The Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments to an Elegy

Billy Corgan’s angry diatribe against mediocre press and the distorted hindsight of music criticism in his recent “Guardian interview” is absolutely warranted. I’m as guilty as any reviewer for holding favorite artists to the higher standard they themselves have set, but you still gotta give credit where it’s due.

Despite being a Smashing Pumpkins album in name only, Monuments To An Elegy successfully builds on the Pumpkins’ classic “alternative rock” legacy with more modern, cross-genre experiments.

It’s not without its weaker moments – “Being Beige” and “Run2me” – but that’s the price of artistic daring and expression. Sometimes you achieve greatness, sometimes you don’t. As they say, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

The successful tracks either recall the churning rock of the Pumpkins’ 90’s heyday – “Tiberious” and “One & All” – or spiral into exciting, previously unexplored frontiers – “Anaise!” and especially the extraordinary “Drum + Fife.”

Muruch has long been a champion of independent artists, so we’ll happily herald Billy Corgan’s return to that realm if he lives up to his promise of “going back to being an aggressive, street-level artist.”

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