Billy Corgan

The Future Embrace (Warner Bros.)

When Billy Corgan's first post-Smashing Pumpkins project, Zwan, suffered an abrupt and ugly public breakup in the fall of 2003, most presumed a solo album from the notoriously prolific and egocentric alt-rock pioneer was inevitable. Not one to buck expectations, Corgan has released The Future Embrace a little more than a year and a half later. Despite the short lag time, the album represents a clean break from Zwan's insufferably saccharine arrangements. Atop glassy synths and New Order-esque drumming, Corgan re-examines the Pumpkins' blue period. His refusal to lighten the mood ultimately paints the monochromatic Future Embrace into a bit of a corner, but at least this time Corgan has no one to blame but himself.

 
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