TheFutureEmbrace – Billy Corgan
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter

12/2005
 
           
 

 

  With this much anticipated return to the music scene, we find the ex-Smashing Pumpkins frontman going in yet another musical direction. The Smashing Pumpkins started out as a sort of punk/metal/alternative act, and quickly evolved into the full blown alternative force that made them famous. When Corgan left the Pumpkin patch and formed the short lived Zwan, we got an earful of a more straight forward pop/rock sound. Now, with this, his first solo album, Corgan gives us an atmospheric, electronic, alternative pop record. Layered backgrounds of sampled effects, reminiscent of industrial powerhouse Nine Inch Nails, are used as a canvas for Corgan's dreamy pop whining. While I admire any band or artist that seeks out new ways to present their art form, I found a lot of this drab and irritating. If you are a fan of Corgan's voice, well, go see a shrink - and then just ignore everything else I'm about to say. I find Corgan's incessant whine to be most appealing, or at least bearable, when he's doing heavier tracks. Well ...there are no heavy tracks on this record. When things go at a slower pace, his voice becomes something like eardrum acupuncture. This whole record is set at one slow and steady pace.

When the record kicks off, the sound is somewhat fresh, and very well produced. But, as the record wears on, the songs start to blend together due to the repetitive nature of the style. The first five tracks have a certain appeal, although nothing is spectacular, and then the rest of the record just beats the hell out of the horse's carcass. Almost all of these songs are done with the exact same formula in tow. The only exceptions may be "DIA" and "Walking Shade," which aren't a huge departure from the formula, but they are a bit more simplistic and straight forward. Everything else sounds like The Cure playing over a Trent Reznor background texture - and of course, the piercing drone of Corgan's yammering to top off the party. Not necessarily a bad sound, and this is not a completely horrible record, but I think what bothers me is the fact that it goes nowhere. So, unless you are a die hard fan of the slower Pumpkins stuff, and you're just dying to hear a whole album full of it, I would suggest that you embrace something else.

   
           
     

Track listing
1.

All Things Change

2.

Mina Loy (M.O.H.)

3.

The Camera Eye

4.

To Love Somebody

5.

A100

6.

DIA

7.

Now (And Then)

8.

I'm Ready

9.

Walking Shade

10.

Sorrows (in blue)

11.
Pretty, pretty STAR
12.
Strayz
Label: Reprise/Wea / Release date: 6/21/2005