Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Album: The Smashing Pumpkins - Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor (EP)

Normally I don't give much credence or time to EPs; normally they are either over too quick or are the band's experimental outlet and that's not something I'm really into. But of lat I've been rolling through a bunch of EPs, partially because of my discovery of and of the fact I don't have much time but I want to listen to something new, and a 15 minute EP is better then part of an 80 minute full-length. Regardless, this one will be short (ok, it ended up being a decent length, damn I can't do anything right).

Late last year (or early this year, I'm too lazy to look it up), The Smashing Pumpkins reported that they instead of releasing a new album in 2010, they would instead release one song a month for free (or donation) off their website. I didn't pay any attention to this because I thought it was kind of a dumb idea (I would have preferred an entire album), and I have a lot of music on my plate. Later, they ended up releasing what they had as an EP sometime later, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor, which is what I am listening to now. I know I am really late with this review (the first EP being released in May after all). This EP is a continuation of their sound from their latest LP, Zeitgeist (which is not a style I like too much), wherein they are continuing to stray from their progressive roots, or even their beginning sound of alternative metal, into a semi-spacy alternative rock. Trace elements of prog are still there, but it is bothering me a bit to put 'progressive rock' as a tag at the bottom.

Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. 1's strongest track is the first one, "Song For A Son," with the beginning music being awesome, and it continues throughout the song - then enter Billy Corgan's vocals, which was not what I was expecting. I guess I had forgotten what the iconic singer's voice was like, because I was thinking a good baritone or bass voice would be perfect for the song, and then Corgan's squeaky voice chimes in. It's not bad, but it was unexpected and a bit of a let down. The rest of the album (all three songs) was uneventful, with nothing standing out as overly good or bad. Track 3, "Astral Planes," was decent, but not enough for an explanation of the song.

Apparently, part two of this project (The Solstice Bare) gets released later this month (November 23), so I may have to do a second version of this article then (I'm going to look now to see if I can get a copy yet), as a continuation and a full-circle thought. The only reason I even spent the time on this review is because of the history of The Smashing Pumpkins and my corresponding history with them (another story for another time).

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