Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Smashing Pumpkins "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness" (1995)


Totaling two hours "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness" represents a remarkable creative output for the group who's finest hour (or two) has been hailed as this album by critics. Its the bands third record and last with the original lineup. A future change in sound and style has left these three records being considered as the classic era of the band. Compared to the first two, it is also the most diverse and varied. Corgan brings new influences and ideas to his songwriting as well as more instruments, including strings, pianos and the occasional harpsichord. Despite this expansion to their sound, they very much maintain their identity in what is a stellar album brimmed with great numbers.

A great double album is a feat not pulled off by many artists, and whether this made one or not is up for debate, but their is no doubting this is a band in their creative peak. Whats impressive is not the length, but how many memorable, "favorite" or classic songs are packed into this record which starts off with some energetic and explosive rock out tracks, ie "Jellybelly", and gradually matures into a gentle giant of dreamy lullaby rockers that are truly soothing and calm. Corgan's lyrical and vocal presence is as honest and youthful as ever, with some awe inspiring moments like in "Tonight, Tonight", where his voice is pushed to its limit with a high note he doesn't quite reach, but the way its sung is so honest and heartfelt, its truly warming.

Theres such a rich variety and depth on display its quite hard to summarize it all up. The production is astounding, capturing the vibrant tones of the guitars, the warmth of the bass and power of the drumming in a mix that accommodates all of the extra instrumentation when its present. Its colorful, technically brilliant, so much so you may not stop to think twice about it. With everything good said, I did feel the second disc has a mark below the first, or at least when listening to the whole two hours at once. As the album calms down my attention to it dies a little as well. I found it more enjoyable to listen to the second disc separately. A really beautiful album, and now ill look forward to "Adore".

Favorite Songs: Tonight, Tonight, Jelly Belly, Here Is No Why, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Cupid De Locke, Where Boys Fear To Tread, Bodies, 1979, Tales Of A Scorched Earth, By Starlight
Rating: 8/10

2 comments:

  1. This was the first album by Smashing Pumpkins I ever heard. I remember seeing the music video for "Tonight Tonight" on MTV back when they actually showed music videos (lol), and I remember being so impressed by the band and the way they handled music. I remained impressed right up until Machinima (two albums after Mellon Collie). I've tried listening to Smashing Pumpkins's newer albums (Zeitgeist and one other album I can't remember the name of) and it's just not the same. I haven't liked any of the newer albums.

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    1. I was just watching "Tonight, Tonight", i am watching their videos right now :-) I'm going to listen to it all with an open mind, I've read a lot about the troubled line ups since this album but i see Billy as the genius behind their sound, obviously Jimmy as well on the drums so i am hoping i can enjoy it, not expecting it to be the same as this era :-)

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