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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

April 28, 2005
DVD Rating: 8.5/10
Remix CD Rating: 6/10

Ever since his earliest of days leading Tool, James Maynard Keenan has alluded to a dark and intriguing sense of artistic creativity. Not only does he weave graphic tales through morally and psychologically insightful lyrics, but also through his approach and direction in album artwork and music videos. Now both facets of his colorful imagination can be explored in full with A Perfect Circle's DVD and remix CD package, aMotion.

The DVD portion is the main draw to this collection. On exhibit are nine A Perfect Circle music videos, additional commentary for almost each video from both Keenan and the band's guitarist/co-songwriter Billy Howerdel, still frames, and bonus video cuts. The first three videos ("Judith," "3 Libras," and "Weak and Powerless") are the most artistically invested and thought-provoking of the bunch. In each of the three, the commentary from Howerdel and Keenan also show that the members put the most conceptual focus into them. Maynard tells that "Judith" is a song about his mother, who was paralyzed and ridiculed by those that claimed to support her, and the fraudulent nature embedded in modern religious practices. For the same song, Howerdel separately speaks more directly of writing the song in one night and the long process of shooting the video. Both speak in depth and intelligently enough to give both casual fans and A Perfect Circle fan club vice presidents invaluable insight into the group.

Almost all of the videos have a unique direction as crafted by working with a cast of different directors. "Judith" and "The Noose" are live performance videos, "3 Libras" and "Weak and Powerless" are poetically artistic renderings of ideas from Keenan, "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums" and "Imagine" (a John Lennon cover) are Radiohead/System of a Down-esqe over-the-top political commentaries, "Blue" is an Edgar Allen Poe storyline created by a video contest winner, and then there are "The Outsider" and "Thinking of You." These last two videos seem out of line with the entire way of thinking inspired from the band. Both are Bikini Bandit styled shorts, with silicon-crafted, bikini-clad femmes as the main characters who are entrenched in lives of social deviancy. When you hear Keenan's commentary on these two videos it surrenders his mysterious reputation and shows that he is a normal type of guy too, enjoying overacted, goofy shtick as well as the politically and morally relevant themes.

An accompanying remix CD of aMotion is definitely with its lures but does not match the level set by the DVD. The production team is loaded with big names: Nine Inch Nails associate Danny Lohner, Telefon Tel Aviv'er Joshua Eustis, Limp Bizkit's Wes Borland, Massive Attack, and Smashing Pumpkin's James Iha. Just as the music videos, each of these collaborators brings their own style to shake the texture of the original songs. Borland, Eustis, and Lohner take "Weak and Poweless 'Tilling My Grave Renholder' Mix" to a similar place as the original song. Others like James Iha's work with "The Outsider" are similar in their proximity to the initial creation. Then there are remixes by Lohner and Eustis for "Judith" and "3 Libras" that sound as if they were industrial, glitchy interpretations from Trent Reznor. These two, along with Massive Attack's touch on "3 Libras 'All Main Courses' Mix," have enough personality to make them notable, although without having the 'mix' label they would simply be viewed as filler material.

The entire package is put together very nicely, with the inclusion of a lyrics and credit book that ties everything together. Definitely obtain this collection to see the creatively visual element behind the band but do not put too much stock into the names behind the remix CD.

SEE ALSO: www.aperfectcircle.com
SEE ALSO: www.virginrecords.com

--
Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other articles by Josh Zanger.

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