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Billy Corgan - TheFutureEmbrace
Label: Warner Brothers Records
Release: 2005

Tracklisting:
1. All Things Change
2. Mina Loy (M.O.H.)
3. The CameraEye
4. ToLoveSomebody
5. A100
6. DIA
7. Now (And Then)
8. I'm Ready
9. Walking Shade
10. Sorrows (in blue)
11. Pretty, pretty STAR
12. Strayz
TheFutureEmbrace - Billy Corgan
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Average Blamo User Rating: (55 votes)

In the 90's, when you thought of Billy Corgan, the last word that popped into your mind was "average." Billy was not someone to be taken lightly. Having brilliant albums such as Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness under his belt, it seemed as if Corgan could do no wrong. Heck, even when powerhouse drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was booted from the band, Billy and co. bounced right back up with this reviewers favorite Pumpkin's album, "Adore."

The next album, Machina, marked the return of Jimmy Chamberlin. It was a brilliant time to be a Smashing Pumpkins fan. Whether or not you liked Adore, Jimmy was back! But, instead of returning to the top of this art we call Rock and Roll, The Smashing Pumpkins plummeted with an over-produced disaster of an album. Perhaps to rid faithful fans of the sour taste of Machina, the band released Machina 2 over the internet. Myself, possibly along with many others, scratched our heads wondering why this album was not released instead of the crap-factory of Machina. But then again, Billy Corgan has never been easy to understand.

Corgan's hiatus wasn't for long, however. Before we knew it, live recordings of potential-filled songs from a new band named Zwan were spread all over the internet along with strange band logos. Before long, the band started scooping up attention and became a commodity. Billy Corgan, feeling the pressure, glued a smile onto his face and let it be known that everything was indeed all right. Zwan ended up releasing one album and deteriorating along with Corgan's integrity.

The time following Zwan's break up was strange to say the least. Billy Corgan started up an online diary, posted pictures of his cats, talked about work in progress, etc, etc. It all seemed pretty light-hearted and fun. Then, of course, Billy changed up his personality once again and blamed James Iha for the breakup of the Pumpkins. Sorry if we don't take your "the Pumpkins are over, get over it," speeches seriously after that whole spectacle, Billy.

To make a long story short, Billy threw some decent sounding acoustic songs out there and then switched up once again and released TheFutureEmbrace.

Armed with drum machines, boring melodies and rather crap lyrics, Billy makes his second "comeback." Many people might not have thought it possible, but Corgan has actually made an album more disappointing than Mary Star of The Sea. The irony this time is, Billy Corgan will have no one to blame but himself for failing.

Even the appearance of Robert Smith on "ToLoveSomebody," (yes, it's spelled out all together like that) doesn't make this album worth any of your money (Seriously, Smith made the last Blink 182 album buyable just by appearing on it, how did Corgan fuck up with such a brilliant guest?).

The thing that really stands out on The Future Embrace is Corgan's voice. Listening to this album reminds me of the first time I heard the Pumpkins. Upon first listening to the Pumpkins I couldn't stand them due to Billy's voice, yet on further listens I enjoyed the music immensely due to the brilliant musicianship and Corgan's lyrics. Upon further listening to The Future Embrace, nothing grows, the lyrics are still bland the musicianship is still boring. All you're left with is Billy's average vocals over similarly average musical tracks.

Billy seems keen on reinventing himself every other year or so. Some advice Billy, next time reinvent yourself as a musician who can create a half-decent album.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

At First Listen, you have the feeling that this Billy Corgan solo album was recorded some 7 or 8 years ago at the time the Smashing Pumpkins were together and the songs here were adore demos that weren't quite "Adoreish" enough, so they were cut.

This album has it some good tracks, I especially recommend "Mina Loy" "Walking Shade" and "TheCameraeye" are all worth a listen. Unfortunately, most of the songs on this album are rather generic sounding and many seem to have the same style of vague ending which Corgan would have spit on back in 1995. Maybe I need to give it more listens, I'm currently on my 4th listen but I really don't see it getting any better. However, Corgan has always been the king of producing albums that you don't really get into, put down and forget, and then pick up several months/years later and love, with that in mind; I will give him the benefit of the Doubt.

I hate to sound like everyone else when I say I miss the Corgan that recorded such masterpieces as Gish, Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I wonder what happened to that guy. I am very sad after listening to this album, it's as if he's lost it completely and given up his own sound; or even worse, he still has it, but just refuses to use it anymore.


Reviewer Rating of CD :

TheFutureEmbrace is the record that "Adore" would have been had Billy, as he said by his own admissions shortly after "Adore" came out, had "stuck with the vision" of the record. The album has a very cold feeling, and a "this is me: take it or leave it" vibe permeating through the lyrics and the artwork. Many fans feel that Billy is at his best when he is writing songs that are either sad or angry; it is almost amusing to note that both of Billy's post-Pumpkins records have been neither. TheFutureEmbrace starts off with the low humming and drum beats of "All Things Change" which soon flows into a very hooky vocal melody. The end tag of "we can change the world" is one of Corgan's most chill-inducing moments since the guitar build of "For Martha" from "Adore" (having seen Billy on the FutureEmbrace tour, this was a definite highlight with enthusiastic crowd interaction). "MOH" then really kicks off the album, into one of Corgan's best songs, with it's catchy and dark refrain "can I give my old heart to you?" The punch of the first 3 songs really sets up the feel of the whole album, "TheCameraEye" sees Billy expoloring a new sonic territory and the results are a song that has some of Billy's best vocal work. The same can be said for "ToLoveSomebody" a fantastic reworking of an already great song by the Bee Gees. Try to listen as Robert Smith's backing vocal enters in the first chorus and not get chills. Also a very good live song. "A100" is the album highlight, with one of Billy's best melodies, a great beat, and great lyrics. This was used as the opener at the July 5 show in Chicago on the FutureEmbrace tour, and out of all of the songs here it was the best possible choice. "A100" is the most danceable Billy Corgan song, challenged only by the Pumpkins' "1979." Speaking of the Pumpkins, Jimmy Chamberlin's drumming on "DIA" keep the album moving, giving a fresher sound so things don't become too "samey." The album loses focus a bit after "DIA"; although as individual songs, "Now and Then" "I'm Ready" and "Sorrows" are of good quality, they do weaken the flow of the album. "Walking Shade" is another definite highlight, helping the album move along much as "DIA." "Pretty Pretty Star" is a very atmospheric number with the most sing-songy melody of a released Corgan song. "Strayz" is a great closer, sounding unlike the rest of the album, with minimalist instrumentation and a sleepy, tranquil feel. Fans of "Adore" and songs such as "My Mistake" and "Waiting" will be familiar with the direction of this album, but it really is a move forward for Corgan; the songwriting is much more focused than on the Zwan album. TheFutureEmbrace, like "Adore" will prove to be an underrated classic; it will stand the test of time far better than anything else released in 2005.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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