With this album, Maynard has put together an eclectic collection of songs that accurately depicts what he considers to be like “Twin Peaks in the desert.”
While I don’t feel like Keenan is necessarily treading on new ground here, he still, nonetheless, has crafted something special that has slowly made its way as one of my favorite albums of the year so far.
First, I have to admit that I was somewhat underwhelmed when I first listened to Conditions of My Parole. I’m not sure if it was my particular mood at the time or the fact that I have been so giddy with excitement to listen to. Either way, I would say that after the first listen I was disappointed and almost ready to move on to the other pile of tunes begging to be listened to and reviewed.
I kept listening though. I’m an enormous fan of all things Maynard and also must admit that the first Puscifer record was a slow starter for me as well. While that album is still much harder to get into at times, this new outing is much more accessible. As I kept listening I kept finding new bits and pieces and hooks and beats that continued to intrigue me and begged to be listened to again. Like in the song, ‘Monsoons’ where a simple percussive beat that might be a spoon tapping an empty wine bottle has a simple and raw energy to it.
This album is full of layers like this that keep my attention rapt with every new listen and the more I do listen to the album the more I enjoy what I’m hearing and look forward to finding new discoveries.
So yes, while the album has been a slow burn for me, the burn has been an exciting one and has ended up exceeding my expectations for what Mr. Maynard James Keenan is capable of. While I, like many others, are still anxiously waiting for the next Tool record to be released, Conditions of My Parole more than satiates my thirst and is easily one of my favorite albums of the year.
Album Rating: 4.5 / 5
Album Review By: Mark.HaTe