Monday, April 24, 2006

Billy, don't let me down

By now it's been reported just about everywhere that Billy Corgan has announced his plans to reform his old band and make a new Smashing Pumpkins album. The band's official site currently states:

"It's official, The Smashing Pumpkins are currently writing songs for their upcoming album, their first since 2000. No release date has yet been set, but the band plans to begin recording this summer."

However, listeners who were around for Corgan's last two projects (Zwan and that horrifying solo album) are more than a little apprehensive about the news. As with many people, the Pumpkins were a staple in the soundtrack of my life during high school. I guess that's why I'm very torn about this news. On the one hand, it may be a great album that lives up to the incredible Pumpkins legacy of the 90s. On the other hand, er... Zwan and that solo album. Yeah...

To be fair, Machina and its internet-only sister album really didn't do much for me either. They sounded to me like a contrived attempt at recapturing the sound that made the Pumpkins famous. Adore may not have been a universal success, but I can at least admire it for going against the grain. A couple of brilliant tunes didn't hurt either.

Please, Billy. Don't let me down... Let me rock. Here is the original Pumpkins line-up covering Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again," as well as another kind of "out there" tune that's back by request. "Eye" was featured on the Lost Highway Soundtrack.

[mp3] Smashing Pumpkins - Never Let Me Down Again
[mp3] Smashing Pumpkins - Eye

* Buy For the Masses: A Tribute to Depeche Mode
* Buy Lost Highway Soundtrack

1 comment:

vjb2 said...

I'm also psyched/apprehensive about the new Pumpkins, particularly because it would appear both Iha and D'Arcy aren't on-board. While the band was always Billy's baby, up to and including him playing damn near all the parts in the studio, I feel the other founders' influence tempered the sound appreciably. I did enjoy Zwan for what it was, though it did lack the balls of the Pumpkins, but the solo album was DREK. A superior form of drek, but drek nonetheless.

I disagree, however, with detractors of Machina, tho. True, it doesn't hold together quite as well as some of the other albums, and there was a more artificial attempt to recapture the market lost in Adore's experimentation, but nevertheless there was a unifying concept and progression. Machina II, unfortunately, is a bit of a mess, and doesn't have the listenability of the group's other B-side & rarities collections; still, I'm glad I own it, and given the still high quality-to-drek ration of the Corgan output, I will continue to be glad to own whatever the man puts out, barring several more discs worth of drek.