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40. Raw and adored
on 6 October 2014
Originally released sporting a black and white photo depicting a bowing girl in front of what looked like an umbrella, "Adore"'s reissue cover presents the complete picture frame in colour. The girl apears to be one of the petals of a blossomed red rose. How beautiful, indeed. The Smashing Pumpkins have always incorporated poetic elements in their work, but on "Adore" poetic they became. Whereas previous albums were more punchy and straight-forward affairs, on this, a dark, melancholic, melodic, introspective quality runs through each of the 16 songs, appropriately, as during that time the band were dealing with death and seperation (frontman Billy Corgan's mother's death, his divorce, the reunion with his father, asking drummer Jimmy Chamberlin to leave the band etc.). Experimenting with electronic sounds, fusing a '70s rock essence with '80s synth-sounds, and '90s techno-tempos was, indeed, a strange change in direction for the band, especially considering the phenomenal success of their multi-platinum and critically acclaimed previous 2 records.
Despite being poorly received by critics and fans upon its 1998 release, "Adore" really attained the very same heights as the kicking "Siamese dream" and the magnificent "Mellon collie and the infinite sadness", despite sounding nothing like either of the two. Actualy, "Adore" is entirely different to any former or subsequent SP album. Even B. Corgan's signature angry scream here is replaced with a voice that sounds warm and human. Brimming with creativity and emotion, and transcending all expectations, this conceptual album was conceptualized in the most unexpected and alternative manner. Raw usually means hard, but it can also mean fine and beautiful; that is exactly what "Adore" is. Probably the most underrated rock album of the '90s, certainly one of the finest (listening to the tinkly piano melody cut short in the end of the set will make you never forget them). This brand new reissue is a first-class opportunity to introduce/revisit the Smashing Pumpkins brilliance, they will effortlessly melt your heart, if you let it open. Mine is still bleeding.