Ænema

Last updated
"Ænema"
Tool aenema.png
Single by Tool
from the album Ænima
ReleasedAugust 9, 1997
Genre
Length6:39
Label Zoo
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) David Bottrill
Tool singles chronology
"H."
(1996)
"Ænema"
(1997)
"Forty Six & 2"
(1997)
Audio sample
Excerpt of "Ænema"

"Ænema" is a song by rock band Tool, released as the third single from their third major-label release Ænima . Adam Jones made a video for the song using stop-motion animation; it is included in the Salival boxed set. The song reached number twenty-five on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in August 1997.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Tool (band) American alternative metal band

Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Justin Chancellor has been the band's bassist since 1995, replacing their original bassist Paul D'Amour. Tool has won three Grammy Awards, performed worldwide tours, and produced albums topping the charts in several countries.

<i>Ænima</i> 1996 studio album by Tool

Ænima is the second studio album by American rock band Tool. It was released in vinyl format on September 17, 1996, and in compact disc format on October 1, 1996 through Zoo Entertainment. The album was recorded and cut at Ocean Way, Hollywood and The Hook, North Hollywood from 1995 to 1996. The album was produced by David Bottrill.

Contents

The song makes extensive use of hemiola, a musical technique in which the emphasis in a triple meter is changed to give the illusion that both a duple and a triple meter occur in the song.

In music, hemiola is the ratio 3:2. The equivalent Latin term is sesquialtera. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.

The song is cast in terminally climactic form, [1] in which two verse/chorus pairs give way to a climactic ending on new material.

Lyrical references

Keenan incorporates into the lyrics part of comedian Bill Hicks' sketch "Goodbye You Lizard Scum" from his album Arizona Bay by stating the line "learn to swim, see you down in Arizona Bay." Hicks appears in the liner notes/sleeve as a doctor, and a lenticular image below the case tray illustrates a large portion of California disappearing leaving only the Pacific Ocean, as is mentioned in the song. California falling into the sea is a prediction made by Edgar Cayce, also known as "The Sleeping Prophet," about the end of days in which California and New York are to sink into the ocean among a plethora of other devastating weather changes.

Bill Hicks American comedian

William Melvin Hicks was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist and musician. His material—encompassing a wide range of social issues including religion, politics, and philosophy—was controversial and often steeped in dark comedy.

<i>Arizona Bay</i> 1997 live album by Bill Hicks

Arizona Bay is an album by comedian Bill Hicks, posthumously released in 1997. It was released alongside Rant in E-Minor, marking three years since his death. The album's title refers to the hope that Los Angeles will one day fall into the ocean due to a major earthquake. Hicks contends that the world will be better off in L.A.'s absence:

Ahhh, it's gone, it's gone, it's gone...All the shitty shows are gone, all the idiots screaming in the fucking wind are dead, I love it...leaving nothing but a cool, beautiful serenity called Arizona Bay. That's right, when L.A. falls in the fucking ocean and is flushed away, all it will leave is Arizona Bay.

Lenticular printing

Lenticular printing is a technology in which lenticular lenses are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call LA
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away
Any fucking time, any fucking day
Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay.

In general the song is a diatribe against celebrity culture, particularly around Los Angeles. This includes everything from the Church of Scientology (with the line "Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones"), to possibly rappers ("gun-toting hip gangster wannabes"), to drug addicts, Hollywood executives and actresses whom Maynard views as scum and wishes would all be flushed down the proverbial toilet.

Church of Scientology organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of the Scientology belief system

The Church of Scientology is a multinational network and hierarchy of numerous ostensibly independent but interconnected corporate entities and other organizations devoted to the practice, administration and dissemination of Scientology, a new religious movement. Although in some countries it has attained legal recognition as a religion, the movement has been the subject of a number of controversies, and has been accused by critics of being both a cult and a commercial enterprise.

L. Ron Hubbard American science fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was an American author of science fiction and fantasy stories, and the founder of the Church of Scientology. In 1950, Hubbard authored Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and established a series of organizations to promote Dianetics. In 1952, Hubbard lost the rights to Dianetics in bankruptcy proceedings, and he subsequently founded Scientology. Thereafter Hubbard oversaw the growth of the Church of Scientology into a worldwide organization. Hubbard was cited by Smithsonian magazine as one of the 100 most significant Americans of all time.

The title of the song is an amalgam of the words "Anima", "Enema" and perhaps also "Æon". "Æon" is featured in the works of Aleister Crowley. "Anima", Carl Jung's concept of the female persona found in males, is evoked by Keenan in the lines:

Aleister Crowley English poet, mountaineer, and occultist

Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

Carl Jung Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Also:

Learn to swim.

In addition to being a humorous aside, this line can be seen as a metaphoric command to abandon the materialism Keenan sees in Angeleno culture and learn to navigate the 'feminine' unconscious. The ocean is a traditional symbol for the 'feminine' (mother ocean, etc.) and also for the vast latent psychological energies postulated in the models of Freud and Jung:

Cause I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom, please flush it all away.
I wanna see it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

In this sense the 'ground' can be seen as the 'Ego' in Freud's terminology. Here the 'Ego' has become hopelessly corrupted and needs to be subsumed, drowned and absorbed by the unconscious so it can be resurrected in a new form on the shores of 'Arizona Bay'. This point was reiterated on Tool's follow up album in the song "Reflection": "I must crucify the ego before it's far too late"

The occult use of the word "Enema" in the title again poetically communicates what Keenan believes to be the 'shithole' nature of the culture of Los Angeles that can only be cured by destructive and ultimately transformative 'feminine' energy.

Just when Maynard's ranting becomes hopelessly misanthropic and no interpretation is possible but that of a prayer for an old testament-scale destruction of a modern-day Sodom by a great Goddess, Keenan gives the listener a hint to the metaphorical nature of the language:

Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.
I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

During the period the song was written, Keenan abandoned Los Angeles for Arizona – ironically a landscape with even less literal water/rain/tidal forces than Los Angeles – which is perhaps another hint that Keenan's apocalyptic deluge is symbolic: the ending of one consciousness/value system/Weltanschauung and the emergence of a new one. One possible interpretation is that the lyrics are nothing more than a description of a purely internal drama during a transitional time in the author's life. [2]

Music video

Adam Jones directed the video for "Ænema" which features stop-motion animation with art design by Cam de Leon. The video revolves around a humanoid figure with alien-like features. Throughout the video the character ventures through an aquatic world. A hose-like organ (resembling an umbilical cord) which squirts out water protrudes from its abdomen and fills the room in which the figure stands. Towards the end of the video a human character wearing business attire tosses the figure in a water-filled box.

Track listing

No.TitleLength
1."Ænema" (P.M. version)6:39
2."Ænema" (A.M. version)6:39

Awards

Tool received the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for "Ænema", at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998. [3]

Chart performance

Chart (1997)Peak
position
US Mainstream Rock ( Billboard ) [4] 25

Related Research Articles

<i>Enema of the State</i> 1999 studio album by Blink-182

Enema of the State is the third studio album by American rock band Blink-182, released on June 1, 1999 by MCA Records. After a long series of performances at various clubs and festivals and several indie recordings throughout the 1990s, Blink-182 first achieved popularity on the Warped Tour and in Australia following the release of their sophomore effort Dude Ranch (1997) and its rock radio hit "Dammit". To record their third album, Blink-182 turned to veteran punk rock producer Jerry Finn, who previously worked on Green Day's breakthrough album Dookie (1994). Enema was the band's first album to feature second drummer Travis Barker, who replaced original drummer Scott Raynor.

<i>Lateralus</i> 2001 studio album by Tool

Lateralus is the third studio album by American rock band Tool. It was released on May 15, 2001 through Volcano Entertainment. The album was recorded at Cello Studios in Hollywood and The Hook, Big Empty Space, and The Lodge, in North Hollywood, between October 2000 and January 2001. David Bottrill, who had produced the band's two previous releases Ænima and Salival, produced the album along with the band. On August 23, 2005, Lateralus was released as a limited edition two-picture-disc vinyl LP in a holographic gatefold package.

Tenacious D American band

Tenacious D is an American comedy rock duo, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1994. It was founded by actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass, who were part of The Actors' Gang theater company at the time. The duo's name is derived from "tenacious defense" - a phrase used by NBA basketball sportscaster Marv Albert.

Maynard James Keenan American musician

James Herbert Keenan, known professionally as Maynard James Keenan or MJK, is an American singer songwriter and the vocalist for the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

Whats My Age Again? 1999 single by blink-182

"What's My Age Again?" is a song by American rock band Blink-182. It was released in April 1999 as the lead single from the group's third studio album, Enema of the State (1999). The song, written primarily by bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus, lyrically revolves around the onset of age and maturity, and the failure to implement changes in behavior. A mid-tempo pop punk song, it was written by Hoppus based on personal experience. It was originally titled "Peter Pan Complex", an allusion to the pop-psychology concept, but MCA Records forced the band to retitle the song, as the label found it too obscure a reference. It was the first Blink-182 single to feature drummer Travis Barker.

All the Small Things single

"All the Small Things" is a song by the American rock band Blink-182. It was the second single released from the band's third album Enema of the State (1999). The track was composed primarily by guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge as an ode to his then girlfriend. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Jerry Finn, the song was created with the intention of shipping it to radio, as the trio felt they needed a single "really catchy and basic."

You Make Me Wanna... 1997 single by Usher

"You Make Me Wanna..." is a song by American recording artist Usher. It was released by LaFace Records and Arista Records as the lead single from Usher's second studio album, My Way on August 12, 1997. "You Make Me Wanna..." was written by Usher along with Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal, who both produced the tune. An R&B, soul and pop ballad in C minor, it makes use of acoustic guitar, hi-hat and bell instrumentation. The song focuses on a love triangle relationship, with the protagonist wishing to leave his girlfriend for his erstwhile best friend, with a hook in which Usher states, "You make me wanna leave the one I'm with and start a new relationship with you". The record won a Billboard Music Award, a Soul Train Music Award, and a WQHT Hip Hop Award, and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Puscifer band

Puscifer is an American rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles by Maynard James Keenan, known as the lead singer of the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. As Keenan is the only permanent member, he considers the project to be his "creative subconscious." In light of this, Puscifer is considered a pseudonym for his solo work.

Caduceus Cellars winery

Caduceus Cellars is a winery in Jerome, Arizona, United States. It is owned by Maynard James Keenan, who is best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool. He is descended from Northern Italian winemakers. While the winery is named after caduceus, an ancient symbol for commerce and staff of the Greek god Hermes, the vineyard is named Merkin Vineyards, after a pubic wig (merkin).

Tool discography Discography of the band Tool

The discography of American rock band Tool consists of four studio albums, one compilation album, two extended plays, four video albums, thirteen singles and eight music videos.

Adam Jones (musician) musician

Adam Thomas Jones is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American musician and visual artist, best known for his position as the guitarist for Tool. Jones has been rated the 75th Greatest Guitarist of all time by the Rolling Stone and placed ninth in Guitar World's Top 100 Greatest metal Guitarists. Jones is also the director of the majority of Tool's music videos.

Flying Lotus American electronic music producer

Steven Ellison, known by his stage name Flying Lotus or sometimes FlyLo, is an American record producer, musician, DJ, filmmaker, and rapper from Los Angeles, California. He is also the founder of the record label Brainfeeder.

Tyler, the Creator American rapper, record producer and music video director from California

Tyler Gregory Okonma, known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, and fashion designer. He rose to prominence as the co-founder and de facto leader of alternative hip hop collective Odd Future, and has performed on and produced songs for nearly every Odd Future release. Okonma has created all the artwork for the group's releases and has also designed the group's clothing and other merchandise. As a solo artist, Okonma has released one mixtape and five studio albums, often handling most or all production himself.

Dont You Wanna Stay 2010 single by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

"Don't You Wanna Stay" is a duet recorded by American singers Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. It was written by Andy Gibson, Paul Jenkins, and Jason Sellers. It was released as the second single from Aldean's fourth album My Kinda Party, following Aldean's and Clarkson's performance on the 44th annual Country Music Association Awards on November 10, 2010 due to strong demands of radio stations. The song contains elements of country and pop, and its lyrics speak of the difficulties of finding and maintaining love.

Swim Good 2011 single by Frank Ocean

"Swim Good" is a song by American singer Frank Ocean, released as the second single from his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra (2011). The song was written by Ocean alongside producers Midi Mafia and Charles Gambetta. It features additional vocals by fellow Odd Future member Tyler, The Creator. The song explores the topic of romantic baggage, guilt and utilizes several metaphors. Lyrically, the song expresses a narrative about a man who, burdened with many failed relationships, ends his life by driving into the ocean. The track explores tropes of the tragic love story and suicide. The song received positive reviews from music critics, who praised Ocean's vocals and the song's dark subject matter.

Fabbien Nahounou, better known as Paperboy Fabe is an American, Grammy Award Nominated, R&B, hip hop, and contemporary music producer. Paperboy Fabe is from Hartford, Connecticut and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Fabe is best known for his production on Cyhi Da Prynce “Studda”, Game “Do It B.I.G” Feat Yung Joc, & Cyhi Da Prynce “Thousand Poundz” Feat Pusha T & Pill, and developing Bibi Bourelly's sound.

References

  1. Osborn, Brad (2013). "Subverting the Verse–Chorus Paradigm: Terminally Climactic Forms in Recent Rock Music". Music Theory Spectrum. 35 (1): 45.
  2. 33 Things You Should Know About Tool Article on Blender :: The Ultimate Guide to Music and More Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Morse, Steve (January 7, 1998). "Paula Cole a leader in Grammys" (fee required). The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  4. "Tool Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.