Owen Barritt (hmmm_tea) wrote,
Owen Barritt

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Pumpkin Synthesis

So, the next CD in the pile is the Smashing Pumpkins' Adore from 1998.

The Smashing Pumpkins somehow missed my radar when I was a teenager other than for a general awareness that the band existed. It wasn't until university that I actually really listened to any of their music through this album and it's predecessor Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Even then, although I found it interesting, I never really got into it.

Several years later, I found this copy in a local record shop for £2, so picked it up and gave it another listen... and another... and another and it keeps growing on me.

It was around this time that music fashion appeared to turn back towards synthesisers under the influence of bands such as Aphex Twin and there were several grungy rock bands trying out more synthesised styles to varying degrees of success. The Pumpkins with their art rock sound naturally seem to have the blend these bands were trying for without any effort. In some ways it takes the arena dance rock of the likes of Depeche Mode and angst-ridden playfulness of bands like the Cure and does the unthinkable and attempts to add even more drama to it. Somehow it works, seemlessly moving between orchestral synthesisers, heavy rock guitars and more acoustic stuff.

Adore came out after the dismissal of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin from the band which was taken as an opportunity to update the bands style. It's quite a while since I last heard Melon Collie, so how much of a change it represents I cannot say, but it certainly shows heavy leanings toward drum machines alongside it's multitude of studio drummers.

One of the things that makes this album so interesting, is the huge variety of styles of the tracks. Whatever you could say about the band, you couldn't accuse them of having only one sound on this album.

Of all the tracks the one that really stands out to me is Pug, which wonderfully melts between orchestral synthesisers and rocking guitar making strong use of both the acoustic drum kit and electric drum machine.

The first single from the album Ava Adore also demonstrates the sound quite well and the video also shows off the dramatic eccentricity of the band, so here it is:

(Direct Link)

There are a multitude of artists promoting themselves through the internet on the likes of facebook and twitter, but billycorgan is the first one I've heard of on LJ.
Tags: links, livejournal & its offshoots, music, reviews, video

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