William Patrick Corgan



by pulseczar USER (67 Reviews)
September 17th, 2005 | 39 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Billy Corgan says TheFutureEmbrace marks a new beginning, not an end. After breaking up the Smashing Pumpkins in 2000, and disbanding Zwan not long after, then saying he wants to reunite the Pumpkins, you can never be too sure. The statement about reuniting the Pumpkins was released in the Chicago Tribune, around a month before his solo debut's release. It could be seen as a publicity stunt, or maybe Billy is just crazy and says things like that for no reason. But it also makes you wonder how much effort Corgan put into TheFutureEmbrace.

Billy Corgan bids farewell to his guitars, thick distortion and pounding lively drums, and creates a new sound for himself. On the Smashing Pumpkins' 1998 album Adore, he experimented with electronica, but a lot of the album was piano and acoustic guitar driven. Here he goes all out, there's barely any guitar, and the all the songs' atmosphere is dipped in new-wave synths. But unlike Adore, the songs don't sound as ambient or dark, the tremendous amount of synthesizers make a lot of the songs sound a bit stale. The opening track All Things Changes starts off with a really cheesy sounding symphonic synthesizers. But near the end, the synths die down to a more ambient Kid A type sound, which suits the feel of the song much more (but without making it sound like a Kid A rip-off). The Bee Gees cover (that's right, you heard me) To Love Somebody is another example of a song with a grand sound of Billy tinkering with his digital instruments. Robert Smith lends backing vocals on To Love Somebody, making an awkward mix of Billy's whiny pinched vocals and Robert's aged New Wave voice. It ends with a Cure-like outro, not surprisingly. Fortunately Billy tones down the synth heard so overblown on All Things Changes and To Love Somebody on the rest of the album.

A100 is as Billy says "a typical disco song", and is indeed a dance song. Driven by a synthesized bass line, the start of the song hints at a lame techno hit. But, in true Pumpkin fashion, the song gradually builds up musically. Mina Loy (M.O.H.) uses a similar sounding bass line, and is probably the best song on TheFutureEmbrace. It's the liveliest song, and actually features guitar. It sounds a bit like something off Machina: The Machines of God. Perhaps the closest thing to a 'rock' song on TFE, but still fits in with the mood of the album. TheFutureEmbrace is roughly divided in half with distorted upbeat songs like DIA (which features ex-Zwan and Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain), Mina Loy and Walking Shade, and orchestral lullabies like All Things Change, Now (And Then), and the pointless and boring I'm Ready. The former are arguably better, but all are drenched in an ongoing theme of Mellon Collie (I mean er melancholy). Corgan's David Bowie Low influence comes out most noticeably (besides the ugly album cover) in the very catchy, flangy, Pretty Pretty STAR, and seems to have the only guitar (if it is a guitar) solo on the whole album. But the biggest influence on TheFutureEmbrace is probably New Wave, from the overdose of keyboards and synths to the Curesque ambience. Billy once again has taken an old sound and reinvented it.

Billy Corgan, even by making a new sound, fails to fully capture my attention. The first time I listened to TheFutureEmbrace it bored me to tears, especially by choosing All Things Change, a bloated ho-hum tune, as the opener. He scores some points by making a fair bit of variety in the sound of album, if not in most of the songs. Not that I don't like electronic music, which is not the case at all, or that I'm a total Smashing Pumpkins fanboy. TheFutureEmbrace goes drastically between good songs, ok songs, and just plain bad/boring songs.

Recommended Songs:
Mina Loy (M.O.H.)
Walking Shade
Now (And Then)

TheFutureEmbrace ---------> 2 stars

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 18th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

Very good review. I could hardly listen through this whole thing, it was so boring and stale, like you said. I think you really illustrated it quite well, actually. Better than I could have.

September 18th 2005


Very nice review. I'm so disappointed to hear about all the crap Corgan has put out since the Pumpkins were so incredible. First Zwan and now this - perhaps fate will favor decency over evil and SP will reunite.

September 18th 2005


Yeah, I was excited about this album, particularly after buying the single (M.O.H), which is pretty decent. But it's incredibly plodding and uninspired. A waste.

September 18th 2005


awesome review bro, i totally agree with you

September 18th 2005


Yeah, good review. I was hoping that after Zwan this might see Corgan back on track with his solo career, but this was most definitely not a step in the right direction. :-

September 18th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

At first i hated this album, couldnt listen to it for more than one or two songs. But after a couple more listens i listened to it from a totally different perspective and it sounded a lot better.

I actually began to like this album quite a lot and still listen to it occassionally.

I still agree with most of what people have said ubove me, but not to that extent. This album is better than more people make to t out to be.

September 18th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

I would like to say that this a brilliant cd with some brilliant GUITAR...as there is guitar on pretty much every track with exception of Strayz...and if your a fan of Corgan's guitar lines at all...you would know hes always diving out there and trying something new with the guitar...using odd effect and lo fi noises...and this cd is certainly a display of that...the guitars are drenched with thick amounts of delay and reverb and fuzz to create textures of ambience that are simply beautiful...but like i said one who doesnt like that type of music probably shouldnt be reviewing this cd...especially if they are reviewing it in comparison to something like Siamese Dream...because that would be like comparing Amnesiac/Kid A to Pablo Honey/The Bends( when you reffered to Radiohead)...two totally different sounds...both awesome in their own right...but yea just offering my two cents being the huge Corgan fan I am...hating to see fans stuck in the "rat in a cage" era...cmon dudes move on

September 18th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

I do like ambient/electronic, and while I admit Siamese Dream is one of my favourite albums ever, whether i'd heard or not, i would still think TFE is a mediocre album. While I was comparing TFE to SP albums, I wasn't reviewing it in comparsion, at no point did I say "omg Mellon Collie pwns this shiznit". And come on, Pablo Honey sucked, The Bends was awesome, and Kid A/Amnesiac were both good. I don't know where you got the idea that I was comparing electronic/ambient to alt rock. I'm not stuck in a "rat in the cage" era, and I'm a HUGE corgan fan, but level headed enough to admit that this (and zwan to be honest) was n't very good. And if I never "moved on" i wouldn't be a huge fan of Adore. Maybe you should read the review a little more carefully.This Message Edited On 09.18.05

September 19th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

ha ok agreed on pablo honey sucking ...i still like this cd i just hate how everyone is dissing the guy nowadays and is still one of the greatest songwriters out there..the only stuff ive heard from the guy i didnt care for too well is gish..This Message Edited On 09.19.05

October 10th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

review edited. With the new rating system, I felt I had to take this down by .5

December 21st 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

really boring and bland. I wish this would have been a new beginning, but this is just an album looking for cash.

December 21st 2005


he walked offstage at a show in melbourne because everybody was chanting for him to play smashing pumpkins songs

March 13th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Although I totally respect the opinions here, I beg to differ quite considerably. Initially, yeah, the album was horribly disappointing, and the songs did seem a little generic. Although they are in many respects, this album really is a very slow burner and there are many musical accomplishments hidden away in the tracks - the dreaminess, the instruments compliment each other fantastically and it's pretty damn personal.

Give poor Billy a chance. However, after Machina and Zwan (*urges*), it's really rather hard not to.

The Jungler
April 22nd 2006


I tend to enjoy Billy's voice on most of the Pumpkins stuff and even some Zwan, but it just bugs the life out of me on this CD (from what I've heard)

black guy
April 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

I actually downloaded this just so I wouldn't have to own the cover. Mina Loy and Walking Shade are the only songs on it that I almost kind of like. What a disapointment.

The Jungler
April 22nd 2006


^^ Haha, the cover is pretty awful.

May 5th 2006


Album Rating: 1.0

I bought this cd as well looking for hope in Billy trying something new... God was I wrong. I was so full of regret... I still haven't heard the whole album through it's just so- boring.

I am, though, still excited about the new pumpkin reunion. God I cannot wait to hear that again... hopefully his musical inhibitions have changed and stay clear of... this failure

September 21st 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

i like the future embrace because billy does something new on it ...

it is complex and has some good tunes

alt music is dead...

just look at kelly clarkson cd...it is basicly an alt music cd...


it is better that billy does something new, insted of selling us the same old thing

The Jungler
September 21st 2006


What are you talking about?

January 23rd 2007


Yeah...the cover freaks me out...especially the spine...which just shows his skin...ugggh....

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