Emotive (album)

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A Perfect Circle - eMOTIVe.jpg
Studio album by A Perfect Circle
Released November 1, 2004
Genre Alternative rock
Length 48:13
Label Virgin
Producer Billy Howerdel, Maynard James Keenan (exec.)
A Perfect Circle chronology
Thirteenth Step
Singles from Emotive
  1. "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums"
    Released: September 28, 2004
  2. "Imagine"
    Released: 2004
  3. "Passive"
    Released: 2005
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 62/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
E! Online B+[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]
Blender 3/5 stars[6]

Emotive (stylized as eMOTIVe) is the third album by American rock supergroup A Perfect Circle. The album is primarily a collection of anti-war cover songs. It was released on November 1, 2004 via Virgin Records to coincide with the US presidential election.


The album contains ten political cover songs, and two original songs. Of the two original songs, one of them is "Passive", a version of the song "Vacant", by the ex-group Tapeworm. The song was created by Keenan, Danny Lohner, Trent Reznor, and others for the defunct Tapeworm project.[7] Tapeworm never released a studio version, but A Perfect Circle has played the song live since 2001. The other original song was "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums", which was originally perceived to be a remix of the song "Pet", from Thirteenth Step. Maynard James Keenan spoke about this song on aMOTION and insists that it is not a remix, but rather a second part of "Pet". The lyrical content of "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums" is similar to that in "Pet", but the delivery and staging of the vocals vary, reflecting the political tones of the album. An animated music video for this song was seen on the band's website.[8]

Frontman Maynard James Keenan stated of the release:

"Look, clearly I'm supporting anyone but Bush in this upcoming election, but I'm not telling anyone who to vote for with this new album. I'm still just trying to encourage people to think for themselves…to stop buying into this absurdity and rampant fear. But even that message has been somehow edited over the last four fucking years and it pisses me off. How can simple message of 'get off your ass and educate yourself' be turned into a reason to dismiss our efforts? We're speaking our minds. We're following our hearts.[9]

Release and promotion[edit]

The band did not tour in support of the album, due to entering a hiatus shortly after its release.[10][11]


Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, Emotive received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 62, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 12 reviews.[1] Adam Sweeting of The Guardian gave the album a four-star review, stating: "Cover versions are often hobbled by the artist's inability to step outside the original and find a fresh perspective, but some of these treatments verge on the visionary."[4] David Fricke of Rolling Stone labeled the album as "eccentric", while noting that the band "revisits classic protest hits, jacking up the terror by throwing out iconic arrangements and performing heretical surgery on the melodies."[5]

Nevertheless, Rob Theakston of AllMusic was mixed in his review, stating that "Emotive falls flat and fails to raise the bar set so high by the quality of their previous two releases." He also criticized the style of the album and wrote: "A Perfect Circle work their way through 12 songs that would almost be unrecognizable in their current arrangement if one weren't familiar with the original versions of each song."[2]

Commercial performance[edit]

Emotive debuted on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at number 2 behind the various artists compilation Now 17. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on December 9, 2004, indicating half of a million units sold.[12]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Annihilation" (Crucifix cover) 2:13
2. "Imagine" (John Lennon cover) 4:48
3. "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" (Nick Lowe cover) 5:03
4. "What's Going On" (Marvin Gaye cover) 4:53
5. "Passive" (written by Lohner / Keenan / Reznor / Howerdel) 4:09
6. "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie" (Black Flag cover) 2:18
7. "People Are People" (Depeche Mode cover) 3:43
8. "Freedom of Choice" (Devo cover) 2:59
9. "Let's Have a War" (Fear cover) 3:28
10. "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums" (written by Howerdel / Keenan) 5:36
11. "When the Levee Breaks" (Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy cover) 5:55
12. "Fiddle and the Drum" (Joni Mitchell cover) 3:06


A Perfect Circle[edit]

  • Josh Freese - drums (2–9, 11)
  • Billy Howerdel - guitar (1–6, 8, 11), bass (2, 4, 8, 11), piano (1), harmonium (6), keyboards (1, 7), programming (1, 3, 7), backing vocals (2, 5, 10), lead vocals (3, 4, 7, 8), production, engineering, mixing, rearrangement (1, 3, 7, 8, 11)
  • James Iha - guitar (7), keyboards (7), programming (7)
  • Maynard James Keenan - lead vocals (1, 2, 4–6, 9–12), backing vocals (7, 8), piano (2), arranger, production (exec.), rearrangement (1, 2, 6, 9–12)
  • Paz Lenchantin - piano (2, 5, 11), strings (2, 3)
  • Danny Lohner - bass (5, 6, 9), guitar (5, 9), arranger, keyboards (1), programming (1), backing vocals (6, 7, 10), producer, engineer, mixing, rearrangement (4, 10), instrumentation (10)
  • Jeordie White - bass (7)

Additional musicians[edit]


  • Critter - engineering
  • Steve Duda - digital engineering
  • Steven R. Gilmore - design, photography, sleeve art, poster design
  • John Giustina - photography
  • David Mattix - assistant engineering
  • Matt Mitchell - digital engineering
  • Andy Wallace - mixing


Year Chart Position
2004 The Billboard 200 2
Top Canadian Albums[13] 5
Top Internet Albums 2
Year Single Chart Position
2004 "Imagine" Mainstream Rock Tracks[14] 26
Alternative Songs[15] 26
"Passive" Mainstream Rock Tracks[14] 14
Alternative Songs[15] 14


  1. ^ a b "A Perfect Circle - Emotive on Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Theakston, Rob. Album review A Perfect Circle eMOTIVe at AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  3. ^ "eonline.com". Retrieved June 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)[dead link]
  4. ^ a b Adam Sweeting (October 29, 2004). "A Perfect Circle, Emotive". The Guardian. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Fricke, David (November 11, 2004). "Album Reviews: A Perfect Circle - Emotive". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (November 2, 2004). "eMOTIVe". Blender. Archived from the original on November 11, 2010. 
  7. ^ Trent Reznor (February 26, 2005). "Access". nin.com. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Political perfect-ion!". NME. October 21, 2004. Retrieved February 1, 2008. 
  9. ^ "A PERFECT CIRCLE Frontman: 'Almost Every Interview I've Done In Last Four Years Was Censored'". 25 October 2004. 
  11. ^ http://loudwire.com/maynard-james-keenan-interview-puscifer-a-perfect-circle-tool/
  12. ^ https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/?tab_active=default-award&se=A+Perfect+Circle#search_section
  13. ^ "A Perfect Circle - Top Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "A Perfect Circle - Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "A Perfect Circle - Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]