Secerts Behind Aenima

Topics: Maynard James Keenan, Tool, Ænima Pages: 10 (3367 words) Published: March 17, 2005

Mike Tully
English 4

TOOL, a both controversial and influential band, is considered to be one of the most unconventional in the music industry. They introduced themselves in 1992 with the album Opiate. The album contained an alternative rock sound with a lyrical content that seemed to be somewhat meaningful as well as containing the personal thoughts and opinions of the band members. As they progressed to more albums such as Undertow in 1993 and Aenima in 1996, the lyrics became deeper in meaning and the music became even more influenced by opera elements and tribal beats. After the release of Aenima many believed the band was through when lead singer Maynard James Keenan mysteriously disappeared and joined the band, Perfect Circle in 2001. The band shattered that theory when they came out with the album Lateralus. It is considered by many fans and critics to be the crowning achievement of Tool. Lateralus contains excessive elements of tribal and opera and is some of the most inspiring and unorthodox music of this generation. The album with the clearest meaning for research is Aenima. Listening to it, one will notice that there seems to be a common theme behind all the songs, each showing different aspects of a main theme. Aenima's main theme is of a message witch combines two words. The two words, anima witch means the inner self, ones soul, and the word enema witch means the injection of liquid into the rectum through the anus for cleansing. It stimulates and evacuates the bowels, as well other therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. Implying that the word aenima means the cleansing of ones soul of filth, garbage, and of the ignorance of society, by the injection of knowledge and the understanding of ones self to ascend to a higher level. The album itself is the tool, or (enema) to cleanse you inner self, the (anima) of the imperfections of society.

First, one must understand the background of this band, "TOOL was formed in 1989 by vocalist Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Paul D'Amour, and drummer Danny Carey. They are a contemporary American rock band whose music includes elements of heavy metal and art rock. Indicative of their varied and far-reaching influences, chiefly King Crimson, their music features complex harmonic structures, unconventional time signatures, and borderline New Age subject matter. They may be the only popular musical group to have recorded songs about the mutation of DNA and geometric plane curves. Just as important as the content of the albums is when basest D'Amour left the band in 1995 and was replaced by Justin Chancellor of the UK band Peach in time for Tool's 1995 album Ænima. D'Amour bought a new dynamic atmosphere to Tool. Tool has long clashed with conventional television and radio due to their dark musical content and dry disposition: Their first single from Ænima was at first shortened for radio play by broadcasting companies until overwhelming fan response compelled them to play the track uncut. The music video for that single, "Stinkfist," was consequently renamed because of the title's suggestive nature to "Track #1." Though their Ænima singles received heavy radio play, their 2001 release Lateralus featured songs that averaged six and a half minutes in length, unwieldy for even the most pioneering of commercial radio disc jockeys. Additionally, the length of their most recent music video for the song, "Parabola", clocked in at an unheard of ten and a half minutes, almost condemning it from being aired on mainstream music channels. Compounded with their aversion to appearing in their own music videos, these aspects of their collective personality make the band's popularity especially peculiar. (

Stinkfist is the first song on Aenima and is known for its sexual content. You may refer to the entire lyrics on page 1 of lyrics reference section....

Bibliography: Hall, Calvin Springer. A primer of Jungian psychology. New York: Taplinger, 1973.
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