43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2000
I'm sad to hear the Pumpkins may break up at the end of the year, but they will never be forgotten because of works such as ADORE. Nobody bought this album and it seemed to signal the band's dominance was coming to an end. Although the horrible boy groups and unoriginal teen singers were partly to blame, the quality of the music certaintly isn't. This is diverse, melodic, and dark introspection that was appropriate during a time when the Pumpkins were dealing with death and a seperation from drummer Jimmy Chamberlain. Still, without his intense drums and the usual guitars and pounding bass, these songs have power and meaning. "Ava Adore" is a light rocker with clever lyrics, "Perfect" expands upon the genius of MELLON COLLIE's "1979," while "Daphne Descends" is a dreamy track containing some guitar-rock rarely heard elsewhere on ADORE. Some of the other enjoyable moments come from the 70's sounding "Tear," which sounds like Corgan is singing with Led Zeppelin behind him, and the light pop in "The Tale Of Dusty And Pistol Pete." Another interesting element is the use of piano in several songs and this is best seen in "For Martha," an appropriate ode to Corgan's late mother. In time, more people will discover the brillance of ADORE because this is definitely music that's just too good to go unnoticed forever.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
"Twilight fades/through blistered Avalon," is the ethereally dismal line that opens "Adore"'s first song, and sets the mood for the Smashing Pumpkins' quietest album, with the hard-rock guitars and percussion giving way to a gentler sound and some swippy electronica. It's not what you expect from the Pumpkins, but it's still enticing.
It opens with the lullaby-like "To Sheila," a shimmering little composition. Then Corgan stretches his music to include some symphonic, raw electronica in "Ava Adore," the fast "Appels + Oranjes," and the darkly shimmering "Daphne Descends." The saddening "Once Upon A Time" even sounds whimsical if you don't listen to the words, with that light melody and those bells.
Don't worry, the Pumpkins sound is retained in songs like the guitar-driven "Perfect," the hollow-sounding "Tear," and the balladic "Crestfallen." The second half sounds a little more acoustic and less electronic, with some lingering piano kicking off some of the songs. But lurking in the back is a hint of electronica that seeps in from time to time. One example is the haunting sounds at the back of "For Martha," a wrenching tribute to Corgan's late mother.
"Adore" is one of the most controversial Smashing Pumpkins albums -- rather than merely sticking to what he had already done, Corgan experimented with electronic music and melded it in. But the core of the music is the same -- pain and anger from the losses of life, the struggle with one's emotions, and finally letting go of that pain and anger.
Don't expect the Chemical Brothers in here -- Corgan's take on electronic music is dark, melancholy, almost gothic at times. Corgan's hard techno has its painful angles and corners, but in songs like "Crestfallen," he lets the smooth melody be carried off by sweeps of trip-hop. It adds a velvety sound to Corgan's already exceptional music.
It's saddening that the excellent Jimmy Chamberlin was not involved in "Adore," instead of the electric drumbeats. The guitar is still there, but it's a cloaked presence in most songs. Corgan's high voice is softened by the low-key songs he sings here. And his songwriting remains exceptional, vivid and emotional, like a poem set to music: "I can't go on, digging roses from you grave/to linger on, beyond the beyond/where the willows weep/ and whirlpools sleep, you'll find me..."
"Adore" is a dark, moody work that took quite some time to be fully appreciated by many fans. But despite its difference from other Pumpkins albums, it still strikes at the heart with its raw emotion. Rich and epic.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 1999
For some reason, a majority of the people don't know that Billy Corgan's mother, Martha, passed away somewhat recently. From that, I get the impressiont that this CD is full of mixed emotions that came about as a result of this tragic loss. For example, a lot of the songs range from a feeling of longing, helplessness, anger, and deep frustration, to a more forgiving sound. All the previous Pumpkins CDs I have are more in-your-face (Siamese Dream, MCIS) but Adore is my all-time favorite.
From a music lover's perspective, the best part about this great CD is that it's not the same instruments or same style/rythm throughout the entire CD. Every song has a different sound, and in my humble opinion it's about time for the music industry to look for new, different and above all, ORIGINAL music.
I'm finding that plenty of new artists are just using a style previous "greats" before them originated. (I'm not praising nor bashing them, but take for example, the new kids on the block...nsync...98degrees....back street boys...britney spears...cristina aguilera...all these teen idols produce the same thing....and it gets old FAST.)
To be a great band, it is essential that you bring new ideas and concepts to make you stand out from every one else. It's only logical right? To me, The Smashing Pumpkins do it every time they release a new album. And without a doubt, Adore certainly meets this expectation. So if you're tired of the same ol same ol give this CD a try. The greatest thing about this band is that you grow to like and maybe appreciate their music. The more you listen the more you'll enjoy their originality. DEFINETLY check them out.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2004
The Smashing Pumpkins have always been a band that I've known of and been able to recognize on the radio (how could you not?) but I never truly "got into" them. However, after hearing "Thirty-three" (from "Mellon Collie") on the radio, I finally said, "Okay, I have to listen to these people." Over the past few days, I've listened to all of the Smashing Pumpkins' major studio releases. Based on my impression of them, I have to say "Adore" is my favorite. I don't understand why it was poorly received, both by fans and critics, when it came out. It shows a huge step both forward both musically (for the Pumpkins as a whole) and lyrically (for Billy Corgan). It shows far much more ambition than "Mellon Collie" -- ask yourself, how many alternative bands would attempt to make an album without a drummer? But they attempted and they pulled it off beautifully.
The album opens with the absolutely gorgeous "To Sheila" -- I knew from the first notes that I was going to love the album. It's followed by the electronically-driven and -- dare I say -- catchy "Ava Adore." The two opening songs do what opening songs should do -- they set the tone for the album, as the rest of the album is full of electronics and beautiful piano-driven songs. Don't worry, the guitar isn't absent -- it's still there, it's just not the overpowering force it once was. It blends easily here. Beyond the opening tracks, some standouts are "Daphne Descends," "Annie-Dog," "Blank Page," and "For Martha," Billy Corgan's tearjerking tribute to his deceased mother.
"Adore" proves the musical genius of Billy Corgan. Only a genius could blend all of these noises and come up with the product that he came up with. As I said before, his lyrics also improve with this album -- it's almost as if he stops trying so hard and just lets it come out exactly how he's feeling it ("it" being his mother's death, his divorce, the reunion with his father, etc.). Perhaps that's why I love "Adore" so much -- it's a work of pure emotion, emotion conveyed so well through both the words and the instruments. Don't let yourself be fooled by fans and critics telling you the album isn't "hard" enough -- pick up "Adore," put aside all other influences, and just revel in its beauty.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2010
It seems that whenever people talk about The Smashing Pumpkins, they always get caught up with Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie- and that is understandable. Those two albums are the type of decade-defining material that most bands can only dream of and only a select few can actually produce. Both of those albums, with their assault of heavily layered guitars that became the trademark sound for The Pumpkins, deserve every bit of the praise they get. It's not surprising that they tower high enough to cast a shadow over everything else the Pumpkins would go on to do, but that really is a shame, because Adore is a strong enough album on it's own to stand right alongside those two giants of alternative rock- so why doesn't it in the eyes of so many Pumpkins fans?
Well, perhaps it is because the shadow metaphor, while cliche, fits it so perfectly. Just by glancing at the cover of Adore, you can tell that this is going to be a very different album than it's predecessors. It's dark, but at the same time it is delivered with a much softer touch than either of the records that came before it. It's an album that sounds better when listened to while alone in the dark, when the sound can accentuate every looming shadow, and fill isolation with a sense of familiarity. The atmosphere is as captivating and fulfilling as any album I have ever heard, rivaled only by The Cure's "Disintegration," which seems like an obvious influence on this album.
Gone from Adore are the layered guitars, the Pumpkins brand of distortion, and Jimmy Chamberlain. Added is a very strong sense of atmosphere, lyrics that go much deeper than the surface angst that was employed on much of Mellon Collie, and a Drum Machine (and don't worry, it doesn't sound very out of place here.) Still remaining? Billy Corgan's unique vocals, which sound better here than ever, and that grand, almost pretentious feeling of an epic scope that the Pumpkins seem to nail down effortlessly with each release. While the moods and sound may have shifted to new territory, the band delivering this music is still very obviously The Smashing Pumpkins.
The change, however, was enough to alienate a large number of Smashing Pumpkins fans. Adore sold quite poorly when compared with other Pumpkins albums, and a quick trip to any Pumpkins forum can quickly show you that fans of the band can be split into two camps (well, maybe three now, with the current "reunion," which I won't go into now)- Those who like everything up to and including Mellon Collie, and those who like everything the Pumpkins did. Adore doesnt really "rock" at all, with none of the songs really offering the guitar heroism that everyone knows Billy Corgan is capable of. Every song is dark, each delievered with varying degrees of sadness, but in the albums 16 song stretch, the darkness never really gets old or overbearing, due to the eclectic use of styles throughout. "Once Upon a Time" takes a more folksy approach than anything, while "Apples + Oranjes" feels like some sort of gothic techno song. "Pug" is almost industrial like, with Billy reveling in madness and insanity like we have never seen, while "To Sheila" is a beautiful and romantic acoustic number, which makes you feel like you are in love, even if you clearly aren't. Which brings me to my next point- on Adore, it feels like the band is in complete control of the user's emotions. It is that personal and affecting. Much of the songwriting is Billy lamenting on the deaths of those close to him. "For Martha," the token epic 7 minute plus track found on every Pumpkins release, is obviously about Billy's mother passing away, and Tear, an album highlight, is supposedly about an ex-girlfriend of Billy's who died in a car crash.
While every song is worth mentioning in some way, I would rather not go into each one. I'll just say this- this is an album that is meant to be listened to as a whole. It is powerful, beautiful, and sad. It feels like the most sincere offering from this band, that has truly earned it's place as one of the best of the 90's. No, there isn't a hit single, like "Today" or "1979" (though "Ava Adore" comes pretty close). No, there isnt a great guitar solo every song. No, Jimmy Chamberlain isn't here to further his claim of being one of the best drummers of modern rock. And no, it doesn't sound like "Siamse Dream" or "Mellon Collie." But once again, it does sound like the Smashing Pumpkins- and those who can accept the new sound will know the band on a whole new level. Do not let an aversion to change keep you from experiencing this masterpiece.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
Yes, you read right. Following "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness", the Smashing Pumpkins had a lot of ups and downs. Following Jimmy Chamberlin's addiction which got him temporarily kicked out of the Pumpkins, they didn't know how they continue, but in the end did just that. It is true that Chamberlin does not appear on here and that he is an amazing drummer, but what's done here is what to accept. And it's really, really good. Did you like the two songs from "Batman & Robin" and "Eye" from "Lost Highway"? Well, then you will probably really like this album. It's not really as quiet as others would have you think.
And I think today that some of the people who originally loathed this album laugh now at their sentiments, because if you're not used to what's here, you're just going to have to wait to let it sink in. And it's 100% worth it. People who like music done by people who like doing music like the Smashing Pumpkins. And I think Billy's voice sounds great here.
It starts very nicely with the acoustic fingerpick "To Sheila", which also has this nice percussive atmosphere in the verses. The melody is just really, really good. The track is a little bit less than five minutes yet the point is well done. The bridge is just perfect (no pun intended). Then things go into an actual rocking track, "Ava Adore". Nice instrumentation, and the only song with an actual guitar solo here. More guitar was actually done live, but on here it just sounds really cool. The gothic influence is not only shown in the music video but on this album, partially with this particular song. It's still more of a heavy trip-hop track. It's a wonder it wasn't bigger than it was. Then you get things in the pop territory a la "1979" with "Perfect". However, this one's about ups and downs where the other one was just carefree and this one's also probably a lot more new wave. It is also a nice balance of electronica and rock, as is the next song, "Daphne Descends", which is notable for its bridge.
That's not even close to the end of the excitement on "Adore". You get a nice acoustic tribute to Billy's deceased grandma on "Once Upon a Time", which is more acoustic than many probably expected. Then comes in "Tear", which has orchestration via keyboards, done really well. The melody is great even though the programming is a bit hard to handle in the first couple listens, which is pretty much the meat and bones of the verses. But it gets better with time. I think it may be one of the greatest Pumpkins songs made, and that's saying a lot.
"Crestfallen" is a Depeche Mode type piano pop song, then it follows to the electronica of that band and New Order's style in "Appels + Oranjes". I think I read that the misspelling was so people wouldn't think it was a Pink Floyd cover. But it's the only song here that fully embraces the electronica, so if you're expecting that, just listen to this. I liked it so much it inspired the screen name I have on AOL. "Pug" is a really unique track, and I don't know anything else to say about that one.
Then comes a couple of stream-of-consciousness tracks of great Billy Corgan poetry; the former is a lesser track while the latter is a nice piano track which was unchanged from its demo. About the only problem on the album is that "Shame" is a bit long, but it's still a pretty good song. The guitar part is pretty repetitive though. You do get to hear some bass playing from D'arcy, though.
Then you get into a trilogy of pure greatness. "Behold! The Night Mare" has some distortion but in more of a nighttime/goth type of way. It is great for if you like goth. Also, a quite unique track on the album. It gets a bit interesting in its atmospheres and also when it just goes on the simple playing in the bridge. Following that is "For Martha" which is over eight minutes, a great tribute to Billy's mom. It's very peaceful in its piano and the chorus is just plain magical. This one is the length it is for a reason. Then it's the full-on piano ballad, "Blank Page". The piano could've maybe been written a little bit better, but it is still a pretty good song. I really like Billy's melody in this track. It may be hard to believe for some, but Billy's voice and the piano together sound really good.
It isn't just for "hardcore fans". While some may argue that I'm one, I didn't exactly say that "Machina" was pristine in quality. It's also for goths and people who would prefer the Pumpkins doing more "quiet" tracks. But it's really not that quiet, save for a few moments in the album. But it is unmistakably a Pumpkins record. Billy still has a lot of ambition and fuel in him on here. It also was a matured point from some of what was on the previous records. Play this album in the autumn and you'll feel like it's the soundtrack to that particular time.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2003
I have a very large collection of cd's. Out of all of them, this is my favorite. There have been many thimes I thought I listened to a cd better then this, such as when I bought Ok Computer by Radiohead or ( ) by Sigur Ros, but after a few days this cd just kept coming into my mind and it became my favorite all over again. Billy Corgan has written his most personal lyrics ever, along with sone of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Crestfallen remains one of my favorite songs of all time, and most of the songs on this cd would rank among some of my favorite Pumpkins songs.
When I first put in this cd, which was 2 years from the time I have written this review, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard it was more mellow then MCATIS or Simese Dream, but I didm't care because it was songs like Disarm, Crush, Galapogos, To Forgive, In the Arms of Sleep, that made me love the Pumpkins above all other bands. But when I skimmed through the first minute of each song like I always do when I get a new cd, I was amazed at what I was hearing. No, it wasn't what I had expected. It was a whole lot more. That night I listened to the whole thing front to back and it instantly became my favorite cd ever, over Machina, which I had gotton a week before Adore. The songs were so much more then I had thought they'de be. I had figured they would be manily acoustic songs, which I would of loved, but there was a new instrument which I had knew nothing about. The synthesizer. It made you feel like you were floating in space, in songs like Appels and Oranjes, and Daphne Desends. Also, I absoutely loved the electronic drums, which most people hated. I love Jimmy Chamberlin, he is the best drummer of the 90's along with Matt Cameron, but the cd would not feel the same without the sound of the electronic drums.
This cd changed the way I listened to music. I would of never had the patience to listen to Radiohead or Sigur Ros or even attempt to listen to them if I hadn't heard this cd. It made me discover that music was more then a 4 piece band with a drummer, guitarist, bassist, and vocalist. Music was more then how good you can play a solo, how high your songs got on the charts, or how fast and heavy you can be. Music was about how the song made you feel inside. Buy this cd and let it take you to places you've never been.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2000
If you have an open mind, like The Pumpkins themselves, you will appreciate "Adore" for the magnificent album that it truly is. I want to stand on the roof tops and tell everyone they're wrong for snubbing this album. Forgive my melodrama . . . this album struck a profoundly personal chord in me. Billy lost his wife to divorce, and his mom passed away. I lost my first love at the tender age of sixteen, 1998. When Billy mourned his losses through the incredible beauty of his music, my soul was set free from my own personal grief, at least momentarily. "For Martha" is the saddest, loveliest, and most powerful song to describe the loss of a loved one. In my opinion, it is one of the best Pumpkins songs of all time. The piano chords and raw, painful lyrics brings tears to my eyes. I will never forget this song for it described how I felt when I let go of my first love, finally . . . "Behold the Nightmare" and "Shame" are also beautfil albeit sullen odes that evoke somber truths. The upbeat tunes, "Ava ADore", "Apples and Oranges", and "Perfect" are also wonderful. This album is tattooed in my mind. Like true art, it reflects life and perserves faith and belief in the human race. Thank you, Billy Corgan, for making this album.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2007
I originally bought this album when it was released because of "Ava Adore," but I hated the rest of it... at least I thought I did. A couple of years ago, following a trip down splitsville, it caught my eye while I was unpacking boxes in my new place. If you've ever gone through that period of "I need something unfamiliar, something detached, just some background noise, to get through this" after the rage has subsided and silence is entirely too overwhelming, you can relate. Anyway, "Adore" went into my player and within the first "re-listen" I felt like I had uncovered lost treasure. From the techno-infused "Pug" and "Appels + Oranjes" to the sorrowful, yet amazingly beautiful, "Crestfallen" and "Blank Page" (my favorites), this album left me feeling somewhat ashamed... and definitely shocked. And even today, I can't quite comprehend why I tossed it aside 7 years ago but now regard it as one of my favorite albums ever. Maybe I hadn't suffered enough at 23 and needed a more mature perspective... maybe the sorrow I felt two years ago found a friend in the misery of "Adore." Whatever the reason, "Adore" was there during a difficult and defining period of my life... and I couldn't be more thankful for this incredible piece of work. Like many others have suggested, I strongly recommend you give it another try. Hang new curtains, bob your head to the upbeats, cry on downslide, and sleep among the stars.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2005
Whenever I hear those screaming guitars about halfway into "For Martha", I think about when I was little and how my dad would turn up the volume at that part. Of course I appreciate it 10 times more now that I'm older and my taste in music has flourished, but I'll always remember listening to the Pumpkins when I was younger. When I rediscovered the Pumpkins a few years ago, this was randomly the first album I listened to. I was completely blown away and the SP became one of my favorite bands just through that first listen. Maybe it was better that I listened to it first, because then I didn't compare it to their previous works. If I can't sleep at night, I always put on this album.. not that it bores me but most of the songs are like lullabies and put me to sleep! Stand-out tracks include For Martha, Shame, Ava Adore, Tear, and Pug. As you've heard a million times, this album is less hard rock/grunge (even though I don't really consider the early SP grunge...) and more gothic, techno and overall just more emotional, as he writes about his mother. Some songs even give you a synthpop Depeche Mode feel (another band I highly recommend!)
I don't know what else to say about this album.. but I recommend it to any Pumpkins fan.. just give it a chance.. I'm not guarenteeing that you'll like it because it's pretty different from their other stuff.. but you should give it a listen and decide for yourself.. don't be influenced by the bad reviews written by those simply afraid of change!