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Smashing Pumpkins, The - Earphoria
Label: Virgin Records
Release: 2002

Tracklisting:
Sinfony
Quiet [Live]
Disarm [Live]
Cherub Rock (Acoustic) [Live]
Today [Live]
Bugg Superstar
I Am One [Live]
Pulseczar
Soma [Live]
Slunk [Live]
French Movie Theme
Geek U.S.A. [Live]
Mayonaise [Live]
Silverfuck [Live]
Why Am I So Tired

Earphoria - Smashing Pumpkins, The
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Average Blamo User Rating: (35 votes)

The once rare and sought after CD Earphoria has been redistributed much to the delight of SP fans everywhere (including me). In my opinion this is one of the best albums that SP has put out in the history of their band. All the songs are from the pre Pisces era, and many songs from gish and siamese dream can be found on the CD. Disarm has always been one of my favorite songs and in my opinion, the live version on Earphoria is far better than the studio version. I think it's one of the best songs ever. If you don't have a lot of SP bootlegs or haven't gone to their shows then this CD gives you a good look at how they sound live. In addition to the live tracks, there are some short, rather bizzare songs(?) on the CD. They aren't anything special but they are pretty cool. Since Earphoria was rereleased it's a good time to go out and get it before it once again becomes a collectors item.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Earphoria...the title does not speak for itself... What can possibly be said about this record, other than that there was hardly any worse way the Pumpkins could have ended their great career, than with this CD. Sure, Earphoria has a few bright spots, but most of the album should have stayed on that "Vieuphoria" video they released way back in '94. It was great as a video. The only songs worth listening to are the following:
Cherub Rock (acoustic)
Today
I Am One
Soma
Silverfuck

All the rest are just throw-aways in my mind, and though the album is worth picking up simply because it is a release from one of the greater bands in the history of rock, you likely won't be too happy with it. Even Pumpkin fans favourites like "Mayonaise" and "Disarm" completely fall apart. At the end of "Mayonaise," Billy just ends up laughing and totally screwing up the lyrics. I, at first found it funny, but since, I've begun to find it less and less worth the 16 dollars that it cost. I remember being very extatic about it's release, but when I got it and put it in my CD player, I remember wishing I'd (not have wasted the money, but don't tell anyone.) It grew on me, as all things do, that have something to them. My personal advice on the album would be to buy the video or the DVD, "Vieuphoria," because it is great that way, and only that way. "Earphoria's" official release was a mistake.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Earphoria was once a mythic setting of songs, heard only by the few Pumpkin fans that could find the remnants of it along Internet in-betweens or find it in the most obscure of places. However, when released in 2002, Earphoria became a plateau for all remaining Pumpkinsheads (who hadn't had the chance previously) to experience the imaginative setting of the old Pumpkins live sets.
This collection of songs proves once and for all that the Smashing Pumpkins, without exceptions, are one of the greatest bands of the 90s corporate rock Era (among such as Tool, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine and Sublime). It proves that Smashing Pumpkins are not just the studio child of frontman Billy Corgan, who is thought to be a control freak on many levels. In many ways, this album is the big "Fuck You!" to all the people that have doubted them in the past.
The album starts off with a beautifully smashing rendition of Quiet from Siamese dream (about 3/4 of Siamese dream is included in this live effort). The solo in the middle is more than colorful and Jimmy's drumming patterns are unimaginably groovy though on some levels, hard to comprehend. Following are a distorted version of the once orchestrated "Disarm", which is hard to imagine orchestrated after this slow, crunchy track, and an acoustic version of Cherub Rock, which is very groovy and homey. Unlike most other bands who are often persecuted for the pretentious nature of acoustic renditions (except for good 'ol Brad Knowles), the Pumpkins are hands down the only band who's acoustic prowess matters as much as their hard rock personality.
Up next is the "hit" Today, which isn't much different than the studio version, probably because of Billy Corgan's nature to defiance. "Fuck you for liking this song" seems to be the attitude. After Bugg Superstar, James Iha's adorable techno song dedicated to his dog, there comes I am One, which gives any skeptics one more reason to dig through the collection and put on Gish one more time. With two outstanding guitar solos and a rant "All i wanted was everything and all I got was shit!" stands out as the crowd applauds in relation.
After Pulseczar, another break from the madness comes Soma. This is arguably the best track on the CD because of it's progressive arrangement and it is the best vocal track as well. The delay effects on the guitar create an all encompassing atmosphere of vulnerability, shunned out and reinforced as Billy scratches the pick against the guitar string. Smashing into heavy distortion brings the track to a whole new level.
Following comes French Movie Theme, yet another gift from Billy to those obsessive fans. Then we come to Geek USA, which is always a good song to put in a listen to just because of it's frankness. But it is immediately overshadowed by the shining star of Mayonaise.
The climax of the album comes in Silverfuck, which is probably, after this effort, the best track to have originated from that era. The guitars and crashing drums that start immediately in the beginning find no real rest until the bridge where the crowd sings along "Bang Bang you're dead. Whole in your head." There is nothing better to hear on a live album than the unquestioned obedience of the crowd. And then "Somewhere over the rainbow" which makes you almost laugh at the size of this man's [Corgan] balls and how a band so serious can also be so playful.
The album ends classically, as there is no better way to end a live album than a 15 minute rock out. "Why am I so tired" is an amazing closer and though it serves better for crunchy background music for four kids sitting in a room passing a pipe, undeniably belongs to this record. All in all, I think this album is probably one of the best statements the pumpkins have made since Siamese Dream concerning it's sincerity in a non-personal/strictly musical fashion. If you're looking for a good Cd to throw in while you do anything, Earphoria is definitely a good choice.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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