Album Review by Mark Bayross
For his debut album THEFUTUREEMBRACE, Billy Corgan, the man who once infamously declared rock to be dead, has all but thrown away his guitar – for so long his trusted weapon of choice – and gone back to the synthetic drum-machine-enhanced sound of his former band Smashing Pumpkins’ least popular album, ADORE.
Cleary in thrall to the cold electronics of everything from 80s new wave to 00s darkwave, this album is almost Corgan’s tribute to his influences, with New Order, Japan, Bowie and The Cure all thrown into the mix (in fact Robert Smith crops up to duet on a bizarre cover of the Bee Gees’ TO LOVE SOMEBODY).
With the exception of the thrilling techno-rock of MINA LOY (M.O.H.), the reverb-heavy 2 nd COMING, and the twisted tension of single WALKING SHADE, this is subdued stuff that takes a few listens to get into: it’s a far cry from of the likes of THE EVERLASTING GAZE and BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS. But it is worth persevering as there’s subtle drama in these grooves.
Billy Corgan apparently stormed out of a recent gig when the audience kept clamouring for Smashing Pumpkins songs, so it seems a reunion is some way off. Like it or not, we’ll have to accept that he’s a solo artist for the foreseeable future and this is the musical path he’s taken.