1. Oct 5, 2014
    This album is amazing. Every song has so much meaning and depth to it and they all sound and feel amazing. A Perfect Circle's best album completely...
  2. StevieJ
    Jun 12, 2004
    Beautiful i love Pet I love APC
  3. JackieP
    Oct 3, 2003
  4. brankl
    Dec 26, 2006
    Very good album. Almost ties Mer De Noms but still not as good.
  5. EricY
    Sep 23, 2003
    Another fantastic album. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. How can you not? Maynard rules and so does this album.
  6. Jan 13, 2022
    Some of the music on this album is really outstanding. As in some of the best heavy rock music ever produced (Vanishing, Gravity). OtherSome of the music on this album is really outstanding. As in some of the best heavy rock music ever produced (Vanishing, Gravity). Other tracks are very, very good (The Package, Weak and Powerless, The Noose, Pet). The problem is the rest are either filler (Blue, Crimes), kind of irritating to listen to because they don't fit with the style of the other tracks (The Nurse Who Loved Me, Lullaby), or reminiscent of other tracks (A Stranger is very nice but the melody is very similar to The Package). The Outsider and A Stranger are tracks I would say are good but not great.

    Putting aside the individual tracks for a moment to look at how the album works as a whole, I would say well but not perfectly. The songs are tied together by the theme of addiction and many of them explore this theme very poignantly. The mood of the music fits the meaning of Maynard's words eerily well. Musically, though, not all of the tracks fit with the overall mood of the album. The greatest offender here is The Nurse, but also Lullaby which seems to be a rather naive attempt at Trip Hop.

    Objectively, Thirteenth Step probably deserves an 8 but because some of the songs on here are just so damn amazing, I give it 9.
  7. RickS
    Oct 16, 2003
    Well what can i say about Thirteenth Step, well for one, its generally dull, very boring and not at all what i expected.. Although i liked Well what can i say about Thirteenth Step, well for one, its generally dull, very boring and not at all what i expected.. Although i liked the first album(which wasn't that great but still good) I found that a perfect circle is somewhat trying too hard...Alot of the songs on thirteenth step are very weak, some songs come off as if they were trying to make the band a Mainstream TOOL, which for me(yes me) is repetitive and doesn't work.. The band itself is not really finding there style, songs like the outsider, weak and powerless, and gravity seem to have its own sound, but the rest of the album does not have a sense of uniqueness.... I really wanted to like this album(borrowing it from my friend countless times) but in the end i could only listen to prob 2 or 3 songs which i got tired of pretty off quickly, some songs were just too boring and somewhat annoying to listen through...The music doesn?t build like so many tool songs(yes i know there two different bands) and No i'm not tool freak.. While Maynard is very good on the vocal standpoint, the guitar riffs and bass was shallow, i did enjoy the work of the drums though.. Overall its like what Michael said " Between this album and Mer De Noms, you have one great album.. But I think its listen -able AT BEST Expand

See all 73 User Reviews