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Siamese Dream Deluxe Edition
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In 1993, the Smashing Pumpkins were probably one of the most original bands of the alternative scene. With incredible soundscapes of guitar distortion, Billy Corgan's impassioned and ethereal vocals, and Jimmy Chamberlain's excellent drumming, these guys had a sound that was nothing like any alternative band of the time. Only My Bloody Valentine's Loveless (released in 1991) with its similar guitar-dominated sound could be considered as an influence, but Siamese Dream has its own distinct impact.
My, what a sound. Billy Corgan sounds better here than any other Pumpkins album--on later albums he sounded whiny; here he sounds obscure yet not overly shrill. The guitar playing is incredible (listen to the outro of Rocket) and the music grabs you by the collar and takes you in with its sweeping power.
Cherub Rock, with its slowly building opening leading to a bombastic arena rocker, is the perfect start to this album. After that, the double hit of Quiet and Today provides immense satisfaction. After Hummer and Rocket pass by leaving their audio imprint on you, the mood takes a sudden turn with the orchestral and haunting ballad Disarm which leads into the soft rock of Soma. The white-hot rage of Geek USA quickly rips through your ears before yielding to two more wonderful ballads--Mayonaise and Spaceboy. After that, the loud and powerful Silverf--k takes over. Finally, the album ends on a whisper with Sweet Sweet and Luna.
You won't be tempted to skip through a single track. Although future efforts were more ambitious, the Smashing Pumpkins never made an album this flawless again. You can't lose by adding this one to your collection.
..By the way, there's nothing really "explicit" about the lyrics. Even Silverf--k contains no profanity, except for the barely audible interludes.
Opening with a bang is the dizzying "Cherub Rock," a song that serves as a perfect springboard into the heart of this album. It can shift in an instant between pulse-pounding (the deceptively-named "Quiet") and more progressive ("Hummer"). Corgan's range stretches even to the quiet ("Sweet Sweet"), the dramatic ("Disarm" with its bells and violins) or the catchy (the plaintive "Spaceboy").
Perhaps the most outstanding thing about the Pumpkins is their seamless blend of metal, neo-psychedelica and art-rock. The blasting electric riffs, sprawling melodies, and the whirling, sinuous guitars are all interwoven without so much as a sonic burp. At first glance, it seems like a fairly typical rock/metal album, but upon further listening, the alluringly complicated music begins to filter itself fully into your brain. Corgan's lyrics aren't for the perky among you -- angsty and introspective, while avoiding the trap of self-pity.
It's difficult to find a musical flaw with the Pumpkins in "Siamese Dream." Corgan's high voice flitters between murmuring and wailing. Backing him up are James Iha's layered, whirling guitar riffs and Jimmy Chamberlain's controlled, fast drumming. Acoustic guitar also gets to shine at the start of "Disarm." What sounds like church bells is even used.
Fiercely adventurious, brooding and expressive, "Siamese Dream" is a breathtaking ride into a majestic rock world all its own. Inventive and enticing, this is a modern classic.
For example: Soma used to have about a 6-8db spike between the quiet intro and the loud middle section. This has been completely erased in this reissue. When the louder part hits, it feels muted and completely loses the impact of the original recording. The same can be said for tracks like Silverfuck and Mayonnaise. Whoever mastered this was more worried with getting the levels up to modern brick-wall levels than preserving the dynamics and overall art of the original master.
In the end, while it's great to hear this album on vinyl with some more punch in the bass, the tradeoff isn't worth it. Stick to the original.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1993 was my "summer of '69". And this album was right there in the forefront. Nothing brings a flood of nostalgia like Siamese Dream. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tony C
The quality of this gate fold LP is outstanding. I wish more artists would put together packaging like this.Published 2 months ago by Nisha Mason
It's the first album where I get to recognize this band.Published 3 months ago by Samantha Heatherson
I was asked by a friend to choose over Nirvana's In utero and this album... Well, I had a hard time choosing between the two albums that redefined the term rock and revolutionized... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Diane
Contrary to Courtney's claim that most of the songs in this record were written for her, I find each track signifying different themes. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James