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.
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
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.
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Here Is No Why