26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I feel Mellon Collie,
This review is from: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Audio CD)
"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" avoids the pitfalls of many double albums -- too much filler, too few good songs, not enough of the good stuff. Instead, this is in the spirit of the Beatles' "White Album" or Pink Floyd's "The Wall." Billy Corgan's tight writing and the Smashing Pumpkins's brilliant instrumentation make this sweeping double album a must-have.
The first disc, "Dawn to Dusk," builds up slowly with a mournful piano song, only to bounce into the sweeping "Tonight Tonight." Forming the rest are sizzling rockers ("Jellybelly," "Zero"), sparkling softer songs ("Cupid De Locke"), and quiet alt-rock ("Galapagos") and a few songs that stray into unknown musical turf (the sweeping ten minute "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans"). "Take Me Down" ends the first disc on the same quiet note that it began on.
Second disc "Twilight To Starlight" starts off on a very different foot. Jerky guitar riffs and drumming start off, sounding like a warm up, before exploding into the solid "Where Boys Fear To Tread." Having gotten that over with, Corgan and Co. switch into a somewhat quieter collection: gentle acoustics ("Thirty-Three," "Stumbleine," the sweet "In the Arms of Sleep"), catchy alt-rock (new-wavey "1979," "Thru The Eyes of Ruby"), blistering hard rock ("Tales of a Scorched Earth," "XYU"). The gentle "Farewell and Goodnight" rounds off the double album on a quiet note.
"Mellon Collie" has just about every kind of music you can hope to find -- ballads, prog, metal, alt-rock, and so on. A handful of songs feel superfluous, but the vast majority of them just feel like a musical quilt. That is, two musical quilts. The tone of each disc is quite different, with "Dawn to Dusk" being a rockier album more in tune with the past Pumpkins releases. "Twilight To Starlight" has a more experimental, sad feel.
Billy Corgan's reedy voice weaves seamlessly into the complex music, singing songs about loneliness, pessimism and longing for love. His songwriting is exceptional here ("breathing under water, and living under glass..."); his style is best described as poetry set to music. James Iha also dips into songwriting with "Take Me Down" and cowritten "Farewell and Goodnight." Guitar riffs both furious and gentle, sweeping strings, piano, Chamberlin's percussion and D'arcy's good bass work move up and down the scale, from soft to scathing.
With its epic music and tight lyrics, "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" is madly brilliant and among the best work that the Smashing Pumpkins did. Dark, sweet, sad, and angry, this is a modern classic.