The Smashing Pumpkins
Cyr



Release Date: 11/27/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: […] i don't understand what they mean and i could really give a fuck

The Smashing Pumpkins have released a new album. Entitled Cyr (pronounced ‘seer’ but not written that way for reasons), it represents an audacious departure from the long-standing rock giants into cutting edge synthscapes and dance beats, covering a near-unprecedented one hour thirteen minutes while engaging intrepidly with occult imagery thatoh my goodness who cares. It would be unfair to call Cyr an uninspired album, but the Smashing Pumpkins’ appropriations of vanilla synth-rock are neither individually interesting nor a good fit for the band’s palette. They wind up as a gratingly adequate backing track over which Billy Corgan sings assorted poeticisms about love and life and magic. Is his nib sharp? Maybe, but you can bet your spare teeth that none of his contemporary scribbles have the depth to warrant a surface area this needlessly vast. On that note, let’s look at “Dulcet in E”. Why does a 53 y/o veteran rocker synth musicperson think that naming a song “Dulcet in E” will add any kind of intrigue to its whimsical subject matter? I have listened to the song (yes) and can promise you that it’s unremarkable enough for the key to be entirely arbitrary.

This may seem like an extremely shallow observation. It is. It is also highly symptomatic of the record’s general aura of why is this dull content being packaged as though it is not dull. Take, say, the bridge of opener/single “The Colour of Love”, where the synths play through their scale as though trying to recall how the individual notes of the key fit together. This way of signposting that the band can remember what their key is, I suppose, a good thing on some universally obvious level. Since the Smashing Pumpkins of 2020 are into glamourising moot points, I have a few to share: almost all these songs are dynamically stolid and melodically immemorable to the point of interchangeability; the drum parts are phenomenally disappointing coming from a musician as talented as Jimmy Chamberlain; Corgan’s voice still sounds like old tarmac with inconsistent numbers of cars passing over it; and every song follows an identical progression from midtempo verse to homogenous chorus. The changes between sections are telegraphed by little other than Corgan’s draining cadences and the beats are so stale you’ll struggle to believe the band aren’t still working with Rick Rubin. It’s a rare ballpark of obsolescence. There are some saving graces - “Confessions of a Dopamine Addict” has a decent chorus, “Purple Rain” has delicious bass tones, “Wyttch” contains an actual Riff, and Corgan’s work as a producer is pretty credible - but then you remember that this band once made “Geek USA” and recorded with Steve Albini, yet somehow they are now signed to the drop-tuned hairgel laboratory Sumerian Records, making landfill synth-pop. (What’s a good Corgan-ism to end on?) The world is vast and it spins around.



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user ratings (88)
2.6
average
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JoshieG (2)
While ambitious in scope, Corgan’s latest outing is searingly bloated, lethargic and the perfect s...



Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2020


31675 Comments

Album Rating: 2.2

wow this reviewer sounds bored i wonder what brought that about

Digging: Fushitsusha - Live I

SCREAMorphine
November 28th 2020


1849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man.



I loved the this album.

It reminds me of the different shades of the Teargarden project and where I hoped it would eventually end up before it was canceled

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2020


2222 Comments


only 2 paras are you ok johnny
great read i'll not listen to this right now

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow

parksungjoon
November 28th 2020


25751 Comments


billy corgan is a brainlet

Digging: Government - Shitshitshit [japanese death poem]

cor22222
November 28th 2020


349 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I'll never listen to this again, also never been the fan of them so, its the last thing i've listen from them. Thank God

Pikazilla
November 28th 2020


14351 Comments


is this as shite as oceania

conesmoke
November 28th 2020


6493 Comments


Whats Billy's obsession with this visual art style? It's not that great is it?

StrizzMatik
November 28th 2020


3980 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Great review, totally on point. Aside from a handful of standouts - "standouts" being anything better than "just ok" - CYR is painfully bland and an overly-indulgent detour into musical experimentation for its own sake, there's really nothing truly noteworthy here. Just cuz you can make an album of Depeche Mode and Cure b-sides doesn't mean you should.

Tunaboy45
November 28th 2020


17252 Comments


They've spent the last 5 years jumping from label to label, 'return to form' to 'return to form' and they've gone nowhere. I say "they", it's all Billy. This band hasn't been able to justify its existence since 2012 and even that's being generous.

StrizzMatik
November 28th 2020


3980 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I don't think it was an accident that he started hyping up the upcoming Mellon Collie/Machina sequel before this record came out. You can tell from interviews he knew this would get backlash, so he's got the "don't worry guys, we're making a traditional Pumpkins guitar record too" angle to hedge his bets in case this bombs with the fans (which it seems to be with many of them).

Ever since Monuments, he's just kinda jettisoned a lot of the complexity, arrangements and cool riffage for an obsessive attempt at writing a pop album that nobody but him and the industry wants. I don't know why the dude doesn't just write whatever he wants, unaffected by industry nonsense, instead of constantly still trying to chase pop stardom and stick it to the bigwigs. That huge fame from the 90s will never, ever come back and he's still trying to prove 25+ years later that he can "write a hit". If "Silvery Sometimes" (arguably the best pop song he's done in decades) didn't take over the radio (and it very well should have), there's no hope, the industry just isn't the same beast anymore.

Tunaboy45
November 28th 2020


17252 Comments


"the upcoming Mellon Collie/Machina sequel"

wait what
I'm sure it'll be just as tepid as everything else they've done since Oceania, but even more bloated

StrizzMatik
November 28th 2020


3980 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

They're already tracking drums / finishing recording on a 33-song double record that will be the official sequel to the Mellon Collie and MACHINA storylines, combined - Jimmy said they'll probably shoot for a late 2021 release. They're also writing and recording Shiny Vol. 3 (CYR is Vol. 2), also a double LP I think? AND doing a proper re-release and remaster of the MACHINA album the way it was initially intended, supposed to be some 50+ tracks by now lol. Can't say the man isn't arguably the most prolific songwriter of our day, I just hope he's got at least a few classics left in him.

SowingSeason
Moderator
November 28th 2020


36503 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually have a medium level of hype for this. My soft spot for these guys often exceeds how shitty they can be.

Digging: Slaughter Beach, Dog - At The Moonbase

Uzumaki
November 28th 2020


2854 Comments


“ only 2 paras are you ok johnny”
[2]

Digging: Public Memory - Ripped Apparition

Pheromone
November 28th 2020


10832 Comments


Did you have think of the summary and then decide to write an entire review just to use it?

Digging: Nightmare Puppy - Nara Nara Voltsong For Shower

rodrigo90
November 28th 2020


6563 Comments


It breaks my heart that the pumpkins are going downhills in popularity. I might enjoy the album, but Billy's ego and the mediocre fanbase that they had are not helping either.

Slex
November 28th 2020


10923 Comments


Billy is such an obnoxiously annoying moron that I personally relish his aggressive attempts to stain this band's legacy but I'm a bitter person so

Digging: Seiko Oomori - Kintsugi

Pheromone
November 28th 2020


10832 Comments


What're you saying?! the NWA is a global brand and Billy is now more known than ever before.

Up the Hogan's!

his ego was always shit tbf, he just had semi-justification at one point.

rodrigo90
November 28th 2020


6563 Comments


This and STP fanbase are perhaps the worst fanbase I ever wanted to be part of. They always ask for the greatest hits tracklist, no deep cuts, no b-sides nothing. The want to hear today and 1979 every single fucking day. The worse of all is that Americans are always stuck listening to the same popular albums over and over and over again. Outside of this page, I've never seen a listener praising gish or machina.

Pheromone
November 28th 2020


10832 Comments


There's a pavement lyric you might like



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