The Smashing Pumpkins
Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, Vol. 2


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Munthe USER (7 Reviews)
November 24th, 2010 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There is brilliance still left in the bald man's head...

For ten years, Billy Corgan has confounded his dedicated fan base. Yes, I thought the MACHINA albums were good; but he’s just been a confusing mess ever since then. Zwan was alright, TheFutureEmbrace was terrible, Zeitgeist sucked with the exception of Tarantula and every other song Corgan has put out under the Smashing Pumpkins moniker since then hasn’t been good in any way, shape or form.

So, this Teargarden by Kaliedyscope project easily could be a failure. Volume 1 wasn’t great, the songs were pretty much horrible, production values were terrible, and Mike Byrne (Chamberlin’s replacement) sounded terribly out of place and about a mile behind the song. Corgan’s vocals were flat out horrific, too. So I’d just pretty much given up on Smashing Pumpkins.

Just as I was about to give up Freak came out. The song is so catchy. You’ll be cursing Corgan’s abilities to write a chorus line the whole day as you sing “Life is not a dream,” over and over again. But it wasn’t just the chorus"something else was great about this song. The guitars are layered and fuzzy just like the old days, but there is a lot of atmosphere in the song. It just feels like a true Pumpkins song. Something I haven’t felt…since, like, MACHINA.

Then Spangled came out. “Ah, that’s it. I give up,” I immediately re-iterated to myself. Thought I had finally had enough of this punishment that being a Pumpkins fan. Spangled, actually, isn’t bad, but between the keyboard and Corgan’s vocals it would be quite embarrassing to listen to around friends. I’d feel embarrassed to have that iPod, but, somehow, I feel like it really could fit right in Mellon Collie perfectly. There’s that Pumpkins atmosphere I have been desperately looking for.

But, nevermind the fact Spangled isn’t that bad"I ignored the Pumpkins existence for a good month or two. I missed out on the release of The Fellowship altogether, and stumbled across the release of Tom Tom. Then it all became obvious: Billy Corgan is a bigger douchebag than Rivers Cuomo. Why do I say that? Well, Weezer hasn’t been good in twenty years and haven’t shown an inkling of being aware on how to write a good song until Hurley. Corgan, however, seemed like a different person throughout the entire 90s"everything that man shat out was pure gold. 2000s hit and his output was good but not great until TheFutureEmbrace. Ever since then, Corgan has been the world’s worst striptease, showing off short glimpses of being great again with Tarantula and live songs like As Rome Burns or Gossamer. Well, is it too early to say Billy Corgan is back? Possibly, but it sure seems like it. Volume 2: The Solstice Bare is freaking incredible; mostly on the heels of the epic, atmospheric, emotional Tom Tom and the rousing The Fellowship.

The Fellowship is a gigantic middle finger to the haters and damn epic at that. Rousing as hell, jumping back and forth, mixing keyboards and that sorely missed distorted guitar tuning, Corgan’s vocals are buried in the mix so his singing deficiencies are hidden…it’s a promising start to the EP. Tom Tom is good enough to make any hater shut up. This is proof that the Pumpkins are, in fact, Billy Corgan by himself. Once again, Corgan’s vocals are hidden in the mix, there is a very…unusual, oriental, spacey atmosphere to the song and it’s catchy. The breakdowns scream “THIS IS A SMASHING PUMPKINS SONG!” In fact, it’s screams SP so much that I’m pretty sure if you took Corgan’s voice out of it, anyone would know this is the Pumpkins still. This also reiterates the fact that Corgan is once again penning creative music. I can’t point out what makes this song different than everything else (maybe his guitar riffs and tuning), but I’d probably point towards the breakdown as what makes it so obvious.

It’s hard to ramble about 4 songs incessantly, but if you haven’t taken notice of Corgan in years and are one of the ignorant spouting the “This isn’t the Smashing Pumpkins!” take heed of Teargarden by Kaliedyscope. Somehow, Corgan is regaining cultural relevance and media hype. This isn’t a side effect of his bald head"this is a side effect of him making great songs. Three out of the four songs on here could be massive singles. The Smashing Pumpkins have returned, and it’s been a long decade.



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user ratings (97)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
SCREAMorphine
November 24th 2010


1758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Zeitgeist is alright just takes time to grow on you

The first volume of this project wasn't so great, and Freak is pretty catchy and the rest of the songs are alright.

I like this review

elephantREVOLUTION
November 24th 2010


2766 Comments


i might check this out. i haven't listened to any post-mellon collie pumpkins.

PuddlesPuddles
November 24th 2010


4784 Comments


Hate the new drummer with a passion

But will check this out

Apollo
November 24th 2010


10336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

GREAT first review. Seriously, good job. My only tip would be to refer to yourself less. Makes the review more professional. Have a pos. I'm looking forward to this as this band is my favorite.

Mordecai.
November 24th 2010


8279 Comments


don't you will regret it

WatchItExplode
November 24th 2010


3273 Comments


I have a hard time believing this is any good...

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

EVedder27
November 24th 2010


6088 Comments


^this

WatchItExplode
November 24th 2010


3273 Comments


as for the review I dug the first person but its definately a tad lengthy for this type of review imo POS

Awesomesauce
November 24th 2010


1084 Comments


Nice 1st review, have a pos. Might want to have a quick proof read though, there's quite a few little errors in there.

I also have a hard time believing this is any good. I think I'll throw on The Aeroplane Flies High and reminisce...

slaythesocialists
November 25th 2010


171 Comments


its actually quite good... pleasantly surprising

tables
November 28th 2010


126 Comments


smashing pumpkins is a zombie
in the best possible way

Zoop
November 29th 2010


23 Comments


Alo fellow pumpkin fan! I experienced the same disappointment with you over the last ten years. Zeitgeist was not so bad, there were 4-5 songs, apart from tarantula, that were all right. But, i am afraid we have to accept it: Billy is out of inspiration, doesn't have something more to give us... (I hope i m wrong)

Two-Headed Boy
December 30th 2010


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha, eleven 1s? Harsh.

omnipanzer
December 30th 2010


21621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I downloaded this when it came out and promptly never listened to it...

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

SCREAMorphine
December 30th 2010


1758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's amazing, you'd think Freak and Tom Tom would win them over, probably didn't even listen to it..

rjmunthe
January 11th 2011


395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm so sick and tired of BC getting all this hate. This is a very good EP.

DoubtGin
January 11th 2011


6752 Comments


the amount of one-star votes is ridiculous

omnipanzer
January 11th 2011


21621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is great but it is an EP, they waited to long to release it and to little fanfare imo.

rjmunthe
March 20th 2011


395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Billy really could put out a masterpiece but it'd get ripped to shreds because everyone hates the guy. Lightning Strikes is a badass song and people still aren't paying attention/rating this a 1.

Extremis
September 28th 2011


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have this on vinyl. One of my favorite pumpkins albums so far. Its a side of billy corgan that I like. Fuck what people think. I mean a mans gotta get tired of writing the same type of songs over and over and over again. These songs are fresh and theres a sense of happiness to them. All I care is that the messeges are positive which is more than evident in his new music.



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