Published Dec 08, 2014Over the past decade, it's been pretty easy to dislike Billy Corgan. After disbanding his group in 2000, Corgan has played the role of alt rock's cantankerous old man, incessantly complaining about the state of music and even lambasting his own fans for not appreciating his new songs. That's why it's so tempting to dismiss Monuments to an Elegy, Corgan's third LP since reforming (in name at least) the Smashing Pumpkins. But over 32 minutes and nine tracks, Monuments to an Elegy is the first album since Adore on which Corgan demonstrates musical growth.
Played by Corgan and guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and joined on drums by Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee, Monuments to an Elegy is nakedly moody, sonically tight, full of searing guitars, wobbly synths and memorable melodies. Although his lyrics are as benign as ever, much of the music here doesn't just rehash what was good about the band's salad days, but bravely presents Corgan as an artist trying to stage one of the most unexpected comebacks in recent history. (Martha’s Music)