William Patrick Corgan

Martha’s Music/BMG, 2017


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


William Patrick Corgan (hahaha) – let’s get real! Billy Corgan has returned with his second solo album while the world awaits a Smashing Pumpkins reunion. In the meantime, Corgan has reverted to his birth name and teamed up with Rick Rubin to craft a new set of non-Pumpkins material. This mostly acoustic, piano-driven batch of tracks is quite different than the last couple of Pumpkins records. Opening track “Zowie” is interesting and works as a really lovely ballad one might have heard on a Neil Diamond record circa 1994. I was actually quite surprised by how good the song was. “Processional” is another eye-opener. Stripped back back and quite stark, this track features guitar work from James Iha, marking the very first time these two have appeared on a recording since 2001! It’s very good and quite moving at the same time. I was not expecting this from 2017 Billy Corgan!my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Corgan’s voice is at his strongest, making this his best since perhaps Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. He sounds very good all around. However, not everything here is absolutely perfect: “Aeronaut” almost sounds too much like a maudlin ballad and it doesn’t live up to the other tracks on this disc. “Amarinthe” is a bit moving but would’ve been better off as one of the piano songs. “The Long Goodbye” features some guitar and feels like the end theme to some dramatic Oscar winning film.

“Archer” is a great way to wrap things up and leaves the listener wanting to hear more. “Mandarynne” is another really good piano cut, one of the better highlights here. You almost forget this is a Rubin production, which are normally filled with noise and bombast! In a way, one could view this almost like Johnny Cash’s American series: stripped down to bare minimum with all the emphasis placed on the music. By doing that, Corgan has achieved a sort of triumph. Let’s hope the future is as exciting as this record.

Rating: B+

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