18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable
The Smashing Pumpkins were a band that continually evolved throughout their albums, and their fourth "proper" album is, in my opinion, their finest and most beautiful work. "Adore" may have been panned by the critics, and some fans consider it to be the worst of the band's efforts, admittedly it does take a few listens to really connect with the mood of the album. But...
Published on 16 Jan 2003 by R. Thompson
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loses direction
This is really a prime example of how an album could have been so much better, brilliant even, if it had been shortened considerably. As a result, it's a frustrating experience.
There are high points indeed and the albums gets off to a strong start with 'Song For Martha', 'Ava Adore' and 'Perfect'. 'Ava Adore' is especially exquisite with Corgan's voice...
Published 17 months ago by Torben Madsen
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable,
The Smashing Pumpkins were a band that continually evolved throughout their albums, and their fourth "proper" album is, in my opinion, their finest and most beautiful work. "Adore" may have been panned by the critics, and some fans consider it to be the worst of the band's efforts, admittedly it does take a few listens to really connect with the mood of the album. But once you recognise and appreciate the song's melancholy outlook, the album really enters another level.
"Adore" was recorded without the help of drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, who was asked to leave following his involvement in the death of a Pumpkin's tour musician. He was replaced with a drum machine, and therefore created a totally new sound for the Pumpkins, gone were the powerful, guitar-driven songs that made their previous three albums, and replacing it was far more electronica based music. "Adore" is a very somber album, it was written and recorded during the death of Billy Corgan's mother, and the band were beginning to sober up to the reality of rock and roll, songs such as "Blank Page" and "Annie-Dog" really reflect the bleak mood of the album. The two singles released off the album don't really show off the it's deflated feel, both "Ava Adore" and "Perfect" are fantastic examples of the Pumpkin's work, but they sound slightly disconnected with the rest of the album. The electronica influence really shines through tracks such as "Appels + Oranjes" and "Behold! The Nightmare", whilst more tender, intimate moments are reflected in "To Sheila" and "For Martha", an epic track which only the most ardent philistein can fail to fall in love with. The album ends with the mysterious "17", a strange seventeen-second long track which is slightly baffling, what it is meant to mean or reflect I don't know.
Despite the strange conclusion, "Adore" is the most touching and wonderful album that I have ever heard. Ignore whatever reviews that you have heard which slates this album, just listen to it and make up your own mind. "Adore" is not an album which will leave you dithering whether you like it or not, you'll either fall in love with it, or hate it. I personally regard it as not only the best album by the Smashing Pumpkins, but as the best album I have ever listened to. My copy has a slightly different track-listing, but I'm sure the copy advertised here won't fail to touch your hearts, it really is that good.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer poetry,
I'll admit that I wasn't sure about Adore at first. It was the second Pumpkins album I bought (after Mellon Collie) and I was expecting more of Billy Corgan's own brand of heavy metal. What I got, and what I soon learned to appreciate, is an album of rare beauty. Some of the lyrics (most to be honest) are as good as the work of any conventional poet - "I faced the fathoms in your deep, withstood the suitors' quiet siege, tore downs the heavens just to please you, to hold the flower I can't keep" is a perfect example.
The songs range from the almost sinister Ava Adore (watch with the video for full impact), to the dark, grief stricken Tear and Blank Page - one of the most haunting songs I've ever heard. Songs such as Perfect and Appels + Oranjes add just enough catchy pop to what is a lengthy, though not overly so, album. Other highlights include Behold! The Night Mare (see lyrics above) and the reverb drenched and downright scary Shame.
As a whole, Adore is a mixture of electronica and subtle acoustic tracks, with occasional moments of angry distortion. Jimmy Chamberlain's absence is noticable, but not necessarily detrimental (though he is one of the greatest drummers around!) and Billy Corgan's voice is noticeably better in comparison to earlier albums. It was always going to be hard to follow Mellon Collie, but Adore succeeds, both in sounding nothing like its predecessor, but also attaining the same heights. One of the best, and most underrated, alternative rock albums of the 90s, any fan of the genre should own Adore.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappreciated,
By A Customer
They'd been around for years and the pumpkins released they're fith album, it came out and was a superb album, although there are a few songs that i dont like as much as the rest, though they are good songs. When the album came out it did not do well, despite the critics love of the album, the pumpkins appealed to a wider audience with this album than people who wished to bang there heads against brick walls, dont get me wrong i like moshing too, but I dont want to do it all the time. In this album Billy opens his heart, pours his soul all over the CD in the lyrics and the music, its a sensitive, mellow and in places, a sad album, and fits perfectly that time in Billy's life and what he was going through.
I guess this album brings the moment of truth to whats in the listeners heart, does he much like many wanabe moshas just want something to bang his head along to, or does he have a heart? I dont see how if you have a heart you can dislike this album, it is very powerful and it is very touching, and it does reflect the quiet songs on mellon collie, with just as much(if not more) feeling. I do feel if your a pumpkins fan , you should like the quiet and the loud songs, so if you do, then buy this, if you dont, then go elsewhere.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't understand why people don't like this,
By A Customer
I know that a lot of people don't like it, but for me I can listen to the whole album without skipping any tracks. For people who don't like this you can bet they were the ones who hated the twilight to starlight on the mellon collie cd. Personally I love it and I would even go as far as to say it is my favourite of all their albums. Billy's voice was brought to the forefront this time and not hidden behind the loud guitars. I don't mind that Jimmy Chamberlain was absent because instead of loud, heavy pumpkins we were treated to the beautiful, emotional side of them. This album is perfect and my favourite tracks are Daphne Descends, Crestfallen, Shame, Behold the night mare and my favourite song of all, For Martha. For the people who absolutely hated this, you were obviously only interested in the singles the band made, and i would suggest you didn't waste your time explainging how narrow-minded you are by disliking this album.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Album Will Change You Forever,
I believe this album to be the Pumpkins' finest work. Every song glissens with beauty. From start to finish, your attention never once subsides.
Billy Corgan is a genius, if you have not listened to his work before, this is the ideal starting point. It will become your favourite instantly!
The first track "To Sheila" is probably my favourite, it puts you in the right mood for what is to come. Your emotions will run free as you listen to each song unfold.
Every serious listener of music should listen to it.
It opens up new boundaries.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adoring Comfort,
After the phenomenal success of "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness"
the Pumpkins returned in 1998 with this fantastic record "Adore". The album was a totally different sound from their previous work with a more a quieter and more electronic influenced sound, incorporating drum machines and synthesizers some might say their most accessable work.
1.To Sheila - Starts off the album with one of my favourite songs of their whole career, a much more softer sound almost heartbreaking, think it just makes you think deeply about your life.This song was supposed to be included on the 'Cruel Intentions' soundtrack but because of clearance it wasn't which is a shame 'coz listening to it, it would have fit perfectly.The song never really takes off it stays at the same beautiful tempo, reminded me alot of a Mazzy Star song, and also a perfect addition to a '4am soundtrack' 10/10
2.Ava Adore - Another great song the distorted drums at the start reminded me of something from Bjork's earlier albums,I love Corgans vocals on this,Personally, I think this song is about someone that's completely screwed up. I think the whole song implies a really messed up relationship and it just seems like an obsessive love song can't live without the person but you hate them at the same time. 10/10
3.Perfect - A bit more upbeat than the rest of the songs.The song's subject is about a relationship that has broken up.Corgan admits that it has been some time since the demise of the relationship, and that he does not pretend that it ended for a reason. But then he thinks that if things started up again then it would be 'Perfect'. It's a really good song but not one i listen to alot 8/10
4.Daphne Decends - This song is so beautiful, it has this meloncholy, strange sound to it and Billy's voice is almost androgynous it's a really Beautiful atmospheric song with it's brooding chords and generally just an amazing arrangement. I got the impression that it is a tale of unrequited love instead of her love him shes in love with someone else..bless 10/10
5.Once Upon A Time - One of the albums highlights, as Corgan's mother died just before the recording of the album alot of the subject matter is about the pain and grief that comes with losing someone so dear to you. This is a very touching song beautiful and sad at the same time, it's almost like hes seeking solace in the comfort of this song 10/10
6.Tear - Very sad indeed, another song about Corgan's mothers death. I think one of the more darker songs which i felt is a song that reflects the difficulties dealing with death and the whole greiving process which can be painful and unnerving. I listened to it a few times now and i've realised that people looking for comfort might find it listening to this I a way.The break in the middle is just sheer genius the song is one of the more superior in terms of the percussive side, a highlight. 10/10
7.Crestfallen - I love emotive music like this I listen to alot of it I feel a really deep connection it gives me comfort and this song when I first heard it reduced me to tears. I think Billy portrays someone with low self esteem and when they finally get to be with someone they don't really see why and try to question the person "why are u with me" and so on, for anyone who has ever had identity issues this song is definately for you heartbreaking and honest at the same time 10/10
8.Appel + Oranjes - A brash electronic song with a hard beat which funnily reminded me of the Pet Shop Boys!. I was never really a fan of this song and i'm still not it just doesn't reach out to me by the neck like the others i feel it's the onlt duff track the lyrics are really cool there is no denying that but i felt it was the wrong type of sound for something that could of been really beautiful. 5/10
9.Pug - It's actually pretty sexy the beat is intoxicating. To me, I feel it's about loving and desiring somebody so much that you want them to almost 'abuse' you in a way for you to get as close to them as possible. It's very sexy, sensual and raw. Definately a favourite of mine 10/10
10.The Tale Of Dusty And Pistol Pete - A song I listened to alot not that i was massive fan of it but i just really liked the story of it a murderous tale of love so intense that it causes them to want to kill each other which i felt was very disturbing another one i'm not overly keen on but i like to listen to it now and then the story is quite good 7/10
11.Annie-Dog - The song is very cryptic i feel it reminds me of a drug addict in some ways, but overall a girl who has no home. she has stories about where she's been what she's done, and somehow ends up with a boy who knows hes not supposed to hang around her, (is it wrong to be swallowed how) boy finds girl's odd habits intriguing, but the girl is still nuts. the prostitute thing defintaly makes alot of sense. I like the mysterious that surrounds this song very hard to decyfer 9/10
12.Shame - This is an excellent build-up song meaning it seems to build up the entire song to some dramatic climax.The guitar part on the album sounds like it was played slightly out of tune. It's about getting over someone and not knowing your right from your left because at first you feel lost when you loose someone you love-the shame part describes the wrongs both you your lost love put on eachother a really great song one of the best i feel 10/10
13.For Martha - The 8 minute song is such a beautiful song a real love letter to his mother. Billy wrote this song for his mother. actually most of 'Adore' was written for her. I just think it's so touching "if you have to go don't you cry" them words, when he sang them i got goosebumps, this is one of the most heartfelt songs they have ever recorded without a doubt a love from a mother can never, ever be replaced and this song sheds light on how special mothers are...I know mine is 10/10
14.Blank Page - To me, this song seems to be about being in love with someone who no longer loves you, or maybe never did in the first place. He wants to forget about the person the song was written about,but he can't, she's a part of him, as much as it tears him up. It's about the misery, the sadness of losing someone, the desperateness very beautiful song great way to end the album 10/10
15.17 - The song does sound very...archaic...a perfectly disquieting way to end a haunting album. The song sounds old, with an air of sadness, coldness, and loneliness conveyed by an ancient-sounding piano over a short 17 seconds. Beautiful 10/10
5.For Martha/Daphne Decends
Nothing else needs to be said.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mind-blowing ability to be fast paced but utterly heartfelt,
By A Customer
If you are a fan of previous Pumpkins albums and donâ€™t think that you can open your mind out of the indie-rock origins of the band then prepare to be disappointed. Some of the songs on this album are almost revolutionary. Never before and never since I heard this album have I been so impressed with the completely original ability that this album has; the album has numerous songs (Perfect, Ava Adore, Apples + Oranges) which use fast, dancy, techno beats with slow heartfelt vocal. This mixture may not sound so fantastic but it works so well that this is one of the best albums that I have ever heard. I am a big fan of Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness but this album has a groundbreaking edge that means that I rate it slightly higher. Track 14 (For Martha)â€¦
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlight of the Pumpkins Career,
By A Customer
A lot of people will disagree with this summary.Don't get me wrong, I love every song the Pumpkins have written, but after repeated listening some get a teensy bit tedious.Not on this album.Each song is a classic.From the aching acoustic meloncholy of 'For Sheila' to the dark goth-pop of 'Ava Adore' and the blissfully disturbing 'Annie Dog', this proves that The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the bands of the 90's.Although the high point has to be 'The Tale Of Dusty And Pistol Pete', an electronicoustic (i'm very proud of that phrase) masterpeice it is the aural equivilent of a runaway child staggering across the moors while the waves moan along the beach below.Or if you prefer, a desperatly romantic tale of anguish and inner demons.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, electronic follow up to Mellon Collie and the Infinite...,
This is a strange album, and as a result of that strangeness I'm not entirely sure if it will still appeal to new listeners, or whether it really is just a throwback to the end of the late 90's alternative scene. It's certainly no way to follow up a huge, successful, double-album like Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, with the band rejecting straight rock in favour of extended compositions drawing heavily on languid pianos, anachronistic 80's style synthesisers and lyrics that are shot through with a sense of bitterness and defeat. Listening to it today, for the first time in years, I was surprised at how highly a younger incarnation of myself must have rated this; especially given that it is (or was at the time) one of the priciest 'strange' albums ever to be released.
The band had garnered great critical and commercial success from their previous albums, Siamese Dream and the abovementioned Meloncollie. Being something of the dictator, Billy Corgan obviously decided that this success was a cementation of his ruler ship and decided that the band should create an album that dealt almost specifically with the break-up of his marriage and the loss of his mother. Secondly, drummer Jimmy Chamberlain had been kicked out of the band during a subsequent tour for heroin addiction and - with not enough time to replace him before the start of this recording - the band instead brought in a drum machine until a replacement drummer could be found (Matt Walker provides actual drumming on some of the tracks). Because of this, the album sounds like a throwback to Depech Mode's Violator LP with synths and drum loops all over the place, coupled with over-earnest lyrics that look at heartbreak & death (I suppose comparisons to the Cure could be made, circa Head on the Door and The Top).
Finally, the strain of the band under Corgan's dictatorship was becoming more and more apparent, with remaining members James Iha and Darcy contributing very little to the recording, whilst Corgan himself is rumoured to have played all the instruments himself. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, what with Corgan's standing one of the better musicians to emerge from the so-called 'grunge'/alternative scene, but it does occasionally gives the album a stagnant, limited sound. It's also highly repetitive, with all the songs bleeding into one another until the point where they cease to hold any nuance of character or originality. As a result of this, the album ends up sounding, at times, as if it is just one long, repetitive, bleak 70-minute composition spread, out over one CD (or maybe this was the point).
Some of it is great; tracks like To Sheila, Ava Adore, Perfect, Crestfallen, Appels + Oranjes, Shame, For Martha and Blank Page, which, despite being terribly gloomy, represent Corgan at his very best. But did we really need songs like Pug, Once Upon a Time, The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete and Daphne Descends? In the early days, these tracks wouldn't have even been deemed worthy for their b-side compilations and yet here they are, mostly clocking in at 5 minutes + and featuring a style that never seems to change one little bit during their entirety. As others have said, there's a lot here to admire, for example, many of the stripped down lyrics that brim with emotion, the production and mixing; even Corgan's voice seems warmer and more human than ever before, but there isn't too much you can get behind and enjoy and come back to on a regular basis and feel transformed by.
A lot of Pumpkin fans hated this at the time because it was so stylistically different from the albums that came before, but for me, that's not the problem. The problem is simply: 'too long and too repetitive'. Like that old saying, when it's good it's very good... but when it's bad it's rotten might be something of an overstatement, but it seems to fit. And of course, it's nice to see a band experiment with their trademark sound, even if the results are far from groundbreaking. Because of songs like For Martha, Blank Page, Tear and Crestfallen, three stars really seems too low a rating. Then again, four seems to high. If anything, this album is a low-four/three and ½. Some will love it, others may feel indifferent towards it. At this current price it still seems a little steep. My advice is to try and seek it out in a bargain bin somewhere or failing that, borrow it from a friend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but good,
By A Customer
This album hailed a departure for the Pumpkins from their normal raw angry sound when they seemed intent on telling the world how much they hated it and everything in it, Adore reveals Billy Corgans softer side and his wish to let the world know he's not as miserable as he looks, full of lyrically powerful and some more traditional raw angry tunes this is a must for any real SM fan except perhaps for the spotty kids who want all music to be angry all the time just because they are too young to get laid!. "To Sheila" is my personal favorvite and I would recommend buyiing this album to anyone who likes good rock music
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