The Smashing Pumpkins
Adore


4.5
superb

Review

by H.ush USER (3 Reviews)
January 21st, 2005 | 88 replies | 27,360 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Every band makesan album at some point that roots out the hardcore fans from the not-so-harcore fans. after having gathered a huge following with Siamese Dream (1993) and the gargantuan Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (1995) The Smashing Pumpkins were on top of the world. but as many have learnt the hard way, it is possible to fly too close to the sun.

Following the death of a supporting musician, the subsequent firing of a drummer, and the death of a frontman's mother, most bands would have called it quits. But not workaholic frontman/songwriter Billy Corgan. Using several session drummers, but mainly a drum machine, Corgan went from rock superstar to Goth icon in a matter of months.

Adore is by far the most downbeat Smashing Pumpkins album. where Gish had swirling Grunge guitars, Siamese Dream had pop guitar hooks, and MCIS had its grandiose classicism, Adore is personified by dark synths and heavy atmosphere.

the album starts off with the acoustic/piano ballad To Sheila, a slow but suitable opener that sets the scene for Adore. Not as dark as the rest of the album, but by no means uplifting, To Sheila shows all the tricks that corgan uses in the album: multiple vocal tracks, unusual use of stringed instruments, and a slow, steady drum machine are all present here. To Sheila is almost the template for many of the songs on the album, such as Crestfallen and Shame

after a short breather, Adore kicks into goth mode with the single Ava Adore, a dark and twisted love song ("and i'll pull your crooked teeth, you'll be perfect, just like me.") Ava Adore personifies another type of song found on the album: the dark semi-techno tracks, brimming with menace. Corgan's unusual singing voice seems eerily at home in these tracks.

after the relatively bright Perfect and the guitar-meets-goth/pop/ballad scorcher Daphne Descends, Corgan serves up something new: Once Upon A Time is almost a throwback to the songwriting extravagance of MCIS, but still maintaining the signature Adore sound. and just when you though the album couldnt get any more versatile, Tear is an Operatic powerhouse of demented riddles and east-meets-west hooks (reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's epic Kashmir).

The bar stays raised right through the middle of the album (Crestrfallen, the dance-esque Appels & Oranjes,dark synth number Pug, and the Corganequely pompous The Tale Of Dusty & Pistol Pete)

the elventh track on Adore is a moment that should be long remembered in alt-rock history. Annie-Dog is a mix of subtle jazz drumming (courtesy of Matt Walker), Corgan's simple-yet-effective piano work, and lyrics which are as much poetry as they are music. the song is by no means downbeat, but it holds a mood unlike anything the Pumpkins have done before... neither dark nor light... almost solemn, but still vaguely optimistic. the lyrics just vague enough to leave you wondering, but still sepcific enough to make you think.

after another Adore standard (Shame), Corgan rounds up the album with a trilogy of powerful numbers. Behold! The Nite Mare! is an introspective dreamlike love song, the synths sliding around the piano perfectly, with a chorus as big as the name. For Martha is Billy's tribute to his late mother, and is mildewed with a powerful sadness that is never soppy or self-indulgent. indeed, For Martha is lyrically one of Corgan's most modest works. simple, but still powerful. and then, as if only to appease the many waiting pumpkins fans, the song breaks out into a power solo completely unheard of in any of the other songs.

the finale to Adore is the tear-jerking Blank Page. echoey pianos and a three-part harmony (with backing provided by guitarist James Iha and bassist D'arcy Wretzky) lead into a flourishing but solemn chorus, a moment of unadulterated sadness and strange relaxation.

Adore was a major change of pace for The Smashing Pumpkins. but it remains every part as good as its counterparts. while there are no moments with the goofy-rock-grin fun of Zero, (And admittedly the album gets depressing faster than anything by Nick Cave) Adore stands on its own 2 feet, and would be just as good, if not better, had Siamese Dream or MCIS never been released.

Corgan comes out of his shell here and the results are more suiting to both his vocal and songwriting styles. 4 1/2 stars.


user ratings (911)
Chart.
3.6
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other reviews of this album
SCREAMorphine (5)
The Smashing Pumpkins at their finest...

Kyle Ellison (4.5)
...

Oli_m (3)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Voodoo_Child70
October 25th 2005



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, i fully agree with your rating. For Martha is such a stunning song!

pulseczar
October 25th 2005



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah good review, this pumpkins album is underrated i think it's as good as Mellon Collie but not as good as Gish and Siamese Dream

Comesapart
October 25th 2005



5 Comments


Good review, this is album is a great trip through Corgan's mind. Intimate and telling and over indulgent, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Whether they were struggling or not they were always trying to push things forward.

I might have mentioned that Billy declares rock to be dead at this point. I always found it interesting that when he said it, it was written off as ego but when Thom Yorke says it two years later with Kid A it was genius.

tom79
February 27th 2006



3347 Comments


Not my favorite of pumpkins albums, but still rather good

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Stray Dog Town

pulseczar
February 27th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my third fav behind Gish and SD. It's technically a Billy solo album, but I still love it all the same.

RazorBladeLight
April 30th 2006



258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like Machina better. The pumkins are my favorite band, and i can't F***ING wait for them to release the next album at the end of this year.
As for this album, it's meh. To me at least

Kyle
September 12th 2006



667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first three paragraphs of this review are really excellent, but then I think it becomes a bit heavy with song descriptions.

Anways I have a craving to review this album, so if there are no strong objections? My ratings probably gonna be the same as this one, but I think there is some stuff which is yet to be described.

pulseczar
September 12th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do it Kyle! I thought about it, but I thought this was good enough a review for the same rating as mine.

BlastFunk03
October 27th 2006



83 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really good work on the review. Ava Adore is the only song i remember from this though.

grungeguy88
November 10th 2006



788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"To Sheila" and "Blank Page" are perfect examples of why SP is the best band of the 90's. They can switch gears from furious to angelic so effortlessly.

samariah
January 15th 2007



109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is so unique as are the other sp albums, therefore i dont think its right to truly compare them. this album is very different from siamese dream yet it is extremely beautiful in its own light. it has qualities that siamese dream doesn't have while siamese dream has things that this doesnt have. i think they are both equally good.

grungeguy88
January 15th 2007



788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its true^. I do miss the SP guitars though

samariah
October 14th 2007



109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

tbh this is my favorite smashing pumpkins album anymore

it feels so perfect for this time of year, i love the atmosphere. billy is approachable and vulnerable in this album unlike the egotistical bastard he usually can come off as in other albums (especially zeitgeist...). it's very minimal, honest and real.This Message Edited On 10.14.07

cellardoor
April 25th 2008



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

FINALLY! someone who agrees about Annie-Dog! It's truly a masterpiece

StickmanSouffle
February 17th 2009



286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just got this album and I'm already loving it. Some of the songs on this album are among the greatest I've ever heard, I agree completely about it's vulnerability and honesty. Which is why I like it so much, I guess.This Message Edited On 02.17.09

Asiatic667
May 4th 2009



4647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Daphne Descends is really good

wexenhex
February 26th 2010



192 Comments


i really quite despise this album. it terribly boring, save for the amazing For
Martha. thats a wonderful song.

NEVERfade
July 2nd 2010



376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album, its just as good as the first three albums, I can listen to this all day

BigHans
July 2nd 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Appels + Oranges is easily the best song on here.

NEVERfade
July 17th 2010



376 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

After listening to this album 11 times, I've learnt to love every song, Behold! The Nightmare and For Martha are the best I think



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