The Smashing Pumpkins
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness


5.0
classic

Review

by Porter W. Richards USER (62 Reviews)
September 14th, 2007 | 35 replies | 8,307 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A long and spiraling experimental classic that works together as a whole amazingly well and is engaging enough to keep anyone interested for the whole album.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

According to Billy Corgan, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was "The Wall for Generation X". When Corgan first proclaimed this, the media shunned this statement, and figured he was just making some crazy, typical rock star statement. See, the thing was, Billy Corgan wasn't blowing smoke; Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is "The Wall for Generation X". The album doesn't have some amazingly well thought out storyline, or some acid-trip movie, in fact, it's not even a concept album. But it was "The Wall for Generation X". The album single-handedly wrote the 90s, and even though it barely falls short of the epic Siamese Dream, this amazing double-disc LP was the album that features some of the most varied, at times strange, and easily accessible alternative rock you'll ever hear.

When Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was first released, many people couldn't believe how different this album was than Siamese Dream; as the album featured much more 'weird' tracks, at times relying on harps and pianos, and wasn't as reliant on layered guitar tracks. What made the Pumpkins so big was their completely off the wall layered guitar sound mixed with Billy Corgan's soothing, yet screeching vocals and frequent vocal changes. Gone were the low roars, in favor the screeching vocals, and they mostly overtake every song in the album, but Corgan's vocal abilities are often kept in check by Iha's guitar riffs and Wretzky's soothing basslines. Often double albums end up coming off bloated, overly-long, and just completely self-indulgent; but Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness keeps you wanting more Billy Corgan; even after two hours of consecutive play.

From the opening self-titled introduction, the album lets you know this isn't Siamese Dream. The piano introduction is wonderfully subdued, well executed, and just one of the most beautiful piano solos I've ever heard. There's plenty more songs on here that are unlike previous Pumpkins; mainly, one of the album's best, Tonight, Tonight. Dominated by some wonderful violins and backed up by hard rock guitars, the song takes off and screams radio single. Billy Corgan's newfound love for high-pitched screeching vocals is a-plenty on this song as well, and the song serves well as an introduction the 'new Smashing Pumpkins. Or, you've got Cupid de Locke, which is absolutely off the wall and completely different than anything Corgan ever released up to this point. Lead by a harp, the song has a distinctive aquatic feel and an addicting chorus. The song is actually pretty good, and the harp works well with the style and the momentum the album had going up to this song.

The album has plenty other 'odd' songs, but the album excels in the area that Pumpkins do best; plain, all-out rock. Jellybelly, for example, has a distinctive hard-rocking appeal and feel. The song itself feels like Gish or Siamese Dream, and the guitar riff at the beginning is pretty memorable. Corgan's verses are catchy, and the chorus is unbelieveably fun and enjoyable. Jellybelly just makes you want to get up and jam, a lot like the hit Zero. This song puzzles me, as I really don't think it's up to par with the rest of the album. Corgan's whining, droning vocals are pretty hearty and unbearable, and the song just as a whole is rather irritating and repetitive. The song doesn't kill the momentum though, as for a while the album goes off into a heavy metal influenced jamfest mixture of excellent songs that make this album really fun and loud. Here Is No Why is lead by a catchy, riff-driven beat mixed with some soothing and fun vocals in the chorus. Bullet With Butterfly Wings is another spot where the album really excels, especially considering the heavy riffage this song features and the complete unleash of hell in the chorus, or Muzzle which is surprisingly heavy and melodic, all in one excellent package showcasing one of the album's best songs.

This album's got plenty tracks to fall asleep to; like To Forgive, which integrates a soothing, almost sexual guitar riff mixed with Corgan singing low-brow, very Siamese Dream-like. Thirty-Three is perhaps one of the most beautiful ballads ever written, lead by some strange guitar noises and a simplistic yet moving beat courtesy of Iha's excellent guitar work. The vocals are delightfully subdued and gives you kind of a breather, and the song truly is one of the most emotional songs ever written; in my opinion. Despite what you say, I'm pretty sure you've heard 1979. Possibly the biggest hit of the 1990s, the song was a smash-hit lead by the band's heavy promotion of the single, Corgan's new found hair style, and the completely strange guitar noises. It's an immediate classic that is easily one of the Pumpkins best tracks.

With Siamese Dream, Billy Corgan left the gate open for long, spiraling epics like the excellent X.Y.U., and the soothing Porcelina of the Vast Oceans. Whatever type of music you listen to, this album's got something for you. It's long enough to keep progressive rock fans happy, it's an experimental masterpiece, as shown in songs like Love and Cupid de Locke, and it's hard enough to keep the rockers interested. The album doesn't really ever drag, and both discs seem to have their own integrity and personality, and they will fit your mood. Feeling angry and want to scream? Best pop Dawn to Dusk in your CD player. Feeling sad and 'down'? Throw Twilight to Starlight in your CD player. The album's multiple personalities, variety, and emphasis on experimentation makes this album a complete classic that everyone should at least listen to once in their lifetime.

DOWNLOAD:
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Tonight, Tonight
Jellybelly
Here Is No Why
Muzzle
Thirty-Three
1979



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Download list is sorely missing 1979. Though this album is good, it's not classic.

tribestros
September 14th 2007



918 Comments


I can't believe I missed that song. I praised it so much in the review, then I skipped over it in the download list. I added it.

pulseczar
September 14th 2007



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, you've definitely gotten better from whenever the last time I read one of your writings. I disagree with some things, though, specifically 1979 being possibly being one of the biggest hits of the 1990s, when it was only a top 10 hit, not a chart topper. It was definitely their most successful single, though.
I think Siamese Dream, Adore, and Gish are all better than this, because this is the first album of their's chronologically where I just plain didn't like some songs. But then I still give this a 4.5 for being such a fanboy.This Message Edited On 09.14.07

tribestros
September 14th 2007



918 Comments


I'm a crazy fanboy, so my opinions are kind of whack.

Siamese Dream is better than this, Adore comes close, but Gish? Nah.

Jimmy
September 15th 2007



717 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm not particularly a SP fan boy

but this album clearly deserves a 5

cometuesday
September 15th 2007



959 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think that Gish is the closest form to raw Pumpkins so, in that sense, it is in fact better than this. But otherwise this is an incredible piece of music.

edit: oh, I forgot to say that I totally agree on that part you mentioned wanting more even after two hours of listening. Every time I hear the outro to Farewell and Goodnight it makes me want to go right from the beginning again. Gorgeous.This Message Edited On 09.15.07

tribestros
September 15th 2007



918 Comments


I'm not a fan of Gish, though. PLain and simple.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 15th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have this but I still haven't listened to it. Perhaps I will today!

FriendofTheDevil70
September 15th 2007



384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review, excellent album.

Two-Headed Boy
September 15th 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I might switch my ratings for this and Siamese Dream.

Good review.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 15th 2007



3743 Comments


this seems slightly overproduced. i really like siamese dream though. good review.

RandyfromPennywise
September 15th 2007



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I would like to see Zero on the list of recommendations. Great album and review.

tribestros
September 15th 2007



918 Comments


It is a bit overproduced, but still a classic.

Neoteric
September 15th 2007



3243 Comments


This album is dull, goes on way too long and has too much filler to be considered a classic.

dudeinthepassinglane
September 16th 2007



192 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Mucho agreement! I've always thought of Melon Collie as a nineties Wall (or the Beatles White Album).

Indiekid
September 17th 2007



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review! i love this album and listen to it several times a day. definately a 5

PhoenixRising
September 17th 2007



277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a GREAT CD. Maybe not a classic, but definately awesome.

Its like a soundtrack to my High School years (whoops just dated myself)

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 22nd 2007



3743 Comments


I would like to see Zero on the list of recommendations. Great album and review.


Why? Zero has the worst overly-angsty lyrics I've ever heard.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's still a good song though.

zeroman089
September 23rd 2007



76 Comments


Zero has to be one of my favorite songs...



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