Despite all their rage, The Smashing Pumpkins released a song titled “Being Beige.”
On top of the alternative rock world in the 90s and early 2000s, the Pumpkins’ last few offerings have been somewhat underwhelming. The new single off their December release, Moments to an Elegy, while sonically pleasing, doesn’t have the punch of early hits according to reviews.
Sasha Geffen of Chicago Reader struggled to equate Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan’s lyrics with the song’s mood.
“Maybe the world’s on fire (if we’re taking ‘fire’ to be a loose metaphor for Internet-fueled Ebola panic), but Corgan seems remarkably placid on this new cut. It sounds like ‘Monuments,’ which features guest drumming from Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee, won’t be a retread of the Pumpkins’ ‘rat in a cage’ days” Geffen wrote.
Alex Lynham, from DIY, enjoyed the song, but also had issues reconciling Corgan’s (and by proxy the Pumpkins’) outspoken comments with “Beige’s” lyrics.
“‘Being Beige’ is certainly good; Corgan, while being notoriously prolific, rarely writes bad songs, but with his outspoken comments on Obama, feminism and, seemingly his support for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the fact is that the listener is left wondering what exactly the line ‘The world’s on fire/ have you heard’ means.”
Loudwire’s Chad Childers was much kinder though, calling the new Smashing Pumpkins’ offering “the perfect blend of grand rock moments and the intimate bits that bring variety to the track.”
Moments to an Elegy, the Pumpkins’ eighth studio album, is set for release December 9, 2014. Corgan and company have been busy in the studio recently, and a second album, Day for Night, is expected sometime in 2015.
Corgan explained the thinking behind the Pumpkins’ dual release to Loudwire.
“My goal was having the impetus for a double record. But think of how it would be consumed in a surface-level culture made me want to split the work apart, which in itself has changed the process, writing and review.”
In an era where Rock and Roll has fallen down the charts, taking up residence behind Pop, R&B and Rap, it seems unlikely the Smashing Pumpkins will regain the dominance enjoyed in decades past. Perhaps the dual album release will turn things around for the band and the genre.
But in the words of Pumkins’ classic “Today,” “Can’t live for tomorrow, tomorrow’s much too long.”
Without tomorrow, we only have today, and today we have “Being Beige.” The track just doesn’t quite live up to the Pumpkins past.
[Photo courtesy of MTV]