They certainly aren't one of the worst bands of all time - even I have to admit that Billy churned out a catchy little pop song every once in a while - but were they really deserving of all the praise they got? Hell no. You want real innovation, you gotta dig deeper into the underground. Maybe you'll strike oil too and get really rich and be president and then have your son be president.
Well, I don't believe that Corgan is a very good singer. But I don't see what is wrong with trying to create a "somber mood" with the sound of his voice, rather than words. Since I'm from argentina and I speak spanish, while I do understand the words to many, many songs, I'm used to not care about lyrics at all. I think that you can perfectly separate lyrics from music. I do. And I'll respect a thousand more times someone trying to create a mood with his/her voice, with pure SOUND, rather than poetry you could not understand if you didn't speak the language of the lyrics.
That said, I don't think Corgan can pull off a "somber mood" with his voice. Disarm is the best example of that.
(By the way, Mayonaise just falls short of being one of the best songs of all time! but it sure sounds better in the context of my alltime-compilation than on Siamese Shit)
By the way, can you imagine two siamese folks that go to the bathroom, take a dump, and forget to flush it away? someone enters the bathroom and asks "Who the fuck shitted on there?" and the siamese answer at unison: "he did!!".
My Goddess, I suck.
But innovative? Not a whit. It sounds like really well-produced Dinosaur Jr. with all the slack sucked out. Smashing Pumpkins fans loved it in retrospect though, which leads me to believe that the Pumpers are another one of those bands where, if you like their style, you'll like anything they put out. I'm that way about Helios Creed - he does the same thing over and over and over again, but darn it, I like it! All he has to offer is a neat guitar tone, but I like it! And I don't like the Smashing Pumpkins' style. Say! I was reading a stylebook about a month ago, and it said that if you're making a plural noun possessive, you write "apostrophe S" after the noun, but only if the next word DOESN'T start with an S! Isn't that weird? That's why I wrote "Pumpkins' style" up there. Had I used the word "tissue," I would have written "Pumpkins's tissue" with an S after the apostrophe!! Isn't that bizarre? Say! I also really like that song where the bass keeps doing that little ascending thing between lines - what's that one called? It's either "Crush" or "Suffer" - see, I just have a dubbed copy, so it's hard to figure out which songs are which. It would help if Billy used the fucking song titles at all during the actual fucking songs.
A fine little debut album that was overshadowed by the big records of 1991--remember Nevermind, Use Your Illusions I and II and Metallica? Wow, and Pearl Jam's debut, too. Hell of a year. Back then, the Pumpkins were a bunch of forgettable indies with a wussy-voiced singer, and this was an odd little item with a bland cover and title. It's still pretty good, though.
If I remember correctly, "I Am One", "Siva" and "Rhinoceros" were the hits. They're also the first three tracks on the album, so any occasional fans like myself probably won't see any incentive to going past them. Billy's songwriting wasn't developed yet, and after hearing more recent material this sounds as modern as a Johnny Cash album. But big fans will love it, and others will remember it fondly.
After Bob Rock's bonjovivication of Metallica and Soundgarden putting out some sort of Deep Purple parody in 1991/92, Gish restored some hope to rock and roll as I saw it.
It didn't sound like shit else, and there was solid musicianship behind the hooks. Heavy, fast, slow, and sappy by turns (but sometimes unexpected turns), this recond turned me on like a switch.
However, the band never followed with anything worth listening to. Now...aw, just forget now. I couldn't be more tired of Billy Corgan singing about his homosexuality. Too much emotion/emoting and not enough testosterone. Someone should get him off of this Fleetwood Mac/Barbara Streisand kick he's on and make him put on his Sabbath records instead...for the sake of his own soul. It's already too late for his music.
I agree that it's mainly the rockers that ruin this album. But I don't really think they're attempting to do slow metal here just because they do slow songs. I'd guess you shouldn't have written this review whenever you did it, because you were probably in a bad mood and wanted to get the review done already.
"Crush" is a good song. "Rhinoceros" builds into something powerful enough... "Snail" is ok. I used to like "Window Paine". But no, it's not all that great and Smashing Pumpkins must be one of the most overrated rock bands of the 90's.
Anyhore, Gish is an excellent debut that--whoa, get ready--I think is actually BETTER than Nevermind. You've got a point, Mark--for diehard Pumpkinheads like meself, it's all about the style. I LIKE the motherforkin' style. And I love Rhinocerous. I just think the middle of the album could use some tiny improvement--it's so freakin' SLOW. A nine out of ten--and it's only that low 'cause the next two albums are even better.
All the pretentious hipper-than-thou commenters pouting about how terrible the Pumpkins are with aggressively arrogant fervor can suck my sweaty scrotum. If you don't like them, you don't like them, but I have to admit that I'm so incredibly pleased and impressed that there are so many fans of...you know, REAL music out there to reliably direct us Pumpkins fans to authentic college rock like Pavement. Growing up is hard to do. And believe it or not, musical tastes have nothing to do with any kind of maturing process and do not completely revolve around "getting into the underground" or "transcending mainstream pop culture". The Smashing Pumpkins are an easy target, so it's not hard to make them out to be morons, but I think Billy is a good songwriter and guitarist. And singer? Well he's got a strange-sounding voice, but he usually hits the right notes. To be honest though, as much as people like to badmouth the Pumpkins, Nirv! ana is a MUCH easier target. I like Nirvana, but all they had was a catchy marriage of power pop and an abrasive indie/punk edge and a drug-addicted, suicidal singer/guitarist/songwriter. Two-chord Cobain & gang released Nevermind and kaboom, the "90's grunge rock revolution" begins...on MTV! I like both bands, but I see no valid reason why anyone would single out the Pumpkins and call them posers/rip-offs. There was PLENTY of MUCH worse stuff on the radio in the 90's. Sure, bitch about the Pumpkins, but I remember when I was getting into them...at the time they were a breath of fresh air in between all the constant goo goo dolls, collective soul, hootie and the blowfish, and alanis morrisset. Nirvana and Soundgarden were amazing enough, and the constant overplaying/marketing of grunge rock alone was enough to make someone's skin crawl, but it really is just a question of STYLE. I agree wholeheatedly&nbs! p;with Mark on that point. Not a question of what's hip or...."ohh they're too adolescent-sounding, they're too whiny, they're too maintream, I HATE them, no one should listen to them...listen to Slint or Pavement or Dinosaur Jr. or Modest Mouse instead, they're indie!" It's great watching people pull that shit cause you know they're wasting time on completely invalid points that have little or nothing to do with the actual music or songwriting. thanks.
My main problem with the Pumpkins (and why I stopped carrying after Mellon Collie) is they sounded horrible live. In my opinion, the test of a good band is their live sound. Corgan had the musicianship and the studio down pat, which covered up the mediocrity of the other three band members on album.
Again, I'll admit that Bill can write a catchy ditty every once in a while. "Cherub Rock," as simple and boring as it is - well, somehow it actually FITS Billy's vocal stylings! I love the way he squeals, "Let me out!" and all that other cud he squeals. It's not a great song, and I can't imagine that the chord sequence took more then ten or fifteen seconds to write, but hey! For once, his voice fits. That's all I'm saying. There's also a Moody Blues fan deep inside me who gets all giddy whenever he hears that ditzy little "Today" song with the ice cream truck. And "Soma"! Ooo! That's a really pretty one (until he brings in the heavy guitars and it turns into another predictable Pumpkins plodder). And I could definitely give a thumbs up on the squeak noise in Mayonaise." I forkin' LOVE that squeak noise! Have you heard it? He just keeps totally stopping the music for like half-a-second to let the guitars feedback. It's very tight, very cool, and probably the most interesting thing he's done since he formed the group (aside from "Zero," but I'll discuss that song a little later).
Let's see.... Oh yeah! Another good one! "Quiet" is a really great rock song. It churns and bubbles like early Helmet - really low, heavy and menacing. I like it a lot because it's one of the few Smashing Pumpkins melodies that actually feels new. Most of them are generic enough to have been ripped off from nearly anywhere.
But this album is missing that neat "deathly slow" vibe that overtakes Gish halfway through, and is painfully lacking in interesting material for a record that's a full sixty minutes long. And how can I make an accusation like that? Because I could have written 90% of these songs in my sleep. And in the morning, when I awoke, I would have said to myself, "Man, what a bunch of subpar songs I wrote last night!" and picked up the guitar to write another instant rock classic like "I Hate When Old Records Go 'Kihh'."
Okay, what other songs can I name and then give an opinion about - "Rocket"? Yes, it has that neat disorienting little slithering chord thing at the end, but what do you wanna bet that that was Butch Vig's idea? Eh? Which reminds me - I don't know who's to blame for this, but "Disarm" is one of the most hilarious songs I've ever heard. It's atrocious!!! It's so farging bad!!! Isn't it enough that we have to listen to Bill Corgan pretend to weep his way through the silly little angst-ridden lyrics; do we really need the stupid xylophone and pounding kettle drums too? Does that somehow make the song more dramatic? And, for christ's sake now, a STRING SECTION???? Whatever. If Mr. Corgan's goal was to create a listening experience as moving and emotional as Kansas's "Dust In The Wind," well I'd say he succeeded! That's all. If you want to call this a classic, that's your prerogative, but I've got probably 2500 albums, and this doesn't even make the top twenty three hundred.
Have you ever heard The Beatles? Now THEY were a good band!
Can you say "artistic and commercial breakthrough"? The Pumpkins came the hell out of nowhere for this, one of the best albums of the 90s and the finest release of 1993. Everybody I know got this album. I don't have any stats to back me up, but it probably went double or triple platinum.
You know the songs--the ubiquitous singles "Today", "Rocket", and "Disarm" (all on side one) were huge hits and plastered posters of the album's cover all over the walls of adolescent America--or, as one song calls it, "Geek U.S.A.". There's some of the band's best material on here, with the said tracks, the beloved "Cherub Rock" and "Mayonaise" (love that sqeek!) and the elegant "Spaceboy".
But there are some problems. First of all, side one has a pattern of hit/filler/hit/filler for the first four tracks, and you'd grow weary if "Rocket" weren't around the corner. Side two has no hits but is more solid, with some fun weird stuff. Don't get me wrong--it's a fantastic album, and I almost gave it the 10. It has some weak spots, but it won't bore you when you sit and listen to it. Go and buy it this week!
Despite all this, I love this album like a bowl of Brigham's coffee ice cream with Hershey's chocolate syrup on top--the ultimate comfort food for the soul (or ears, in this case). Just crank up the volume, not even that high, but do set the subwoofer on max, because this album is all about the bass, and do something else for a while (like write useless record reviews on Mark Prindle's website). Let the stupid, affable goodness wash over you and abate your anxieties, sedate your senses, undulate your, umm...ululatory facilities. Or something. Anything, whatever, but don't complain to me about how stupid this album is. Because that, sir, is the key to its greatness. It's all the same song, and it's a good song. It's "Today." Or "Cherub Rock." Or "Mayonnaise."
Okay, admittedly, there are a couple of songs that are different. But guess what? They suck! They include "Disarm," and "Silverfuck." Or is it "Spaceboy?" I don't know--basically the two that feature a string section. I have nothing against string sections in general--far from it--but as someone wisely pointed out above, Billy Corgan's voice is not well suited to a string section (or, umm, melodrama). By the way, it's "Spaceboy" I was talking about just now. I'm listening to the album right now, and the chorus (if it can be called that) just came back around. By the way, I highly recommend listening to an album if you're going to write a review of it on the internet. Otherwise, you might just look like an ass.
Speaking of ass, I actually like the production quality of this album quite a bit. In fact, that's exactly what I like about it (well, other than the stupidness): the guitar tone, while not impressive in any tangible way, is as warm and friendly as any Crosby, Stills and Nash ballad, just louder. I know the songs are supposed to be depressing and angsty, but for me what sets this album apart from other grunge standards is its un-threatening, almost optimistic guitar distortion. It envelops you like warm sheets fresh from the dryer. A few exceptions, like the aforementioned "Disarm" and the middle section of "Silverfuck," belie my point. But don't let the album itself confuse you--listen to me instead, and you'll be fine.
Somehow, "Rocket" manages to suck ass despite being the same song as the rest of the album. I don't understand how they accomplished this, but clearly it proves that Billy Corgan is some kind of genius. He can turn anything into crap! "Sweet Sweet" also isn't so great. But who cares, I can hardly remember which is which anyway. Man, I'm getting hungry for some ice cream.
A solid 8.
Could you have really written some of these songs, Mark? Would you have been genius enough to put that little talk radio blurb in there where the lady is complaining about her husband masterbating. Although, the flip side to that little sample is when Billy says, "Okay, on this track, don't give a fuck." A little pretenious sounding or something. Bothers me like a fluffer-nutter sandwich.
I agree with the guy who said the production is too slick and boring. Maybe it's just not mixed loud enough, but man, I really like this album. but I also think Billy Corgan has way to much control over the band.
I think this one deserves a 10! And I'm probably the only dude who gives it a 10. The singles for this album were not bad, there are better songs on the album like "Soma" which is, in my opinion, better than any of the singles for Siamese Dream.
I'd give it maybe a five or six, though (probably the former), because I really like "Mayonaise" and the predictable-but-fun "Cherub Rock." And I don't think that "Disarm" is that bad - it's a nice change of pace! Wussy, Cure-like posturing as opposed to macho, Zeppelin-like posturing. Not that this stuff sounds at all like either of those bands, but you can tell that's the kind of "classic rock" that Corgan's going for.
Other highlights - "Today," "Soma," "Luna," and that little one right before it. But "Rocket" is atrocious! Just one stupid riff played over and over! I don't like Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" for just that reason - difference is, it actually has a good riff. And the rest of these ("Geek USA," "Silverfuck") are stupid! Boring, plodding rock that makes me want to do little more than stop my stereo and put some Eurythmics or Temptations on! Or turn it off, and run outside to enjoy life!
No, I think I'll just listen to Eurythmics.
Then I kept hearing "Cherub Rock" on the local "modern rock" radio station, and goddammit, I couldn't get that fuckin' tune out of my head, so I went ahead and got Siamese Dream. Not a bad little pop album, if you ask me. I think Corgan's pretensions exceed his grasp (note to the guy who said the lyrics don't matter, it's pure sound... I think Baldy would vehemently disagree.), but he writes nice tunes. No, they're not wildly innovative or anything, but they grab you and just suck you in. If you can get past the often atrocious vocalizing, the band's tunes are really grounded and solid. "Mayonnaise" is probably my favorite tune here, but the album really works nicely as a whole, in spite of the a-hole in control. Wow, that was stupid. I regret writing that, but let's go with it. Not a bad album. Get it if you like catchy, competently played 90's rock.
Castor and Pollux blow me to Bermuda, why does everybody hate these guys??? What on earth did they do to you??? I've heard Loveless, by the way, and I thought it was--get ready--JUST OKAY. Yes, Kevin Shields is a hard-working producer. Whoop-de-frickin'-doo. So was Lou Reed when he did Metal Machine Music.
I wouldn't have strong feelings like this if I didn't honestly think that Siamese Dream is a masterpiece. Yes, most of it sounds like a giant mish-mash of Sonic Youth, Helmet, Boston, My Bloody Valentine, the Moody Blues, the Pixies--and Nirvana--all pureed together. And yes, unlike Sonic Youth and the Pixies, these guys take themselves SERIOUSLY. But dammit, this has frickin' AMAZING songwriting, and dammit, Corgan can play a guitar better than any famous grunge god of the past decade (except Kim Thayil, of course). So they're successful! So they came AFTER the Big N! So they're melodramatic! SO F___ING WHAT?!
The main problem people seem to have with Dream--and the band in general--is just the three things I described. They're not influential, they're arguably the Def Leppard of the 1990's, and they're terribly, terribly pretentious. And the lead singer has an annoying voice--and he's an egomaniac to boot. Finally, last but absolutely not least, the production is slicker than a hippo's bottom. Good Gad, who heard of a slickly produced alt-rock album?? I mean, who??!
No one seems to mention that it takes real talent and patience--not to mention nerve--to pen and record these songs. In fact, no one ever addresses the issue, as if it was never a factor. Precious little hard rock of 1993 was more driving than "Cherub Rock", "Quiet", and "Geek U.S.A."--yet everyone comments on how "generic" and "easy to write" it is. I suppose "Anarchy in the U.K." took a while to write, huh? Precious little pop of 1993 was more catchy or omnipresent than "Rocket", "Today", and "Disarm"--yet everyone dismisses it as "radio-friendly". Needless to say, that argument doesn't deserve a response. Precious little MUSIC of 1993 was more intentionally moving than "Hummer", "Soma", "Spaceboy" and "Luna", yet everyone seems to have the--this is what really bothers me--primitive conception that alt-rock should not be "moving". Or more specifically, that it should only be moving in the LYRICS. Holy shit. I had no idea that Ian Curtis had a monopoly on the aesthetic of indie-rock. Now my universe has been blown to smithereens. Crap! I've been wrong all along.
I respect Mark Prindle and the indie rock community for their opinions on the band, but somehow I get the feeling that they've been judging the band on STYLE all along. Never mind talent. Never mind catchiness. Never mind effort, ambition, or fulfillment of such. It's their flaming STYLE that sticks in their craw and won't let go. And that makes them madder that a hatter. Add to that the fact that this band has sold 18 million albums in the U.S. alone, and the very first bar of "Disarm" on the radio makes them all want to go out and kill something.
If it makes you all feel any better, I don't like "Mayonnaise", "Silverfuck", or "Sweet Sweet" that much. I also think that Adore is substandard at best, and Deux ex Machina is a piece of crap. But I think it's amazing that you rate every single one of their albums way below the WORST ratings on most artists here, even the two albums (Dream and Mellon Collie) that are widely considered to be among the best rock albums of all time. And the argument that I get the most often in favor of this is "Billy Corgan sounds like a seven-year-old getting butt-fucked."
Excuse me, but I didn't know Johnny Rotten sounded so much better.
So that's all I have to say for now. Hate me, condemn me, do what you will to me, but I stand my my conviction that Siamese Dream is a masterpiece. I will admit that I may have unfairly judged the Pixies, but absolutely no ground will be given here. So goodbye for now, and rock over Chicago.
And watch out for that Henry Rollins guy. He seems like a very angry young man.
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SO-CALLED 'SQUEAK' IN MAYONAISE?!?!
What part of the song is this in? Did I miss something? Because I've heard this song so many times and I don't know what you guys mean.
Billy is pretty annoying, but on this album, there are moments when his whispers really melt into the fuzzy sound of the guitar and it sounds pleasant that way. Easy to write or not, there are some really catchy songs on this album: "Today" and "Rocket"... Some that are actually moving: "Hummer" and "Mayonaise". "Soma" starts off like a Beatles number... and then moves not into a predictable Pumpkins one, but into arena rock, and I think that's really cool.
I don't know...maybe this speaks more to younger people, I used to love it..when I was 15. It's not quite that good, but a four is too low. And I can imagine you wouldn't really care about it, but you wrote the review, no one forced you to listen to this, so you can't really excuse yourself like that. First of all you talk a lot about how easy it is to write these songs, but that's what many people say about punk...or "punk". And it seems all the time that you're giving it less than what it's worth just because they were overrated.
I'd say this has to get a 7, even if a weak one. Possibly 6, but 4 is definitely too low. The album ends in a poor style. And I'll have to just say this: "Silverfuck" SUCKS.
You might already have gotten thousands of mails about this, but it's all there on the liner notes of the booklet; "Soma" and "Mayonaise" were co-written by Iha.
...Oh well while I'm here I could mention something about this album I guess. The thing about the Smashing Pumpkins is this, when I was a young gloomy teenager this sort of stuff was right up my street. However as I have grown older, I have grown accustomed to the term 'generic' and I have also listened to enough less fashionable rock like Rollins Band and Neurosis to see that there are people out there putting every ounce of their being into making passionate statements without giving a rats ass about getting played on MTV. Having made such discoveries the Pumpkins just sound so very safe. They had some talent no question, but at this stage in the game the music world is just so mediocre that you've really got to do alot better than this.
But hey, that's how it goes with "alternative going mainstream", you get all these purists that tell ya how good things were when all these things were still anonymous.. Still, SP compare to soundgarden or a band like that as Coldplay nowadays compares to U2... a ripoff without balls, literally!
4 outta 10 seems reasonable in this respect..
"A Girl Named Sandoz" is pretty great too, which is strange, because it's an Animals cover and I never really liked the original until I heard this version. Weird. I guess if you surround a mediocre sixties blues rocker with a bunch of forgettable slick nineties grunge rock, its spirit really shines through!
And don't be telling me the Pumpkins aren't a grunge band. I know they aren't. But by the mainstream media's definition of the word "grunge" as set forth by Nirvana's Nevermind LP, they are nothing but a glorified grunge band. Fuzzy bar chords, drums that won't move, and a complete lack of personality in the instrumentation. Have you at least noticed that? Billy doesn't play anything! He has NO guitar style! Unless, of course, playing sluggish three-chord riffs over and over again and topping them with unlistenably ugly solos counts as a style. And just maybe it does!
Kind of rare and extremely underrated. This is Smashing Pumpkins' first (!) collection of unreleased tracks and b-sides, but it's sewn up real nice and feels like an album on its own. Given that, it's also very much like a toned-down Siamese Dream. In some ways it's even better than that album--it's much tighter and eccentric. But Billy uses the same hook for half of the songs, and not all of it is worth noting. The best songs are still not equal to the best on the previous album.
Ah, but what are the best songs? The soft opening "Soothe" is beautiful if underdone, and the rest of the first side is damn skippy altogether. "Frail and Bedazzled" is a classic SP rocker, "Plume" sounds hilariously like a cut off Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, "Whir" is also cool, and "Blew Away" is a fun sissy song sung by the drummer. It goes on fine until a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide", and then Billy's guitar-heavy tunes grow repetitive. But it leaves us with a good impression in the wifty sound-bite heavy "Spaced". Even non-fans may enjoy this one.
Gish - 8
Siamese Dream - 7
Pieces - 8
Mellon Collie - 6
Adore - 6
Machina - 5
Best of/Judas O - 8
I tell you what - "Tonight Tonight" succeeds for the exact reason "Disarm" failed - it has a touch of HUMOR! It's a great song. Hokey as all hell, but better for it. "Zero" is great too, and possibly their best rocker ever. Why? Because that little ringing harmonics thingy is playing a melody. I didn't even notice it the first ten times I heard the song, but then I listened in headphones and got little chill bumps on my arm when I realized what Billy and Gang were doing. The little ringing sound is descending. Every time they play it, it descends the same way. They're creating a melody without playing notes. I LOVE crap like that!!! Why don't they do stuff like that more often??? "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" will grab you too, even if the bitchy chorus makes you wanna kick Corgo in the aho. I also like "We Only Come Out At Night." It sounds like a kiddie song about pirates and monsters, and it's awfully cute. The other singles don't do much for me.
Well, "1979" does something for me - it offends the hell out of me. Did anybody out there happen to notice that the riff is nothing but a cleaned-up ripoff of "What's Going On" by Husker Du? Well, it is. I'll never get over that. In 1984, Husker Du created this weird lurching screaming little song in which the bass player purposely played the wrong note for the first section of each measure (bear with me; I don't really know what a measure is); it was a great effect, and the song is rightfully considered to be an underground classic. So, eleven years later, Billy the Genius cleans up this classic by FIXING the wrong note halfway through the section (rendering it more palatable for mainstream consumption), then targets it at teenagers who've never heard the original! Result? Why, it was a smash hit! Think of all the units it sold! Worst of all, he replaces the headcrushing distorted feedback of the original with a slick poptone he stole from The Cure. And that's all I have to say about that song.
About the album, I'll say that if you feel the need to buy an album by this band, this is the one. Who knows? You might like it a lot more than I do! As it is, even I the doubting thomas have to give Billy his due here. Seriously, about 45 minutes of this material is great stuff. The rest? Toss it, as you would a salad.
A classic rock album in any respect, Mellon Collie... was the most overblown, hit-producing and best record of 1995. I know it's not hip to like it anymore--it's been too overexposed, overbought, and overquoted by Junior High kids to be cool. Even in Rolling Stone's "200 Essential Rock Albums" issue, Siamese Dream constituted as Smashing Pumpkins' entry. But this double-album, the best since and most career-defining since the Clash's London Calling, is a masterpiece. Of its 28 tracks, at least 24 are perfect.
Billy Corgan's songwriting is at an all-time high. While some songs share a hook, each one is memorable and descernible from the next. And the set-up is perfect--it takes an original step and begins with a soft piano instrumental (used in the Olympics for those athlete close-ups, I recall), and moves from ballads to rockers to novelties weightlessly. You know the five hits: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", "1979", "Zero", "Tonight Tonight" and "Thirty-Three". And for once they're spread all over the album, while three do lump up on side one of "Dawn to Dusk". But "Jellybelly", "Galapogos", or "X.Y.U" could have been hits as well, and much of the other stuff is even better. But I must give props for the choices of singles--I would never have chosen the last two I listed, and whoever did has a fine sense of what the public wants.
There're gems everywhere. "Take Me Down" is a sweet nothing sung by the drummer, and "Farewell and Goodnight" is sung by everybody. "Love" is a droning, sneering l'il monster. "Beautiful" is a pretty, naive tune, as are "Cupid de Locke" and "By Starlight". "In the Arms of Sleep" is a subtle piece that may be ignored by those wanting to pass it by to hear "1979". Matter of fact, everything's good! Even the dumb stuff is catchy!
Any debits? Nothing involving the music, that's for sure. The cover and liner art is pussy, girly-ass shit, but you can ignore it. And I should warn that it's possible to overdose on it and think that the only good songs are "Bullet" and "1979". I did that myself once. But it's not true. Now, if you like the hit songs, they're collected in a box set called The Aeroplane Flies High, which I don't own because I have two of the singles anyway and it's kinda expensive. Fuck it either way--if you haven't already bought this album, DO SO! It's great, and a testament that music in the 90s doesn't have to suck.
I disagree. As far as double albums go, I'd say there are SEVERAL that are better than this one. Sign O' The Times is a better album. Sandinista! is probably a better album. Any of Husker Du's double albums are better than this one--and probably more career-defining as well.
I do like Billy Corgan, though. He seems like a very nice young man.
I thought this was a great album, mostly because I really dig thematic albums, but even given the praise I gave it when I first bought it, it got old all-too-fast, and the radio didn't help that AT ALL. My favorite song is 'Thirty-Three,' closely followed by 'In the Arms of Sleep.'
I read an interview with Billy Corgan in which he stated that this decade needed an album like The Wall, and sure enough it's obvious that's what he shot for. From the corny classical beginning music, straight into 'Tonight, Tonight' (which although I love the song, seems to echo 'In the Flesh' in that it seems to describe what will be the subject of the album (ie. what will happen 'Tonight.')). Looks like some attempted Floyd trickery, but although Billy might disagree, he has nowhere near the artistic ability as those he tried so hard to tribute.
And Mellon Collie is just two inconsequential pieces of plastic that prove Stephen Malkmus absolutely right..."Zero" has excellent guitar playing, and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" is a wonderful rock song. "Lily" is twee and funny, and "Where Boys Fear to Tread" actually covers up for a lack of melody with an awesome riff. And that's IT. Four above-average rock songs do not a great double-album make. And to enjoy those four, you still have to tune out the shitty lyrics.
The stupid piano and synthesizer-based drivel (the title track, "1979", "Beautiful", etc.) The schlocky, boring ballads ("Tonight", "Cupid de Locke (which has to be the worst song ever written...HAS to be!", etc.) The trying- way-too-hard-to-rock temper tantrums that just sound like excuses to scream and make pointless noise ("Tales of a Scorched Earth", "XYU"). It all SUCKS. And the whole band should be bitch-slapped for the asinine lullaby closer, "Farewell and Goodnight". Oh yeah, they were wrong for trying to rip off My Bloody Valentine in "Thirty-Three".
And another thing: I had two tickets to the Smashing Pumpkins concert at Madison Square Garden that the band was supposed to play when Jimmy Chamberlain and Jonathan Melvoin OD'ed. By the time, I HATED the Pumpkins...I bought the tickets as a gift to my 13-year-old cousin Terrell, who LOVED the Pumpkins. Then I had to explain to him that I wasted sixty bucks for a concert that he wouldn't even have the pleasure to attend because the drummer's an irresponsible druggie fuck-up. I hate, Hate, HATE!!! bands that tolerate members who happen to be drug addicts. They should have kicked Jimmy out BEFORE something like that happened. They knew he was a sherm-head. Fuck them for that.
And what's worse...Adore is twenty times as bad as Mellon Collie. If I ever meet Billy Corgan, I'm going to throw my copy of Mellon Collie with such force and swiftness that upon contact, it will split his bald head open.
Thanks for pointing that out about "What's Going On". That's been nagging at me for a while now too.
That's what's weird about this album. The bad songs are lame as hell, but the good one's like "Tonight Tonight", "Porcelina", and "Thru The Eyes Of Ruby" are some of the best songs this band ever bothered to write.
So I'll give this one a 8 because there are more great songs than lame songs. I still don't think anyone should compare this to London Calling which is one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
I don't like any of the "rockers," the exception being the first three (especially "Jellybelly"). The rest of them truly suck - why even bother recording something as pointless as "Where Boys Fear To Tread" or "X.Y.U."? I know that the fans like them, but not me. Heavy does not mean good. Heavy and creative - that's a different story. They even ruin "An Ode To No One," which starts out very strong, by plunging it into the same cliched "rock" rhythm that the rest of these songs wallow about in.
But the pop songs and ballads? Those are a different story completely! They make up well over half the album, and each one feels completely unique and enjoyable. Not to say any more creative than the ones I mentioned above, but at least listenable. The two really long songs, for example, may be unashamed Pink Floyd ripoffs, but I actually like them! And the hits - "Tonight, Tonight" is awfully hokey, but with a killer string arrangement that WILL knock your socks off, "1979" is good even though it does steal from Husker Du, and "Thirty-Three" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
And guess what? Corgan's voice has never bothered me that much. I realize that it's high and whiny, but it's better than Dylan's voice, and everyone loves Dylan. Except me, I think he's crap. Which makes me wonder why I'm seeing him in concert tonight.
Oh, yeah - because he's playing with Paul Simon.
Back to the album - I think almost all of the songs are great, especially those last five or six. Really pretty stuff. "In The Arms Of Sleep" is good, too. If only their other, one-disc albums were this good, maybe I'd like them more.
By the way, am I the only one who's laughing at the song title "Here Is No Why"... It's funny that Billy admits to ripping off most of his guitar sound from My Bloody Valentine, but hasnt admitted that the aforementioned song title is a pretty good rip-off of MBV's "Here Knows When." Well the Pumpkins never had that many original ideas anyway, just the ability to blend a couple influences into an occasional good song.
Oh, and on the ripoffs thing, this is only a little bit of a similarity, but um, has anyone else noticed that the riff of "here is no why" sort of sounds like the "ziggy stardust" riff mixed with their own "mayonaise" (i.e the stop squeal stop thing)? it's kind of similar to the former song in lyrical concept as well. maybe it's an homage or something.
And I totally agree with the guy who said the Pumpkins were never original, just adept at smashing some influences together and turning it into an SP song. I mean, I hear Corgan ripping off the Husker's, but it's such a nice pop tune in their hands that it works for me. And nobody would actually confuse it for the behemoth that was Husker Du. Billy's good at blending stuff, I guess.
In short, this would've been a much stronger album as a single disc with the best songs, and then Baldy still would have had a bunch of songs serviceable enough to unleash as ep's and b-sides, thereby gathering more sales for his ego and more money for his wallet. He should've checked with me first... Silly bald man.
And for the record, this might have been the best double album released in 1995, but it ain't no Zen Arcade or Double Nickels on the Dime or even Warehouse: Songs and Stories. And comparable to Physical Graffiti or London Calling? Let's all just take a deep breath and settle down.
Well here I am 4 months later and I'm eating my own words. My friend played Jellybelly to me and I though: 'Hm. nice guitar work and tone. but the voice is still irritating. Then, two weeks later, I saw this album for sale in my local secondhand shop for £7. I was looking for new bands to listen to, having just come out of an addictive Led Zeppelin phase, so I thought 'Why not?' and bought it.
Uopn first listen, I didnt think much. But gradually some songs stood out, and gradually I realised Corgan's voice wasnt quite so annoying. Now I have the Greatest hits as well but I think I'll stop there as this and the Greatest Hits are all I need I guess.
Right then. onto the good tracks. Standout tracks for the whole of the album are:
3.Here is No Why
4.Bullet with Butterfly Wings
7.Where Boys Fear to Tread
11.thru the eyes of ruby
12.We only come out at night
13.Farewell and Goodnight
14.and the title track too-forgot that.
Now, the other tracks range from OK to unmemorable [the last 5 songs on Disc 1 for example] to all screaming and no melody. While I could copy the good tracks onto a single CD, I wont do that, as I rather like having all the artwork and everything, and besides, who knows-perhaps the other tracks may grow on me.
This album gets a 7 from me and its a pretty solid album. The guitar tone and work is pretty cool. Get used to Corgan's voice and you'll find some good stuff lurking there. :)
PS Is 1979 an ode to Joy Division? the date fits, and Billy's a big fan of JD-as am I :)
There's a lot more good tunes then crap tunes
The five singles are great, as are the title track,here is no why,to forgive,we only come out at night, and farewell and goodnight to name a few.
Bodies,love and xyu are poor songs, while tales of a scored earth is fucking awful.
Btw Billy Corgan's voice has never botherd me that much.
a very strong 8/10
Well, I'm just e-mailing to say I'm sorry for being an overemotional bastard, and I will never annoy anyone with my rude tirades ever again. Even if you DO all seem to be completely, extremely, and strangely high. High as the wild winds of space, you might say.
NOW. . . about the band. It seems all this time I've been judging their worth on the basis of two albums alone: Gish and Siamese Dream, both very good, the latter a masterpiece. So I decided, at long last, to listen to Mellon Collie, their fat, bloated career blockbuster and see if I could determine just why they supposedly suck so much.
Well. . . crazily enough, I kinda liked it. It's a very decent double album. Maybe a little more decent than, say, Daydream Nation, or even (gasp!) London Calling. Most decent double album of all time, you might say.
Yeah, you heard me. Better even than that double album that everyone ELSE says is the best. . . yeah, you know which one. Odessa, by the Beegees, kiss my ass.
So, basically, what I'm trying to say is this: 1.) what wild substance are you guys on, and 2.) can I have some? 'Cause sometimes, I just want to be able to HATE good bands. I mean, I just get tired of LIKING them all the time. Bastards. Always making me buy their stuff!!
*saves the mail but doesn't sends it*
Mmm, Mellon Collie, it has grown on me. I guess I should do a song by song analysis, or something like that.
Title Track: Cool. I really like it. Pleasant, and not boring at all.
Tonight, Tonight: It took me a while, but now I see it is a great song. Not THAT great (yes, i'm looking at you, Andrew McQuillan), but hey!
Jellybelly: I didn't like it at first, but is an ok song, some parts rule, but I don't like the way it is layered
Here Is No Why: Cool song, hey!!! I like it a lot.
Bullet With Butterfly Wings: Wow! Great song!!! Probably my favourite, tied with...
To Forgive: ... =D. I really like it. Yes, I know no one list it as a highlight, but hey!
An Ode To No one: I don't like. I think it sounds like Gish, and I don't like that record either (except for Rhinoceros and Daydream and maybe the other singles)
Love: Another one I don't like a lot . It is not awful, I can understand if someone liked it. I can understand if someone hated it, too. I'm indifferent. I don't like the voice, and some of the effect, but I like the chorus
Cupid de locke: I know no one likes it, but I think is cute.
Galapagos: good song
Porcelina: it bores me in some parts, but ok overall. No, it not the lenght. I love The Call of the Khtulu.
Take Me Down: I think you know why no one list this as a highlight.
Ooops.. I don't like this too much
Where boys fear to trend: its ok, i guess.
Thirty Three: Good, but not great
In the arms of sleep: really cool...
1979: I don't know if it is a rip off, but is a great song.
Tales of a scorched earth: I hate it. worst of all, argentinian band El Otro Yo ripped it off to create one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my life: La tetona (something like "girl with big breasts"). Ok, the actual song, isn't that bad, but I don't like it. Skip it!
Thru the eyes of ruby: worse than porcelina.
Stumbleine: Something tells me I should hate it, but I like it quite a bit.
We only come ouy ay night: Like stumbeline. Its stupid, but I happen to like it.
Beautiful: Beautiful. Not like Carole King's extremely beautiful "Beautiful", but better than Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful". I like it.
By Starlight: Some parts boring, some parts are cool.
Farewell & goodnight: The ending that resembles the title track is neat. It bores me in many spots, though.
So, what do I think? It has simply too many "ok" songs. That, and it is a bit too long, and too slow in parts. I don't like that some of the rockers, so if you aren't paying much attention, it will bore you. It has grown on me, and I think is fine. A record full of "decent songs" deserves something like a 6 o 7, I guess. But hey, this also has GREAT songs! But some of the song sucks!
Get it cheap. It won't be that difficult, I guess. Besides, more likely than not, your list will be different than mine. And if you happen to have the same musical taste as Dickson, McQuillan, and Weigel, you'll love it to death. mmm, but if you have the same taste as dickson and mcquillan, you'll love radiohead. Get those records first.
I bought this on tape when it came out and I stuck it on the other night for a re-appraisal, but I think I only made it about three songs through. Theres just so much filler on this! I feel no particularly need to complain about this albums faults, but reading other comments here, I really have to question how people can give this a ten!? Come now people, you clearly haven't listened to enough music in your times. Expand your horizons, listen to some Jane's Addiction, or Primus, or Faith No More, or Afghan Whigs, or Screaming Trees, or Type O Negative, or Neurosis, or Sonic Youth, or Rollins Band, or Fugazi, or Led Zeppelin for that matter, or a million other bands!
Listen to Everything!
And then don't bother listening to the really average stuff again...like the Smashing Pumpkins!
Ok, one more thing I think the name of this album just hit me................ I think this band are a bunch of raging queers. OH well, I'll probably end up buying this piece of crap anyway.... and I think I'll like more than I should........... frick me. Ok, random reccommendation of the moment: Kanye West - The College Dropout - I've only listened to it twice but that's enough time to realize that this record proves that Kanye is better than 95% of the hip-hopsters today. With all kinds of neat production tricks, sped-up soul-samples, various hooks, good songwriting, and all kinds of material that looks like filler The College Dropout is fine, and very entertaining record. Oh yeah, Though The Wire and Jesus Walks are the two "off the hook" tracks. From what little I know about this album I think I'd give it a solid oceanic whitetip shark, not a sixgill, but not QUITE a bull shark.
Melon Collie should have been one disk, only 12 songs long tops. Verdict, a slightly subpar album. Bodies, XYU, and Tales of a Scorched make me want to stab myself to death. Lily, Beautiful, and We Only Come out at Night make me want to laugh myself to death.
Before I die, I wil punch Billy Corgan.
About this album: it's not that bad. Actually I loved it, when it came out. Now I don't. But it has its highlights. I love the drumming style. Can't really tell why, but for me it's really great midtempo rock drumming. And Corgan's voice, as annoying as it might be, is at least original and gives the thing a very special feeling. I love the feedback guitar solos, although they don't go anywhere, but it's good that they have lots of feedback and noise.
Mark is right in stating that this is too long, but I think it's still worth listening to, because I'm sure one will find a few songs that are really cool. Like "Tales of a Scorched Earth", "Bodies", "Here Is No Why" or "An Ode To Noone".
what gets me most about this album is the subdued mood. it reminds me of quiet suburban nights, fuzzy lighting at 3 AM, vynil, teenage love, ironically nostalgic high school angst, twilight, starlight, dusk, dawn, those tired, dreamy moments where sleep, reality, (and sometimes pot) mix together and you can't tell left from right. "we only come out at night" indeed. quite an atmosphere corgan has managed to create. yum. overall, 6/10. for the atmosphere it creates and the respective songs, 9/10.
You badmouth the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan for having the worst voice in the history of music and you enjoy The Flaming Lips??? No matter how freaking great Zaireeka is (one of the best albums ever made, by the by,) I can't get over the awful voice of Wayne Coyne, especially on "A Machine in India".
Oh by the way, have you heard the Pumpkins' new one Adore??? Their sound has changed so much they sound like a completely different band. They sorta sound industrial/poppish. 'Sokay.
The latest: HMV is having a 40% off sale because they're closing in a couple weeks. I bought 10 cds including Refused because Nick Fucking Leu told me to, a Faust 2fer, the Ohio Express, 1910 Fruitgum Company, GG Allin, Birthday Party peel sessions (I SOLD THEIR LIVE CD "IT'S STILL LIVING" ON EBAY FOR 81$!!!!! i PUT THE dollar sign in the wrong place. This GG Allin song "up against the wall" is great! I also got a few others. Who knows what. I'm hard to remember - oh! A cd by (censored). Don't let insanity = o drea, i dream i'm insane a lot. Too much for happiness. And a photojournalist today told me that the state department employees in the world trade center were told not to come in on the 11th. I can't verify this. He also told me that the CIA runs drugs into Burma in exchange for the Burmese druglords going into the heart of China and reporting back abaout what the Chinese army is up to. I have no clue whether this stuff is true, but it needs to be looked into. Like today Reuters reported that the CIA intercepted a call from Arabs on Sep. 10th talking about "tomorrow being the big day" but they didn't interpret it until the 12th. This was reported as big news TODAY. I heard about this WEEKS ago. The information is already out there -- it's just that the mainstream press are afraid to investigate -- either that or they keep hitting brick walls. And of course Bush got pissed that this came out, said it was a "national security" issue. Folks, the man is a CRIMINAL. He has NO MORALS. He is one of the worst human beings that have ever lived. Hopefully it will all come out some day. And did you knokw that the Vietnam War was fought for OIL??? Just like the Gulf War and the Afghanistan attack? It's all for natural resources. Vietnam was for oil, tin and rubble (rubber?). I was told today by two Vietnam vets. One guy was in for nine years - he said he went over there idealistic to fight communistm, but by the end he noticed how Vietnam was overrun with Esxxon and all the other oil companies. The TV news tells yiou what they WANT you to know. The three main networks are run by 2 companies that make defense weapons (GE and RCA, i think?) and fucking Disney, who are in bed with god knows who. They tell you about Condit and all kinds of worthless shit and you're expected to care. What they TELL you to care about is what you care about. Please stop buying it. Things are not anywhere near as cut and dried as they seem. We are ALL being lied to, and have been for a long, long time. Something has to happen. Doesn't it? I mean, we brought down Nixon - Bush is just as bad... He LET, i say LET Sep. 11th happen. THey knew about it. They fucking knew about it and they did NOTHING to stop it because they wanted the oil in the Caspian Sea. And guess what? They GOT it. But you didn't see THAT on NBC Nightly News, did you? They're pretending that "oh, maybe there was information we should have acted on," but they're LYING They KNEW it was going to happen, and they LET it happen. Did you know that Bush is trying to keep the presidential papers sealed abll the way back to 1980? In the name of "national security"? Gee, 1980 wasn't the year his FATHER became VICE-PRESIDENT, was it? Remember the Iran Contra scandal? When Congress wouldn't approve Reagan's war ideas, so he did it himself ILLEGALLY -- and NEVER got in trouble for it? This stuff isn't just Jello Biafra propaganda. A lot of it is REAL. Did Jeb Bush fly in to the flight school where the terrorists trained, conviscate the files and HIDE them? I don't know -- but I've read in several sources that he did. Why wasn't Bush alerted of the 4 hijackings until 45 minutes after they happened? Why was the entire Bin Laden family allowed to leave the country on Sep. 12 when NO OTHER planes were in the air? Why did the CIA visit Osama Bin Laden when he was having surgery a few months before Sep. 11? It was ALL PLANNED. I pray to God that somebody reputable finds all the smoking guns and reports it. I want to know what really happened. The man is a BASTARD. A SOULLESS CARING PRICK. If you can't see that from the way he acts on TV, you are a FOOL. An absolute fucking FOOL. GROW UP.
Pretty good album.
No more plodding grunge or slick, sludge guitars. Adore is a headphones album. It's very thickly textured and it's solid production values actually show a touch of ATMOSPHERE. Something they've never been quite capable of doing.
Starts of with "To Shiela" which is one of those songs that may sound cheesy as hell the first one or two times, but it takes a while to get used to. "Ava Adore" sports a hard, driving drumbeat that is typical to elecronic pop. It has a really cool solo in it. It was pretty radio friendly, but the music video may ruin the song. It's really not a bad song. "Perfect" is also VERY radio friendly with an cool beat. I don't really listen to it much. It's okay. "Daphene Descends" is really pretty. It has about a million keyboards and mellotrons in it. "Once Upon A Time" is a sad song about Billy's mother's death. It's not really one of my favorites, but it's pretty cool. "Tear" is fantastic. I love that song. And "Crest fallen" is one of my favorites on the album. Please understand, Adore is not a happy up-beat little album. Actually it's pretty gloomy and sad with the exception of "Appels + Oranges" which I don't like too much. The second side of the album is just incredible. "Pug" just sounds so cool. It's another one of my favorites. "The Tale Of Dusty And Pistol Pete" is another pretty one. "Annie Dog" is interesting, but I don't get the urge to hear it very often. "Shame" is pretty bad. I really don't like it very much. "Behold! A Nightmare" is beautiful. The rest of the album is pretty much piano driven. Not bad, though!
I don't know what to say. It sounds like a completely different band, besides Corgan's voice which you're just going to have to get used to. The whole album takes a while to get used to. This is the band's most diverse effort. It's VERY different than anything they have released before. It's pop. I only gave it a 7 for the two sucky songs (three, if you count the stupid "17"). Plus, after repeated listens I realized that there's not enough stylistic range. It has some good songs on it, but as a whole it's just not terribly interesting.
Interesting review site, I like the concept. On quick perusal, I had to reply to one issue. I don't really have the time to enter the long running debate on the Samshing Pumpkins, but I just want to say this....
I have no reason to be biased towards the Pumpkins, because Lord knows I think Corgan is a self-obsessed narcissistic meglomaniac of the first order, by as far as I'm concerned the Pumpkins albums are some of the best I have ever heard. I think I have a pretty good perspective, I know and love bands of integrity from all eras and styles, and I rank The Who and the Rolling Stones as my principal guiding lights. When I first heard Gish in 1991, I had no idea who the Pumpkins were, but I was absolutely blown away. The song writing was primal, the melodies original, the production excellent, bust most of all there was the playing. The guitars, especially on I am One and Bury Me, were vicious, precise, and beautiful, and the drumming was the most musical and fluid I had heard in a long, long time. The ballads on that record were exquisite, which set a mood that still brings me chills.
Even though Gish will remain perhaps closest to my heart (I've probably listened to it about 200 times), Siamese Dream, is objectively a better work. The album works better as a whole, it actually has a theme that builds throughout, and can be considered a concept album in the classic sense. Again, individual songs are brilliant, and the playing is from another planet (the musical transition from the song before Rocket - I forget the name - into Rocket ranks with Dazed and Confused, Dr. Jimmy, and the best Radiohead). The strings on Spaceboy and Disarm do George Martin one better and are brilliant. And unlike most albums, I come away from Siamese Dream with a feeling for what he was going after, soemhow trying to describe the dull remorse that at one time in our lives, or at all times, we are connected to another being, but that those connections are somehow lost.
On Melancholy.... Corgan's ego got the better of him and he bit off a little too much. But of the 30 or so tracks on the album, there are at least 12 unbelievable songs. I could go into them, but I won't.
The point is, when you start talking about music you cant use objective terms. I'm sure your love of music is just a strong, heartfelt, and intelligent as is mine. But our conclusions could not be farther apart. Everything is just a matter of opinion, my only problem is that a good critic doesn't have to like a particular musician, but should try hard to recognize talent, whether it fits our image or not.
So this comment is mainly for the fans/listeners, not the curious virgins: Don't compare one album to other, or expect the same material in each. Corgan always tried to push the band into new musical areas, and whether you liked his new stuff or not, you must respect that attitude.
Other than that, all I have to say about this band is that it's exceedingly difficult for me to get past silly Billy's nasal whine, and that for every really good song they wrote (and there actually are some), there are at least two bad ones!
Ava Adore is heavier than a drowning man, but is the only normal Pumpkins song on here: the rest is drum machines, synthesizers, pianos, acoustic guitars and general beautiful melancholy wimpiness, but only someone with his ears full of his own hair could claim this 'sucks,' or words to that effect. There are some stunning tunes, among which Appels + Oranjes and Daphne Descends stand out; but the whole album is commendably consistent. No chainsaw/mosquito effect here.
For the record, Machina / the Machines of God is an absolute sledgehammer of a record, my personal Pumpkin favourite and a heroic farewell from Billy and the Poseurs. It's a shame no one bought it.
Oops. It's not an album with the kind of memorable, catchy riffage that elevates the best Pumpkins songs, but it sure is effective at creating a mood. Slow and melancholy, and as always, introspective, it just ebbs into your earhole and buzzes around pleasantly in there. I assure you, I'm not super familiar with the album, but only because the times I've listened to it, it kind of settled into my brain as one long mood piece, not because the songs aren't memorable. Plus, I don't own it, but every time I go over to the house of my friend who does own it, I make her play it. It's nice.
And what the fuck happened with the heralded farewell album? Did anyone buy that? I sure as shit know that nobody on the radio played it.
Thanks for calling Bush what he is. I have no reason to believe a word of what you're accusing him of regarding September 11, but in many, many other areas he's been, publicly and unashamedly, a complete prick.
- repealing enough taxes (almost entirely in favor of the super-rich) so that our current
funding for social programs is unsustainable
- pushing to eliminate the estate tax (note: the estate tax is not a "death tax"; there is no charge for dying - how could there be?; it is a tax on unearned wealth, and is therefore the most fair tax of all, because you're not taking money out of anyone's pocket - you're simply intercepting it before it gets there)
- putting anti-regulation bureaucrats in charge of EPA, Labor and Interior, so that the effectiveness of these agencies is undermined (so much for that oath to uphold the Constitution)
- allowing John Ashcroft to subvert the will of the voters in various states regarding legal assisted suicide (isn't Bush supposed to be a big believer in Federalism)
Anyway, it goes on and on, and no one seems to notice.
I like this "review" site a lot, it's very funny. Your OCD makes me laugh a lot, I have the same shit too. I am Argentinian, and I can't agree more with you about your dear president. That's the main reason I write this. Me and some friends thought that you the northeamericans were stupid people, easily manipulated by fake nacionalism, but it's good to read what you write to demonstrate it's not like that (at least not all of you). All is the sad true, you were cheated, Bush made the towers fall down, man; it's a great fu**ing bussiness. And it pisses me off when you make a concert with The Who singing "we won't get fooled again". I mean, what's that? Either Pete Towhnsend is an ignorant half-brain-cocaine-destroyed (i love him) or is afraid. I think the media and the artists are afraid. (Sorry: that's another issue: the press is part of the mafia and artists are artists, except Bono, maybe, ha) It's always nice for a southamerican worm to read words like yours. Ah, and just in case you didn't know it: JFK was killed by the CIA. At least, that's what my grandfather used to say all the time!!! ;-) And we're running out of food here because of IMF politics = Bush politics. And don't buy the "comunism danger" shit. Well, Ok... that's enough. All U need is Pop, lennon said? Let's get drowned on vinyls and tapes and cd's, the answer is there, blowing in the (danger: cliché is coming) wind. Music is wind vibration... and I have an overdose-coffee-excitement. "They think they're so clever/ and classless and free" "Don't let them fool you with dope and TV"(i think the song doesn't say exactly that, but who cares). So... pretty good album, an 8/10 for me. Sorry for the typos and all that crap.
"i prefer bowie and the originals blah blah blah". Bowie, ladies and gentlemen, had actually influences too as well as Joy Division. I think the Pumpkins were influenced by them and made the music actually better because heynewsflash--music actually evolvesand influences are all that makes it move so come back to the present and cease your narrow-minded comments. HELL YEEEEEEEES--The Pumpkins are one of the best bands of the 90´s FYI whether you want to accept it or not and all of their albums are fucking great.
It was true! My favorite aspect of Billy Corgan had returned - his pig squeal vocals! I feel much more at home when listening to songs sung by animals, and Billy is no exception. Between him and that bitch on bass, I feel like I'm back at the Puppy Ranch!
But if you think that his voice is the ONLY reason I love this CD - you're barking up the wrong tree. The squirrel went up the one to your left. No, your LEFT!
But if you think that his voice is the ONLY reason I love this CD, you've got another thing comin'! I also enjoy that they are back playing uptempo guitar/synth washes that cover me with both neat memorable melodies and emotional residue so thick, I could just lick it off my balls all day. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! THEY'RE GONE!!!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, there are only six songs on here that fit that description (smart yet lushly evocative and goosebumpingly mood-altering). The rest are either as boring and slow as that "White Shark" dog whose ass I KICKED in race 3 last night, or the absolute epitome of "bad heavy music with bad distorted bass lines and bad macho/wimpy vocal mannerisms." Tracks 5 through 8 in particular are so awful, you'd think they were written by a cat or a prune (I hate prunes. I'd rather eat HORSESHIT than a prune!)
(OK, I'd rather eat horseshit than pretty much anything, but my point is -- or rather) my point is that -- as always -- Billy Corgan has proven yet again that his incredible songwriting talent is no match for his awful editing skills. Why on Earth is this CD 74 minutes long? Do we NEED Lousy Substitute For Late-Period Cure doldrums like "The Crying Tree Of Mercury"? Unrememberable Gish outtakes like "The Sacred And Profane"? Disgustingly faggish crap hard rock like "Heavy Metal Machine"? Answer: NO! NO NO NO NO! LEAVE IT!
Don't bother with this one. I pissed all over it after one listen.
No no, just so everyone would know it was my territory.
The album was recorded under a good deal of duress for the band. After disappointing sales of 'Adore', a cleaned-up Jimmy Chamberlain was brought back on drums to give the band some of its signature sound and energy back. This apparently caused some tensions, and may or may not have contributed to bassist D'Arcy Wretzky leaving the group. (No one but Corgan, Iha, Chamberlain, and Wretzky herself knows how much of the bass on the album is played by Wretzky and how much was contributed by Corgan or the group's touring bassist, Hole's Melissa AufDemeur.) Added to this was flagging support for the band from it's label, Virgin, who were skeptical that one of its few remaining grunge-era flagships could produce another hit. Corgan would later complain that the label's lack of support was the final nail in the coffin for his ailing group. All of this tension and difficulty rears its head on the album in several different ways.
First, in stark contrast to his assertion during the making of 'Adore' that loud rock was dead, 'Machina' sees Corgan embracing the guitar once again as a song-writing tool. The album opener features a thundering riff played in "drop C" tuning, meaning that the guitars strings are tuned down to lower, meaner pitches. As a matter of fact, all of the songs on the album were recorded in this tuning, but it is most apparent in the opener and the other loud, electric songs on the album. The problem with all of this booming, deep guitar work is that Corgan was correct about what he'd said -- at least for his group and style of music, anyway. The electric guitar is not the way to go anymore for a songwriter like Corgan; it went out with Dishwalla and all of the rest in 1996. Consequently, the songs on which he uses it sound stilted and forced. "The Everlasting Gaze", the album opener, is pretty good (aside from the a capella portion), but the mixing is so thick as to almost overcomes the melody. "Stand Inside Your Love", one of the singles, is better (quite good), but not as catchy as some of Corgan's earlier loud songs like "Today" and "Zero". And the album's greatest travesty, "Heavy Metal Machine", illustrates my point the best --it is a meandering, loud, unpleasant slabb of sound that goes on until it stops, accomplishing nothing and going nowhere.
Secondly, the album contains an apalling amount of filler for a 15 track collection. I have an easier time listening through 'Mellon Collie's' 30-some tracks than not skipping over such fluff as "The Imploding Voice", "Glass and the Ghost Children", "The Crying Tree of Mercury", and "Blue Skies Bring Tears". Not only are they uninspired and tepid musically, but the lyrics to all of the above mentioned except 'Voice' are atrocious and could've been done better by an eighth-grader. Check this: "unleash the armageddon/so all the children go to heaven/i sit by quiet still/with their pictures on my eyes/you'll draw the guns you're given/write down the words as written/and never disturb the presense/of resurrection crutch". Huh?
One last quibble before I get to what I like about the album. In my opinion, the song-sequencing is idiotic. For the first half of the album it's loud/soft/loud/soft, and then for the second half it's sucks/doesn't suck/sucks/doesn't suck. Really keeps you going for the skip button.
Okay, so here's what's good about 'Machina': Billy Corgan really is a fucking great songwriter when he puts his mind to it, and the pop songs on here are brilliant. Even for the occasional bum lyric or too obvious chord/dynamic change, few songs on the radio could hope to be as catchy as 'Try, Try, Try" or "There You Are". "Stand Inside Your Love" and "The Sacred and Profane" are great guitar pop as well, and the Cure-scapes of 'Adore' are revisited on strong B+ material like "Raindrops + Sunshowers" and "I of the Mourning". The songs I've mentioned in this last paragraph are easily as good as anything Corgan's written for any album, and I have a mix-disc of my favorite stuff from 'Adore' and 'Machina' that I listen to quite often.
Finally, you may or may not have heard of this album's never-released and tough-to-come-by "follow-up", 'Machina II -- The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music'. Corgan took the tapes for what probably would have been the next Pumpkins album and gave them to fan-club members online so it could be distributed without his label making any further money off of him and he could be done with the Pumpkins. While some of the material I've heard from it is very strong, most versions I've found have poor sound-quality (many are mp3-based), and come with like 40 songs that you have to suffer through to get to the good ones. I wouldn't bother unless someone gives it to you or you're still in Jr. High and obsessed like I was.
(Re: Prettiest Corgan song ever -- "Medilia of the Grey Skies" on the 'Tonite, Tonite' single. CHECK IT OUT!!!)
But there are still many great songs on it. Stand Inside Your Love is lean and powerful; The Sacred and Profane is sort of Mayonaise pt II; the chorus of Heavy Metal Machine is tuneful; Age of Innocence retreads Tonight, Tonight quite pleasantly; The Imploding Voice is as simple and easy a song as I've ever heard but my, it's addictive; and This Time and Wound are just two of the best songs I've ever heard. So good I listen to them all the time. Those last three employ the ringing harmonic effect-thing that so tickled Mark's fancy on 'Zero', and the melody of Wound in particular is supremely sad, wistful, regretful, gloomily positive, lots of vague things like that.
We now come to the thorny fact that most of the other songs are complete trash, but that's what the skip button was invented for, I suppose. Especially so with a band like the Pumpkins, who never really went in for structured albums or careful sequencing - it was always just a stream of songs, one after another after another, all in much the same vein. In that respect if in no other they are of a feather with Bob Dylan.
So farewell and goodbye, Smashing Pumpkins. You won't be missed very much by most people but you properly should be; you added a touch of eccentricity and colour to the eternal grumpiness of the teenager, weren't afraid to be your peculiar selves and had a lot more soul than some of the globalised phonies who will insist on dominating modern music (step forward Nirvana, U2 and REM).
Siamese Dream 4/10
I get it, you don't like the Pumpkins. Neither does my brother (who has a small review of MCIS on here). BUT HOW IN THE HELL IS MACHINA BETTER THAN SIAMESE DREAM? HOW IS IT AS GOOD AS MELLON COLLIE? BECAUSE THOSE ALBUMS ARE MORE THAN FOUR TIMES BETTER THAN THIS ONE!!! THOSE ALBUMS ARE PERFECT!!! And it doesn't need to be said, but it will be, that Gish and Adore are way better than this one as well.
I'd really like to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
Speaking as a die-hard Pumpkins fan, I actually agree with you when it comes to this album. Half of it is good and half of it sucks. It wasn't a good swan song. So how can an album this tuneless get a better rating than Siamese Dream? Enlighten me.
Stand Inside Your Love is vintage Pumpkins that wouldn't have been out of place on their earlier albums. The Everlasting Gaze is quite great too (you can give or take the acapella near the end, of course, but quite a good riff.). The Imploding Voice kind've has a neat melody and ultra-fuzzy guitars. I like Heavy Metal Machine even though it gets knocked, but I still think it isn't as good as 95% of the stuff on MCIS. And that's the problem with this album, even the songs on here that are good (with the exception of the first two singles) aren't as good as almost anything previously released by the Pumpkins. It's quite a flat, flat album. Any pretentiousness that never bothered me on their earlier records, bothers me on this record (for example: the little interview part in Glass and the Ghost Children, the fuck is that?). The artwork, while technically well drawn and neat looking pictures, is a showcase in pretention as nobody knows what the hell the concept of the album is. The album cover's pretty cool though.
Just thought I'd share that with you.
(cue tumbleweed, crickets etc)
Have you noticed how (judging by the comments posted on this page) all Pumpkins fans appear to be a bunch of whingeing whimpering gimps?
Reflect on the potential inference of this observation for a moment...
Ah yes, Smashing Pumpkins play music BY whingeing whimpering gimps, FOR whingeing whimpering gimps!
How about that, in a flash its all become clear to me!
Now I don't mean to offend anyone here, so don't spit your dummy out just yet all you 'Zero' T-shirt wearers. All I'm saying is this:
Adolescence is a tough time for everyone. So many changes in the way the world seems, so much confusion, all the things that seem so innocent and simple as a child, lose their value and world seems to lose its meaning...
You feel like no one understands all those fierce emotions building up inside you...
You want to experience something that will release you from the cruel emotional deadening that grips you...
You want to cry out to the world "Hear me, hear my voice, I want to live!!!" but you keep it all to yourself...
Well BOO HOO!!!!!!
I got over my adolescense, ya saps! HAHAHA!!!
By all means, continue wallowing in your self pity! This cruel world gives not the slightest care for you, and carries on happily and freely!
AHHHHHHHHH!!!! The air is so fresh and sweet!
Keep on listening to your precious Pumpkins, LOSERS!!!
As for the album itself, I listened to it last out of the band's albums, and listened to a friend's copy a couple times through and barely made it. I really love a couple of the songs here and have sometimes thought about just caving and buying a really cheap used copy to get those songs, but that'd be stupid...anyway, they're "The Everlasting Gaze" (pretentious metal sludge, but that's a great riff and I like the soaring keyboard/prog chorus thing), "Stand Inside Your Love", "The Imploding Voice" (wish he'd tone down the guitars), and best of all "Age Of Innocence" which actually has a NICE mix, and is thick without feeling ugly and overcompressed. But that's about it. I really CAN'T believe you who doesn't like the band as much as I do, gave this even a 5. I'd give it probably a 4. "Glass And The Ghost Children" is one of the worst things I've ever heard.
I really think you're off the mark with The Pumpkins. Siamese Dream and
Mellon Collie are both classic albums, with the latter being much too
Adore and Machina had their moments, but in my opinion aren't even in the same ballpark as the first 2 I mentioned. Gish sounds like a slower, unpolished Siamese Dream. I don't own either of those 2 (Adore and Machina) because they dont do much for me. Yet, 13 years later, I put on Siamese Dream in the car and I'm blown away. Why don't I listen to this more often, I ask
Granted there are a number of accessible, radio friendly tunes thrown in. Ever listen to Fuck You (An Ode to No One)? What a brilliant song! Emotive, fast, heavy, one of the best songs Corgo ever wrote. The live video version on the dvd Best of 1991-2000 is amazing. Check out Chamberlin's drumming on that live one. I refer to it as the Michael Flatley version of the song, as Jimmy's wrists seem to "move indepedently of his arms". He is one amazing drummer, and that performance is one of the best Ive seen. I wish the whole dvd was live.
In summary, I don't think you're giving SP enough credit. I don't think they're the modern day Led Zeppelin, but do think that giving credit where credit is due is a fair practice. I would rate them as follows: Gish - 5
Siamese Dream - 8
Mellon collie - 8
Adore - 3
Machina - 4
Glad i got that off my chest...
But one vocalist I'll never get tired of is The Shasta-Drinking Bumpkins' Billy Corrigan, who defies all expectation by having a banjo-playing Appalachian yokel sodomize him during every take so his voice sounds, as he puts it, "just like a pig squealin'." Nope, I'll never get tired of old Billy. You see, it's hard to get tired of somebody you never, ever, ever listen to.
And for good reason! I'll agree with yesterday's young people who felt, at least at the time, that Billy wrote some really good songs. He did! I could even name a few - "Tonight Tonight," that one that goes 'ner ner ner kee kee koo koo" - heck there are even some songs on here that I like. But Billy's problem - and my GOD is it a problem - is his seeming inability to realize that at least half of the songs he writes are either (a) generic, (b) annoying, or (c) the worst song ever written. So he releases ALL of it, submerging his few seminal alternative diamonds beneath gallon bucketfulls of seminal alternative fluids. Thus, this album -- an Internet-only release featuring 25 rarities, demos and outtakes, and maybe 6 actual melodies.
Have you ever woken up in the morning to find that you'd shat all over yourself, your bedsheets, your floor, your carport, and the woman who lives across the street? Billy Corgan has. But he was in a recording studio at the time, and his shit was metaphorical. Rather than 'fecal matter' and 'turd,' B.C.'s shit had names like "Saturnine," "Glass' Theme," "Cash Car Star," "Lucky 13," "If There Is A God," "Dross," "Home," "Blue Skies Bring Tears," "White Spider" and "Le Deux Machina." And instead of being all brown with bits of corn and those little green spicy things from pizza, Corgan's metaphorical shit was filled with boring simplistic alterna-grunge, wistful gentle hookless pop, dumb funk-metal beats, dull self-importance, and overdistorted demo quality production. So instead of humiliatedly hurrying to clean up the mess and get the hell out of town forever, Billy calmly scooped up all his shit and made it available as a toll-free Web download.
But the melodies! I forgot to mention the melodies!
No, wait. Billy forgot to include the melodies. Regardless of what Tool might try to tell you, three boring heavy chords and a funky beat isn't a melody. As such, I recommend downloading exactly four songs from this release: dismal yet catchy "Slow Down," catchy pretty yearning fuzzy "Vanity," bright happy blasts of noise "Real Love" and James Iha's Beatlesy "Go." "Try Try Try" is great too, but you can already find that (along with successive track "Heavy Metal Machine") on the first Machina. A few other songs have their moments, but only very briefly. For you see, the Smashing Pumpkins weren't good enough to record a single decent album in their careers. Why would an outtakes release be any different?
I remember this one time me and these people smashed a pumpkin back in early '90. The "thwapping" noise of the aluminum bat smacking into the gourd over and over again was still catchier than anything on this album.
Smashing Pumpkins were never any good. But they are especially not any good in 2007. Why would they release a comeback album now, so long after all their fans turned 18 and realized they sucked? Does Billy really attribute the critical and commercial failures of Zwan and his solo album to the fact that they weren't attributed to "Smashing Pumpkins"!? Presumably so, since this isn't actually a Smashing Pumpkins reunion at all, but simply a new album by Billy Corgan and the old heroin drummer (in other words... Zwan). Still, Zeitgeist does prove one thing - that Billy is capable of crafting an even worse album than Machina II.
My first thought upon listening to this record all the way through was "What the hell is the heroin drummer doing!? Why is he playing such heavy-handed parts that don't seem to fit with the songs at all?" So imagine my sense of entitlement when I happened upon this sentence in the album's Wikipedia entry: "After the songs were finalized, Chamberlin laid down all of the drum tracks. After the drums were complete, Corgan went about recording the guitar, bass, keyboard, and vocal parts." So it's Billy's fault that the drums sound so wrong! But let's talk about the music now.
Awful voice, dull songwriting. Thick fuzzy guitar tone, pig voice. Hard "tuff" rockers, aggressively generic chord progressions. The U.S. should be ashamed of themselves for ever allowing this band to be popular. These songs have SO MANY SHITTY PARTS!!! Even when Billy accidentally runs across a catchy riff, he immediately replaces it with something you could have written on one guitar string taped to a desk. The vocal mixes are completely bone-headed too: why are the (awful) lead vocals SO FUCKING LOUD!?!?!!? And why is he constantly doing this awful falsetto thing that makes you want to scrape your fingernails across his throat? And couldn't he at least have gotten a friend to sing backup so we wouldn't have to listen to six squealing fat bald little pricks all snivelling at the same time? With bad songs and worse production, Zeitgeist basically sounds like a terrible Billy Corgan solo album recorded with ProTools.
But maybe I'm being too general in my insults. Here, let's go track-by-track:
"Doomsday Clock" - Released as a single, this song is hookless and stinks.
"7 Shades Of Black" - Starts with a nicely rhythmic drop-note guitar line, then immediately replaces it with three other parts that are absolutely awful.
"Bleeding The Orchid" - Very nice ringing guitar verse with sad emotional Nirvana-toned note smacks, ruined by generic chorus, amateurish mix and completely fucking hideous vocal arrangement.
"That's The Way My Love Is" - Released as a single, this is a dull nothing fuzzy happy pop song with no good parts.
"Tarantula" - The only single from this album to feature even one good part (an uptempo angry fuzzy three-chord verse), this song is nevertheless decimated by Billy's shitty voice, a plodding shitty drumbeat, an ugly shitty guitar overload noise section, and a quiet shitty middle part.
"Starz" - Slow, dramatic song with awful glam vocals. Boring and terrible.
"United States" - This 10-minute epic features a catchy variation on Mark Prindle's "The Electric Prunes" during its second minute, but it only lasts for a minute before the geniuses at the Smashing Pumpkin Factory replace it with a bad chorus, LAME 'thwacking at harmonics' part, embarrassing psych-noise guitar solo, and the word "Rev-a-loo-shone." This is awful. AWFUL! The song just gets WORSE AND WORSE AND WORSE, and when you don't think it can get any worse, IT GETS WORSE! Nice second minute though.
"Neverlost" - Vibe notes doubled on guitar. Bachelor pad melancholy. Corny keyboard orchestration though. To be honest, most of the song is rotten. Dull listless crap with vomitous vocals.
"Bring The Light" - Herein begins the section of the album that earns this album a 3 rather than 1. This song - though hampered by an irritatingly repetitive chorus - is still miles above everything that came before. It's an uptempo, straightforward emotional rock song. Pretty obvious really, but not awful at all for a change!
"(Come On) Let's Go" - The Good Section Of The Album continues with this big '70s guitar rock riff. Catchy stuff! Still not perfect, what with those vocals, but yeah! Rockin'!
"For God And Country" - The Good Part reaches its pinnacle with this above-reproach song that combines an incredibly thick bass with Japanese Whispers-style keyboard notes, little piano taps and the most unique chord changes on the record. Even Billy's throat can't ruin this gloomy, interesting song!
"Pomp And Circumstances" - Dull, prissy, cliche'd, slow, keyboard, boring boring boring BORING!
Much has been said about the album's political lyrics, and for good reason because they changed the world and got Bush and Cheney impeached so good work on that, you really made your mark with this album Billy Corgan and heroin drummer.
You sir, are a genius. That completely nails it. I used to love this band, and hey, I still sort of like Zwan and Adore. But a couple of years ago, Billy Corgan released his solo record, The Future Embrace. As a Pumpkins fan, I was excited and I checked out the band website every damn day. Corgan described as his followup to Adore. I even preordered the motherfucker to get the video, liner notes, and bonus track. I was shocked when I finally listened to it. It was bad. Really bad. Really really really bad.
I do not believe more physically painful music has been produced since Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Considering I'm one of the weirdos who actually likes the pig voice, it is absolutely intolerable on The Future Embrace. Take Metal Machine Music, replace the interesting feedback guitar lines with Corgan's glam crap, run it through enough effects so that it is completely unrecognizable, add synthesized drums, and finally throw some really lousy poetry on top of the muck. It sounds like a passably mediocre record at first, but after two tracks and the unspeakably awful Bee Gee's cover, one's ears just give up and quit listening. You can turn it up all you want, you won't be able to find any recognizable shred of music to make you pay attention again.
My point is that that record retroactively ruined about 75% of the Smashing Pumpkins back catalog for me. It was astounding. I immediately bought Gish to reassure myself that yes, this band was once good. But they weren't! Amazon.com is filled with morons who call that CD a classic. I highly recommend reviewing The Future Embrace some time, as it may be the second album to take home the Mark Prindle Zero.
Oh yeah, Zeitgeist. From the few clips I've heard, it does sound like most of the crap show that was The Future Embrace. It's really cheap at Best Buy, so I've been thinking of diving in and soaking in the badness for myself. I somehow doubt the tracks you mentioned were good, but who knows? They played in my college town recently and Zeitgeist got a favorable write up in the school newspaper. By the way, Illinois State University sucks. This record is indirectly one of the many reasons I'm transferring to another school. It's so bad, it's life changing!
"I have yet to read an honest assessment by anyone. Everything I have read falls into one of three groups:
1. SP Haters - You are there but that's okay. You'd hate to see my
reviews of some of the bands you worship.
2. SP Fanboys who want Bald Head's babies.
3. Critics who spend their whole time analyzing the band member changes and didn't really listen to the album. AMG is an example.
All three groups had their mind made up before listening to the music.
t love them. I fully expected this album to completely blow chunks. God knows that the last four albums Billy touched did (starting with Machina). However, I was surprised to find a good solid album. It also shows that Iha and D'arcy had next to nothing to do with the success of SP. "
To yoda87960, I agree Future Embrace isn't a good album, but it isn't nearly as bad as you suggest either - just blah. 4/10 or 5/10. Machina I/II and Zwan are MUCH worse.
But I fuckin' digress. Modern teenyboppers, as you've "No Doubt" noticed, have this crazy notion that the popular music they like is popular because it's better than everything else. Right? Bloody roit. We all know they think that.
But what about underground music fans? They're not the same, of course, but they have an equally crazy notion. Are ye ready? Here's my two cents:
They think good music SHOULD be more popular than everything else.
Both notions are cracked. I'd say both all you teenyboppers and undergroundies are paying way, way, WAY too much attention to context. That gets in the way of FUN in music. But I'm an engineer, and I haven't taken a lit class for five years, so what the hell do I know.
Zeitgeist feature's Mr. Corgan turning away from the variety and drama that was a hallmark of classics like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and trying desperately to get back onto the charts with RAWK! YEAAAH!! and so forth. On the one hand, this results in a uniformity of sound and startling lack of invention (think: Rolling Stones since. . . well, 1981). On the other hand, it proves no one (save perhaps Radiohead) can match Corgan for pure facility in melody and production in today's alternative rock. Thus, despite a noticeable drop in intelligence, we have a grand total of four songs that match his previous work (as opposed to zero songs on, say, Machina II). Unsurprisingly, those songs are the three singles, "Doomsday Clock," "That's the Way," and "Tarantula", and, of course, the big ten-minute blowout, "United States." And other than piles of rubbish like "Come On (Let's Go)," (which, unlike Mark, I think is far below what Corg's capable of), there's really no bad songs, so I give it a low 7.
So I have to ask the honest question, Mark: what band called the "Smashing Pumpkins" have you been listening to? I'm no music major, but these guys (guy) have completely conquered so-called "pop masters" such as Pavement, My Bloody Valentine, and Nirvana when it comes to melody from the beginning of their career. True, their approach is not as "revolutionary" as those of Malkmus and Francis (or Black, whichever you prefer), but of course it goes without saying that I don't give a fuck. Chalk that up to my goddamn science major.
Seriously, they really don't sound any less inventive (to my ears) than most of the so-called "indie" bands of today, especially when I hear them on the local college station. Crazily enough, they're the only mainstream alternative band that gets played on there. Yep, not even Nirvana.
But then again, there is that voice. Oh well. He's a million times better than that dude from Live, anyhoo. Not to mention Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer, and Tom "Shitvoice" Verlaine (fuck, that crossed the line).
As for the reader comment above, to be frank, I feel your pain. My exalted opinion of Springsteen's Wild, Innocient, and E Street Shuffle dropped several dozen notches after I listened to the rest of his catalog and realized none of his other albums even came close to matching the quality of that one. But I consider Billy Corgan a better musician than that guy (NOT lyricist--hold your fire, Boss fanatics), so I experienced no such dropoff in his case.
I agree with your sentiment on the new Mashing Punkin record. It really is kinda terrible. I really was really disappointed….I actually had high hopes for it. Zwan failed to impress me, as did the solo Billy stuff, and the last couple Ponkins albums… although I do like some of this. I think maybe I convinced myself that it didn’t suck at first, and then I listened again and realized that a lot of it does suck.
In my opinion, Smashing Pumpkins actually made some great music back in the day (Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie)…I know you don’t have that much of a sentiment for them, but those records were a big part of my early songwriting development, back in the high school days. I even still like a lot of it!
This record sounds like it was made on a tiny little budget. Almost like it’s not finished. These sound like rough mixes to me. And there’s no variety. I mean, I love steak, but I don’t want a full-course meal of nothing but different cuts of steak!
Gimme some chocolate raisins or something! There are no chocolate raisins on this record. Only rice pilaf salad with gravy.
And you’re right – Billy sings like a pig! I’ve always thought that! It’s weird, but the first time I ever heard him, I could just picture a singing pig! WEEEEE! But then when he sings quiet it’s this thin little airy feminine voice…I actually kinda like that voice. He should do a soft pretty album next, produced by Jon Brion. Then it would sound more like a James Iha record! Except (hopefully) not so sickeningly smarmy!
a) Billy had written interesting lyrics
b) he'd sung those lyrics in an intelligible voice (what the hell happened to it? what was once unique and varied has become a bit of a joke, and even for one as musically uneducated as me, I can tell it's way too prominent in the 'mix'... or whatever)
c) he'd taken the album in a few different directions, not just 'louder, louder!' and 'phew, time for a rest'
It's a rare thing, but I think the Pitchfork review of this album actually sums it up precisely. It's a 'could-have-been', with a few snippets of that old Pumpkins thunder. In fact, after writing that, I believe the album deserves a pass grade for simply having a sound unto itself, unlike, say, the bulk of the Australian top 30 at the moment.
So I was washing the flesh out of my umbrella the other day when it suddenly occurred to me, "Holy Jump Up And Sit Down could I go for an acoustic Smashing Pumpkins EP right about now." But the sad thing was that, as far as I knew, such a miracle was yet to exist. Sure, I could've listened to my acoustic Alice In Chains EP, but that guy could sing. No, what I wanted was an acoustic EP that sounded like the singer had sat down with such force onto a microphone stand that it ripped through his pants, entered his anus, ran all the way up through his digestive system, and exited his nose, where the recording portion dangled right over his mouth in anticipation of some tasty belting. If that singer were porcine, all the better.
So imagine my glee when not only did such a product unexpectedly "drop" on March 4th, 2008 -- but it turned out to be one of the greatest releases in the putrid band's entire repugnant career!
"Why, what makes this release any less vile than all their other loathsome CDs?" you must be wondering at this point. It's simple: fewer songs.
Even as big a 'Pumpka Hata' as I am, I've never denied that every once in a while Billy Corgan constructs a perfectly enjoyable melody. On this 4-song CD, he pulls off this hat trick TWICE! Even a third song isn't that bad! One is though. It's terrible.
Although these four tracks are not strictly "unplugged" -- organs, bass, drums and lead electric all make their way into the mix -- they are driven first and foremost by acoustic guitars. Billy Corgan's odious vocals are still WAY too high in the mix, but even that isn't enough to ruin this set of relaxing emotional alt-rock compositions -- aside from the opening "The Rose March," a slow girly song that could be written off as harmless if not for the overbearing stench of nasal excrement wafting atop its calm strummy doldrums. But aside from a mere 25% of the disc, these tunes are strong enough to withstand any noxious mouth fumes that this little piggy can throw at them!
Moving forward chronologically, the optimistic "Again, Again, Again" is warm and full of love, but the real reason to purchase American Woman illegally on the Internet is its excellent second half. With "Poxed," Corgan finally dumps the cheer and lashes out (whines) against a great troubled chord sequence and mean driving beat. Then "Sunkissed" finds him working finger-lift tappiness into some interesting chord changes and an honestly *memorable* vocal melody for a relaxed experience both melancholy and hopeful, presumably about drinking an orange soda.
Don't get me wrong -- just in general, I don't want to be gotten wrong. But I guess that's the risk you take when you put your whole life out there on the Internet the way I do. When the whole world has instant access to all your hopes and dreams, fears and regrets, classified government documents and tips for murdering people, joys and pains, it's to be expected that every once in a while an unenlightened reader will encounter your innocent bright-eyed awe at the natural wonders of life, and mistake it for mean-spirited sarcasm and the word 'dick' fifty times in a row. But that's the cross we artists and dreamers must bear. Me, Galileo - all of us.
Sorry, my soul hurts.
Again, Again, Again is drum machine at its worst: CHUG, CHUG, CHUG. Rose March is a mind-numbing ballad but at least a drummer showed up. Sunkissed's guitar part is as boring as the beat in Again, Again, Again. Pox I dislike the repetitive guitar and drums but it would make adequate album filler. Personally, this is Machina III the EP in my book.
Everybody On The Internet
The Bumpkins are back, this time releasing a 44-song box set in no-cost downloadable installments of one. Billy writes one, he and his friends record it, and SH-BORP! It's there on the Internet for you to enjoy when you're not looking at illiterate cats. Then each time they finish four songs, they release them on a compact disc such as this one, which you can purchase when you're not looking at a photo that somebody has typed "fail" onto.
Smashing Pumpkins is a band that, like Weezer, is revered amongst a certain audience as a once-phenomenal alternative rock band that has degenerated into unlistenable mulch over the years. Personally I think both bands were mediocre from the getgo, with Smashing Pumpkins particularly hindered by the singer's atrociously nasal voice and penchant for aiming way too high conceptually for his limited songwriting talents to reach. His latest venture, "a story based on the four phases of 'The Fool's Journey' version of the Tarot - the Child, the Fool, the Skeptic, and the Mystic," is shaping up to be just as bloated and underwhelming as the rest.
Still, there's no denying that Corgan does have a smidgen of songwriting talent; he's not completely worthless like Rivers Cuomo. Once you get past the dreary awful "A Song for a Son" with its endless dickoff guitar solo, the EP enters a magical world of Psychedelic Psixties Psounds! The playful, lighthearted "Widow Wake My Mind" is Paisley pop at its cheeriest; the chorus is no great shakes, but the melodic verse and harmonious ending are great shakes indeed! "Astral Planes" continues this nostalgic trip through Drugville, USA with a fuzzed-out faux-psych rock riff that would totally kick ass if it weren't accompanied by a single boring lyric repeated over and over for 4,000 years. Finally, the EP hits its high mark with the excellent psych-folk composition "A Stitch in Time." That's right; I just called a Smashing Pumpkins song 'excellent.' In fact, if Billy were capable of writing songs this intelligent, tuneful and emotional all the time, he'd be.. Well, Wayne Coyne, I suppose.
Now here's a list of Internet memes I just made up and would love for you to propagate. Thanks.
"Got a condom made of stone-a!" - Based on a delightful typo in my local karaoke house's transcription of Steve Martin's "King Tut," I see this phrase being used any time a vaguely sexual comment is made on a message board. Forget "That's what she said! LOL"; today's now lingo is "Got a condom made of stone-a! ROTFL"
Dancing Pencil - If possible, I'd like one of you to design a dancing pencil and post it on every web site in the world. People will love that. Can you imagine? A dancing pencil! How would it write!?
Hey! You're Upside Down! - This rip-roaring meme will encompass photos of various celebrities PhotoShopped to make it look like they are upside down. This will provide hours and hours of delight, possibly landing me on The David Letterman Show.
Garfield, But With Kermit the Frog, And He's Wearing A Ronald Reagan Mask - I've already purchased the url www.garfieldbutwithkermitthefrogandheswearingaronaldreaganmask.edu, so get ready to split your seams as I take classic Garfield comedy strips and manipulate them so that America's favorite America Cat has been replaced by the world's top Muppet, who in turn is wearing a Ronald Reagan mask! You'll never look at Nermal the same way again!
Some Guy - Just cut some guy out of a news photo and stick him in some other picture. People on the Internet seem to love this.
Distendedan.us - You'll "throw up in your mouth a little bit" when you see this disgusting photo of two goats making love!
WTFFish - If every single one of you reading this right now will create a web site devoted to nothing but photos of fish with curse words typed next to them, I promise to become famous.
3 Girls 1 Cup - GET OUT YOUR BARF BAGS!!! This revolting video will feature three little girls watching the 2010 World Cup.
John Belushi Is Mad About Something! - This meme will be the gift that keeps giving as creative Internet types all around the world will take the exact same Belushi scene from National Lampoon's Animal House -- the one that begins, "HEY! What's all this lyin' around shit!?" - mute the audio, and add their own hilarious dialogue to make it look like he's angry about all SORTS of crazy things! The iPad, the new Star Trek movie, the bailout - you name it, he'll be angry about it! Best of all, this gag will only grow in hilariousness every time it is used, and will never grow old or tiresome.
Bryan Adamnshame! - This is a phenomenon that will involve posting a URL in an Internet forum that appears to be relevant to the topic at hand, but is, in fact, a link to a video of Bryan Adams' "This Time". This practice will originate on 4chan as "Bryan Adamshame!" in which a photo of Bryan Ferry visiting the Hoover Dam will be what is linked to. The practice of Bryan Adamnshaming will become popular after April Fools' Day in 2011 when Youtube will rig every feature video on its home page to Bryan Adams' song. IF YOU WORK AT 4CHAN OR YOUTUBE DO THIS, THANKS
Okay, enough of this shit. I'm told there's a piano-playing cat I have to check out. It better be good or I'm totally writing "LOLWUT" under it.
Okay, I'm already sick of it. On this second Teabaggin' with Katie Couric EP, Billy 'n' employees say, "Up the Avocado!" to the '60s psych influences in order to churn out (mostly) a bunch of straightforward alternative rock. "The Fellowship" starts things off with a literal bang as a nude woman pops out of the speakers and fu
"The Fellowship" starts things off with a figurative bang as the band whips up a bombastic and danceable piece of guitar/synth rock - yet another example that Billy Corgan doesn't completely suck dick 100% of the time. Unfortunately, this highlight is followed by three pieces of evidence that he has sex with a man at least 22 times a week. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," to quote an ensemble of actors reciting a script during the taping of a popular television series. Being gay is fine. But writing shitty music is a crime against humanity! And by "shitty music," I of course mean "music that doesn't correlate precisely with my narrow taste parameters." I'm lookin' at YOU, nearly every artist who's ever lived!!!
"Tom Tom" is an adequate if unadventurous piece of '90s alt-rock, but the sickmaking "Spangled" and "Freak" sound suspiciously like outtakes from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and At War with the Mystics respectively. In conclusion, Billy Corgan was the least talented member of The Flaming Lips and The Beatles.
Look here's my impression of Ringo: "Doody doody look at my big nose! Doody doody no more autographs! Doody doody I'm in Caveman! Doody doody I was born Richard Starkey on July 4th, 1940! Doody doody I have a beard!"
Although Doody Doody never enjoyed the success of his brother Howdy, he must have found it comforting to know that Ringo Starr said his name at the beginning of every sentence.
What's really annoying is that the "Pastichio Medley" from the Zero disc (not reviewed here) is made up of tons of excellent song fragments much better than Teargarden so far..... Billy, please don't give us 9 more discs of this. Go finish the song fragments.
I normally agree with your album reviews and thoroughly enjoy seeing you berate and dethrone "rock stars" (god what a disgusting term). However, I have to completely disagree with your Pumpkins rhetoric. I'm going to do my own album ratings:
-Gish: 10 out of 10
-Lull EP (by David Weigel): 10 out of 10
-Siamese Dream: 10 out of 10
-Pisces Iscariot: 10 out of 10
-Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness: 20 out of 20
-The Aeroplane Flies High: 10 out of 10
-Adore: 7 out of 10
-MACHINA/The Machines Of God: 6 out of 10
-Machina II: The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music: 8 out of 10
-Zeitgeist: 1 out of 10
-American Gothic EP: what the fuck is this?
-Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor EP: 1 out of 10
-Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Vol.2: The Solstice Bare EP: 2 out of 10
The old albums to me just shit on all other music in existence. I love Billy's voice and (at one time) love(d) his song-writing. Especially Mellon Collie; that album seriously sends me to another world. Its perfection.
Now, if only Billy would rehire jimmy chamberlain and get off the antidepressant-fueled jesus kick we could once again get some good music!
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