Monuments to an Elegy

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Monuments to an Elegy
Monuments to an Elegy album cover from Smashing Pumpkins.jpg
Studio album by The Smashing Pumpkins
Released December 5, 2014 (2014-12-05)
Recorded March–July 2014
Genre
Length 32:35
Label Martha's Music
Producer
The Smashing Pumpkins chronology
Oceania
(2012)Oceania2012
Monuments to an Elegy
(2014)
Singles from Monuments to an Elegy
  1. "Being Beige"
    Released: October 20, 2014
  2. "One and All (We Are)"
    Released: November 5, 2014
  3. "Drum + Fife"
    Released: November 20, 2014
  4. "Run2me"
    Released: October 23, 2015

Monuments to an Elegy is the ninth studio album by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins,[5] released on December 5, 2014. Band leader Billy Corgan has noted that—similar to the band's previous release, Oceania—the album is a part of the ongoing project, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.[6] The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, but sold poorly compared to the band's previous albums, peaking at number 33 in the U.S. and number 59 in the U.K., thus making it their lowest charting album in both regions since their debut, Gish (1991).

Background[edit]

On March 25, 2014, the band announced that they had signed a record deal with record label BMG. The band's next two albums would be part of the deal: Monuments to an Elegy and Day for Night.[7]

On April 29, The Smashing Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan stated that the band had chosen the top songs for the album, and that they would be spending the following three days on drum tracking, vocal arrangements, lyrics and tweaking of the songs.[8] Corgan described the album's planned sound as being "guitars, guitars, guitars, and more guitars; but more so on the epic side of things than say, grossly metallic."[9]

On May 7, it was announced that Tommy Lee, founding member of Mötley Crüe, would be playing drums on all nine of the album's tracks.[10] According to Corgan, Jeff Schroeder is currently the only person apart from himself officially in the Smashing Pumpkins, and that Mike Byrne and Nicole Fiorentino are no longer working with the group in any capacity.[6][11][12]

On July 21, Billy Corgan indicated that recording on Monuments to an Elegy had finished.[13] Mixing for the album commenced on August 18.[14] The album's final release date was announced as December 9.[6]

To the suggestion that Monuments… is "a very Smashing Pumpkins-like album", Corgan responded, "I think people are hearing an emotional quality that reminds them of something in the past. By extension, they assume I'm trying to get back there. But the truth is the opposite – I stopped trying to avoid it. I went off to have this Hermann Hesse-style spiritual journey through different sounds and subcultures. And then I came home, and allowed myself to make the music I might naturally make."[15]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album's first single, "Being Beige", was premiered on SoundCloud on October 20.[16][17] On November 4, it was revealed that the album's next single would be "One and All", and that it would be released on November 5.[18]

On November 17, it was announced that, by preordering the album through participating record stores, you can get a free Monuments to an Elegy sampler, which includes the two previously released singles and the as-of-yet not released "Tiberius".[19] Later that day, "Tiberius" was premiered on Vice.[20]

On November 20, it was announced that the album's next single would be "Drum + Fife", which was released on November 21.[21][22]

On December 2, one week before the physical release, the album was made available for full streaming on iTunes Radio.[23]

The band toured in support of the album starting on November 26, with Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk filling in on drums and The Killers' Mark Stoermer filling in on bass,[24] although Corgan has indicated that Wilk and Stoermer may only play at a select set of early shows in their tour.[25]

The band promoted the album on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on December 10, 2014. They played lead single "Being Beige".[26]

As well, music videos have been made for "Being Beige" and "Drum + Fife," with another music video for "Run2Me" announced on July 20, 2015.[27] Billy Corgan later confirmed "Run2Me" would be the album's next single.[27]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[28]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[29]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[30]
Classic Rock 8/10 stars[31]
Consequence of Sound B–[32]
DIY 4/5 stars[33]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[34]
NME 7/10[35]
Pitchfork Media 6.0/10[36]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[4]
Uncut 8/10[28]

The album earned generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, it holds an average score of 70 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable", based on 31 reviews.[28]

"Nine ass-booting pop metal bullets with SR-71 Blackbird wings," marvelled Classic Rock. "It's not just the most svelte, direct and immediate Pumpkins album ever, it's the most misleadingly titled – these are no funeral dirges, but songs of redemption, recovery and romance, drizzled with synth-pop and hooks that could send Cloverfield to the canvas."[37]

DIY stated the album "...is certainly the easiest Pumpkins record to listen to since their original reformation in 2006. It acts as something of a midpoint in sound between Siamese Dream and 2003's Zwan album, Mary Star of the Sea. This brevity helps to make it such an effortless listen."[33] Rolling Stone's Kory Grow described it as a "deep dive into synth pop", and "a surprise" yet authentic because of "Corgan's characteristically acid vocals".[4]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Tiberius" 3:02
2. "Being Beige" 3:39
3. "Anaise!" 3:33
4. "One and All (We Are)" 3:44
5. "Run2me" 4:08
6. "Drum + Fife" 3:54
7. "Monuments" 3:30
8. "Dorian" 3:45
9. "Anti-Hero" 3:20
Total length: 32:35

Personnel[edit]

The Smashing Pumpkins
Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[38] 55
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[39] 136
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[40] 142
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[41] 94
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[42] 62
Italian Albums (FIMI)[43] 95
Irish Albums (IRMA)[44] 83
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[45] 33
UK Albums (OCC)[46] 59
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[47] 3
US Billboard 200[48] 33
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[49] 5
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[50] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[51] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, Ian (December 8, 2014). "The Smashing Pumpkins - Monuments to an Elegy". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ Florino, Rick. "Album Review: Smashing Pumpkins "Monuments To An Elegy"". Artist Direct. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (December 10, 2014). "Review: Smashing Pumpkins' Satisfyingly Unambitious 'Monuments to an Elegy'". Spin. Retrieved July 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Grow, Kory (December 18, 2014). "The Smashing Pumpkins's New Album: Monuments to an Elegy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ Blistein, Jon. "Smashing Pumpkins to Release 2 Albums, 'Monuments to an Elegy' and 'Day for Night,' in 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Leas, Ryan. "Inside Baseball With Billy Corgan: The Smashing Pumpkins Head On Adore, MACHINA, And The End Of Teargarden". Stereogum. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "SMASHING PUMPKINS Sign Artist Services Deal With BMG". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "SMASHING PUMPKINS: 'Monuments To An Elegy' Tentative Track Listing Revealed". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Firecloud, Johnny. "Smashing Pumpkins Announce Two New Albums: 'Monuments To An Elegy' and 'Day For Night'". Crave Online. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "NEWS ON TOMMY LEE PLAYING ON 'MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY' / SP ALBUM UPDATE". The Panopticon. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Bosso, Joe. "Billy Corgan talks Tommy Lee, new Smashing Pumpkins albums for 2015". Music Radar. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Fiorentino, Nicole (26 June 2014). "For those of you asking about my SP status..." Facebook. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "SEE? 'FRIENDS' ARE ELECTRIC! / SP ALBUM UPDATE". The Panopticon. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "'HELLO, IT'S ME'/AN ADORE-AEGEA-RAVINIA-RESISTANCE PRO-AP AWARDS-MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY-DAY FOR NIGHT-AND MACHINA-SIDDHARTHA UPDATE". The Panopticon. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Pattison, Louis: "Q&A", Uncut, January 2015, p67
  16. ^ "ALLO FROM BERLIN/A MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY PROMOTIONAL UPDATE". The Panopticon. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins – 'Being Beige' by MMMusic". SoundCloud. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "NEW SINGLE: "ONE AND ALL" TO PREMIER TOMORROW ON 'HUFFINGTON POST!' (STAY TUNED)". The Panopticon. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Monuments to an Elegy Sampler Available Now with Pre-Order at Indie Record Stores". The Panopticon. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "NEW TRACK "TIBERIUS" PREMIER ON VICE.COM". The Panopticon. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  21. ^ ""DRUM + FIFE" ARTWORK REVEALED! STAY TUNED FOR THE NEW SP TRACK TOMORROW!". The Panopticon. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Hear The Smashing Pumpkins' Compelling New Track 'Drum + Fife' - NME Exclusive". NME. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  23. ^ Carley, Brennan. "Smashing Pumpkins Are Streaming Their New Album, 'Monuments to an Elegy'". Spin. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Tap Rage Against the Machine's Brad Wilk For Upcoming Shows". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "Billy Corgan on The KFOG Morning Show 11 - 21 - 14". Soundcloud. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  26. ^ http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/smashing-pumpkins-featuring-rage-against-the-machines-brad-wilk-video-footage-of-live-debut/
  27. ^ a b https://twitter.com/Billy/status/623258833800925184
  28. ^ a b c "Reviews for Monuments to an Elegy by the Smashing Pumpkins". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  29. ^ Erlewine, Tom. "Monuments to an Elegy - Smashing Pumpkins". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  30. ^ Kot, Greg. "Smashing Pumpkins go pop, sort of, on 'Monuments to an Elegy'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  31. ^ Beaumont, Mark (February 2015). "The Hard Stuff: Albums". Classic Rock. p. 95. 
  32. ^ Roffman, Michael. "The Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Young, Martyn. "Album Review: Smashing Pumpkins - Monuments to an Elegy". DIY Magazine. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  34. ^ Simpson, Dave. "Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments to An Elegy review". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  35. ^ Perry, Kevin EG. "Music Review: The Smashing Pumpkins – 'Monuments to an Elegy'". NME. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  36. ^ Cohen, Ian. "The Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments to an Elegy". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  37. ^ Beaumont, Mark (February 2015). "The Hard Stuff: Albums". Classic Rock. p. 95. 
  38. ^ Ryan, Gavin (December 20, 2014). "ARIA ALBUMS: Taylor Swift Returns To No 1". Noise11. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  40. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  41. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  42. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  43. ^ "Classifica settimanale WK 50 (dal 08-12-2014 al 14-12-2014)". Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  44. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 50, 2014". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  45. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  46. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  47. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  48. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  49. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  50. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  51. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2014.

External links[edit]