The Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments to an Elegy

Monuments to an Elegy confirms that Billy Corgan’s iconic vocals are still as much of a draw as ever, but the nine-track affair struggles to put such a hallmark vocal to good use. Instead of the fiery lyrics of the Pumpkins’ earlier days, the lyrics in Monuments feel especially lacking in depth, with most tracks frequently opting for heavy repetition of simplistic chorus lines. Monuments’ versatility of style is both refreshing and disorienting. The album’s opening track, “Tiberius,” encapsulates some of that diversity as it vacillates between heavy electric guitar and lighter acoustic. Meanwhile, the synth underlays introduced in the later tracks are exploratory, but yield hollow results. “Drum + Fife” is the most creative piece, with mystical flutes set against driving percussion, but even these lyrics lack impact. Monuments, then, is not memorable beyond being a minor showcase for Corgan’s talent.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

-Alexander Jackson