Faced with stiff criticism due to the much-hyped frontman, A Perfect Circle has found both a blessing and a curse in Keenan, of Tool fame. Whilst Keenan has brought in numerous fans with his participation, he has also brought an unfair comparison: A Perfect Circle is not Tool. A lead singer does not a band make. But, with eloquent, brooding lyrics, exquisite vocals, and above-average musical content, Mer De Noms is a strong start for this promising new band. The standout songs, such as “Magdalena”, “Three Libras”, and “Rose”, offer hauntingly powerful music which carries the desperate intensity of Keenan’s singing well. Though there are some skippable tracks – some songs may linger or fail to catch you – the album pleases more than not, and won’t leave you wondering why you didn’t just download that one song you liked on mp3. Considering the shaky MTV-fed cash cow music bloating the industry, I think it’s about time I’ve felt good about buying a CD to support talented musicians worth my money. Give it a listen and decide for yourself.