Label: Virgin Records
Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan's side project, A Perfect Circle, overachieves on their second record, which -- in keeping with the title and some of the lingo -- is an opus about recovering from recovery. While the concept may be a little murky, the musicianship is not, what with Marilyn Manson bassist Twiggy Ramirez joining this warlocks' coven with his addiction and Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha as spiritual advisor. Gone is much of the dirty, distorted guitar from their debut, Mers de Noms, replaced with a cleaner, moodier sound that is a perfect match to Keenan's pained laments about loss, surrender and redemption. But the star of the show is the baroque comic relief of "The Nurse That Loved Me."