Pumpkins - Adore
two points of view on this album here for you to check out.
The first was by someone not comparing the new work to their
older, giving it a fresh look, and avoiding any connotation
"Smashing Pumpkins" may imply in the mind of a previous
fan. The second was by a fan of the earlier, grunge-rock sound
of the Pumpkins, pre-Adore.
the Smashing Pumpkins prove that the reason they have risen
above the ashes of grunge's demise is that they have always
been focused on the music rather than the image. The last
disc, 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
was a sprawling, two disc, two-and-a-half hour opus that was
for the most part worthy of its length, but had it been trimmed
down to its better half it probably would have stood the test
of time a bit better. "Adore" has no such problem - lead singer
and songwriter Billy Corgan is reported to be a songwriting
machine, shockingly cutting their current tour short to work
on another record this fall, and there were undoubtedly hours
of material that could have stretched this CD into another
double set. But Corgan wisely chose to consolidate and pick
a cycle of songs that fit together, and what he and the Pumpkins
came up with is an even better album than Mellon Collie.
of the blistering Pumpkins' angst anthems on their first three
CDs will have to wait at least a few months - "Adore" is mostly
a quiet storm, but such an intense one that you hardly notice.
We've now come to expect no less than perfection from Billy
Corgan in writing and singing his dark tales of loneliness;
yes, it does get pretentious at times, but he just does it
so well it doesn't matter. A song like "Shame" is so simple
- words like "you're gonna walk on home / you're gonna walk
alone / you're gonna walk so far / you're gonna wonder who
you are" make the song kind of a gothic nursery rhyme, but
combine it with a mesmerizing slightly-out-of-tune guitar
hook and you have an instant Pumpkins classic.
spite there being very little in the way of upbeat tunes,
there's an amazing amount of variety here. "Perfect" is an
irresistible slice of candy-coated pop, "Once Upon a Time"
is a catchy, almost bluesy dirge, "The Tale of Dusty and Pistol
Pete" adds a sing-along, countryish element to the Pumpkins
repertoire, and "Appels & Oranjes" (which would make a great
single) is a cute list of "what if"s over a new wave beat
that's almost (but not quite) danceable. The album's third
to last track, and ultimately its centerpiece, is "For Martha,"
a fantastic whisper-to-a-scream, Stairway-to-Heaven-emulating
ballad that gets better with every listen. The abrupt left
turns on the guitar solo are like nothing that has been recorded
before, and more than make up for the lack of trademark Pumpkins
guitar work on most of the songs. With the exception of the
rather crude "Ava Adore" which doesn't really fit too well,
every song offers something completely different and unique.
Adore some patience and it will ultimately be your
go-to CD for when you feel contemplative and philosophic.
Some may accuse the Smashing Pumpkins' music of excessive
self-indulgence, and they would probably be right, but there
are few groups around these days who can channel their indulgence
so well. You can sell your pain all you want Billy, this reviewer
will keep buying it.
the New Beatmaster Please Raise His Hand?
has been called "The 90's White Album". This
is due to the major changes the Pumpkins have gone through
in the music on this album. Gone are the nasal, angered
lyrics of past. For, Corgan has found beauty - or at
least he thinks. This is a new Pumpkins. They
realize AlternaRock and Grunge are things of the past.
So, they leave them in the past. We no longer have any
of the screaming inherent on tracks such as "Cherub Rock"
or "Bullet With Butterfly Wings". Corgan has
left that behind.
the first listen of this album, one can see the changes.
In fact, one can notice the change with the first lyrics offered.
Corgan begins the album singing "Twilight Fades"
and in these two simple words, the listener can see he or
she is in for a different kind of musical experience than
what is normally expected of these rock icons along with their
leader - the so-called "King of Alternative Rock".
you are at all familiar with the Smashing Pumpkins, you know
that a few years ago their keyboardist died of a heroin overdose
and drummer, Jimmy Chamberlain, was kicked out of the band
for drug abuse as well. They enlisted help of Filter's
drummer and a keyboardist from The Frogs to finish their tour
in support of Mellon Collie and the Inifite Sadness.
With the loss of these influences, we see a major change
in the Pumpkins' music. (You may have noticed neither
of the two members have been replaced on the new album).
Instead of the grunge/alternative rock we have becomed accustomed
to hearing from the Smashing Pumpkins, we instead are introduced
to a new sound. This new sound includes a mix of drum
machines, beatboxes, electronic samples, and acoustic guitar.
It is not something that has been done yet - exactly.
we have already heard acoustic guitar. We have already
heard electronic drum beats. What Corgan does here is
nothing new. It is new for the Pumpkins, and at the
time they decided to go this route it was cutting edge.
This album is just released to late for it to take the world
by storm. Many may argue that Corgan is selling out,
this is not true, as you can tell he is much more comfortable
in the position he is in now than that which he held previously.
The album is produced very beautifully - props go out to Corgan
for that one. But there is no denying that it is just
not anything too exciting. Previous fans of the band
may be displeased by the new music, not a definite, but a
possibility. It is much the same as with the new Metallica
music scene has changed, and their style of music is no longer
the "hip" thing. So, if Corgan raised his
hand - put it down. You definitely are not the new BeatMaster.
4.5 out of
out of 5.0