The Smashing Pumpkins have a long and torrid history, what with a slew of different band members and album projects since their formation in 1988. “Monuments to an Elegy,” set to release Dec. 9 in countries outside of Germany and the United Kingdom, is the first of a pair of albums the band will release under their new record company BMG.
The album is also the next in the series of albums under “Teagarden by Kaleidescope,” which began in 2010 with “Songs for a Sailor.”
Front man and one of the few original members of Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan described the album’s planned sound as being “guitars, guitars, guitars, and more guitars; but more so on the epic side of things than say, grossly metallic,” in an interview with male lifestyle website, CraveOnline.
Three singles were released off the album. “Being Beige,” released Oct. 20 on SoundCloud, is a very mellow song. In it, Corgan repeats “The world’s on fire.”
“People always ask me to explain songs, and honestly I can’t,” Corgan said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “But if there’s honesty in this lyric, it’s that there’s something amiss in our cosmos. Yet still, we must love.”
The second single “One and All (We Are),” was released Nov. 5.
“Drum + Fife,” the third single off the album, released Nov. 20, is in Corgan’s own words, “The most surprising song on ‘Monuments to an Elegy.'”
“It was one of those songs where everyone said in the beginning, this is going to be a single and it’s so great,” Corgan said in a Vevo Ask:Reply video. “But then by the end, it was pushed to the bottom of the list to be released as a single. It serves as a lesson for musicians that if they push something too hard to be the star of an album, it just gets worse. They just have to let the song be what it’s going to be.”
So far, the album has received good reviews by MetaCritic, BlogsCritic, Allmusic and more. Rolling Stone said it is the band’s “best album since their 90s heyday.”
Personally, I like the mellow sounds, which are classic for the best Smashing Pumpkins songs. Overall though, I don’t find the album that impressive. It isn’t superb, but it isn’t terribly awful either. If you like Smashing Pumpkins 90s type music, then definitely go out and buy the album. But if not, suffice it to say the album is currently available for full streaming on iTunes Radio as of Dec. 2.