What eventually attracted me to this music wasn't that Maynard Keenan of TOOL (a band which I had listened to a lot as a teenager but never considered to be one of my favorites) is a part of it but how he utilizes his voice on this album and couples it w/a violinist. I don't think I've ever seen or heard a man sing w/a voice of such force and energy in such a - how should I say it? - contradictory, contained way before. It's interesting how a voice w/such a soaring, huge, floating prescence can emanate from a man who barely moves his lips while singing (unless he's lip-syncing) and who adopts a poise so delicate it's almost as if he's dancing on tip-toe like a wavering puppet. So basically, when I first heard this album, I initially disliked it because I thought it was too negative and goth-ish for me, but when I heard the band perform "3 Libras" I was impressed. It was beautiful, and this album has a lot of dark energy, at times intense and at times totally melancholy, but Keenan's voice and Lenchantin's violin soften it a bit. I'm partial to the haunting quality of "3 Libras" and the fierce drive of "The Hollow." Also, as usual, Keenan has interesting ways of working out his demons and/or desires and expressing them weirdly. (Howerdel also contributes lyrically to this album). For instance, "Thinking of You," a song about obsessive sexual self-gratification, (Amazon.com won't let me use the M word here) is downright creepy. Overall, I'm more interested in the lyrics to some of his other songs from TOOL (like the song "Parabola") and from the 13th Step album than w/this one.