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neumu
Friday, April 18, 2014 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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artist
Billy Corgan
recording
The Future Embrace
Warner
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rating


Though the Classic Rock establishment would tell you otherwise, Billy Corgan turned a creative corner when he authored the Smashing Pumpkins' best single, "1979." Razing off the cock-rock bluster that doused Siamese Dream in Andy-Wallace-walls-of-guitar and an unbearable amount of masturbatory guitar solos, the streamlined sound he established on that still-fresh song led onto and bled into the Pumpkins' entirely-underrated Adore album, which, for all its faults — the fact that it seemed to drag on and on being a big one — found Corgan authoring some of the best music of his career, NyQuil-baked, eyeliner-caked neo-new-wave/electro-goth pop-songs like "Daphne Descends," "Tear," and the "1979"-sequel "Perfect" all capturing the sort of woebegone melancholy, minor-keyed drama, and wailing flounce that suits Corgan's aesthetic. The former SP frontman sees "1979" as the beginning of a movement that has led to his debut solo album, The Future Embrace, with Zwan, his post-Pumpkins all-star-rock take on alterna-rock Americana, merely being a tangent breaking off of such.

This'd all make much greater reading if The Future Embrace was a really great album. Only, it's not, and certainly fares poorly when compared with the other solo record to come from within the Smashing Pumpkins, James Iha's 1998 outing Let It Come Down, a "lost" soft-pop classic. Corgan's own own-name debut may not be any sort of classic, but it is a peculiar pop-cultural curio, a strange set of sonically dense songs that seem to have been painstakingly sculpted in the studio, meticulously-erected constructions whose shiny façades are every bit as glistening and phallic as Corgan's bald dome.

It's nominally an "'80s-sounding" record, but, well, it's not really. Whilst the disc does draw heavily from Corgan's longtime heroes Depeche Mode (a band who once actually seemed incongruous to Corgan's aesthetic, when the Pumpkins first covered them in 1993), its retrophonic cues are naught like those poses being struck by the ironic electro-humans in recent seasons. Instead of leaning on kitsch keytone, the disc creates an almost impenetrable sound-world, building songs out of layer upon layer of laid-down sounds, from its foundations of industrial-toned beats to seemingly infinite overlays of heavily-processed guitars, effects-draped vocals, and sci-fi-ish synth sounds. The gear is buffed to such a productional sheen that its every sound seems like a reflective surface, the compositional complexity leading to an album as confusing — and, ultimately, distancing — as a hall of mirrors.


by Anthony Carew




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