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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 January 2003
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.
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on 3 March 2004
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.
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on 27 August 2001
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.
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on 3 March 2007
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

Top 5

1.To Sheila




5.For Martha/Daphne Decends

Nothing else needs to be said.
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on 17 January 2014
I bought this album for my 19 year old son and ended up loving it myself. Although Billy Corgan doesn't have the greatest of vocals some how his lyrics just blend magically with the music to produce an outstanding album. You can always find something that you can relate to in his songs unlike the absolute drivel produced by some of todays artists. This album is about his mum's death and how he felt when she died. Very touching.
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"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.
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on 10 August 2002
When I first listened to this album, I found it quite hard to appreciate some of the songs. But, after a few more plays through, I reckon that this could be the best Smashing Pumpkins album available.
This could seem quite a bold statement to make, but "Adore", as a whole, is quite impressive. None of the songs sound out of place, and after a few plays, it all starts to make sense. The album's centrepiece is, undoubtedly, "For Martha" - surely one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, especially if you understand the reason behind the song (this being the death of Billy Corgan's mother). However, there are other obvious highlights in the album, such as the single "Ava Adore" and the gorgeous "Once Upon A Time". But, as always, there are a few poorer tracks - these being the annoying "Pug" and the too odd for my liking "Shame". Others may seem, well, quite pointless ("Annie Dog" and "Appels and Oranjes"), but give it time, and you'll start to enjoy them.
"Adore" can be considered as being quite special, as it is surprisingly underrated, and has often been dismissed by "hardcore" Pumpkins fans, who preferred them during their "Siamese Dream" era and weren't expecting a collection of soft songs. My advice is to definately buy it. The first couple of times you play it through, a majority of it might seem slightly disappointing. But give it a couple more plays through, and you'll see why the Pumpkins are sorely missed in a world where Linkin Park and Slipknot dominate the airwaves. A beautifully odd album.
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on 11 March 2002
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.
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on 11 February 2011
The Smashing Pumpkins have so many great albums, but here's how I look at it. "Gish" was a smashing debut from a band at their purest, with raw production and sheer originality. "Siamese Dream" was the band at their most commercial, a concise, accessible album with lovely catchy tracks. "Mellon Collie..." was undoubtedly their masterpiece, showcasing the best of the bands various talents. This third album boasted some of their best grunge material like "Bodies", "Zero", "Muzzle" and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", some of their best acoustic material like "Galapagos" and "Cupid de Locke" and some early examples of their electronically influenced music like the awesome "1979" and "Love".

However, "Mellon Collie" did have a lot of songs that I wasn't keen on like "Tonight, Tonight" (Overrated), "Porcelina" and "An Ode To Nothing". Also, as a double album with so many styles floating around it lacked the consistency of "Siamese Dream" or their excellent 4th album "Adore".

Simply put, "Adore" is my favourite Pumpkins album because of it's sheer style and consistency. Corgan's electronically influenced approach on Adore always appealed to me because I am a huge fan of electronic music. None-the-less, the style is certainly no gimmick and the album still offers a number of stripped down, solemn tracks typical of the band's previous albums. What is lacking however, is the band's original sound. Anyone with a purest attitude, would probably rather listen to raw, grunge-influenced albums like "Gish" or "Siamese Dream" which are so different to "Adore".

The Pumpkins were famed for reinvention, although I would argue that their career was successful more because of progression than reinvention. The reason I prefer "Adore" is because it represented the sound that I most associate with the band, namely; electronically-influenced, grungy soft-rock. You won't find tracks like "Perfect", "Ava Adore", "Appels and Oranjes", "Daphne Descends" or "Pug" on any other album. Even the softer tracks like "Dusty and Pistol Pete" and "Once Upon a Time" stand out due to the electronic production. Unfortunately, the band eventually progressed beyond "Adore" and made "Machina" where the tracks all started to sound very similar. Shame.

So, in conclusion, go and listen to the track "Appels and Oranjes" and then compare it to "Zero". If you prefer "Appels..." then go out and buy "Adore". Or try "Perfect", my favourite Pumpkins song ever.
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on 23 November 1999
Although it lacks the sheer RAWK of the previous albums Adore should not be ignored as an album. Billy Corgan has refined his song-writing technique once more and provides us with another fine album.
If you are just into the Pumpkins for their moshability then you may be disappointed but that's not what they are about. Songs like To Forgive and Stumbline on MCIS and many songs of Pisces Iscariot are loved by SP fans without being rock.
I do feel that Adore will not last the test of time as well as the other albums mostly because of the dodgy drum machines, but it is a album of our time. Like REM, Madonna, Radiohead and Garbage the Pumpkins put aside traditional album techniques to create something a bit different.
"To Shelia" - An absolutely beautiful acoustic song, capturing the album's theme of what Billy called 'Arcane music for a sleepless night.'
"Ava Adore" - Played live this sounds like a classic goth rock song but the album version is more sinister and layered.
"Perfect" - 1979 for grown-ups. Excellent.
"Daphne Descends" - Stark and spooky with an excellent e-bow line by James.
"Once upon a time" - Upbeat acoustic but with a hint of sadness. Watch out for the classic 'I went bowwwwwwwling' line.
"Tear" - Sparse mini-epic about the death of his mother(like much of the album). Ill advised a capella moment.
"Crestfallen" - Piano led and sad.
"Pug" - One of the more electronic songs.
"Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete" - Despite the strange name an absolutely excellent song, classic drum intro.
"Aples and Oranjes" - Nice electro-pop number despite stealing a Pink Floyd songname and ripping of "If 6 were 9"s lyrics.
"Annie-Dog" - Strange two chord piano song. Unsettling lyrics.
"Behold, The Nightmare!" - A moment of light hearted epicness before the climax of the album. Brilliant.
"For Martha" - This song is the definitely the centre point of the album. Specifically about his mother(Martha) and quite poignant this superb song even includes a guitar solo!
"Blank Page" - Quite and sad to wind down the album.
"17" - 17 seconds of a tinkly piano melody cut short. Does it represent the briefness of life?
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