Billy Corgan The Future Embrace

Billy Corgan is such a weird Gen-X goth, new age yoga hippie. His first solo effort is a lot of things, lame above all, but also so earnest-feeling that it's hard to burn him too badly. The first track — and most of the record really — could convince you that Corgan could really give those Postal Service nerds a run for their money in the cheesy electro-pop department. The second track is like a lost but sub-par Cure song and the third sports a hilariously Tool-esque bass line. When Robert Smith steps in for guitar and vocal help on "Tolovesomebody" it all makes sense. The answer to Corgan's curious long-standing status on the grunge periphery is illuminated: he's way too goth! Nevertheless, there's just no place for a lovey-dovey hippy-dippy witchcraft alt-rocker like Corgan anymore, so this solo album is the natural and necessary outcome. Still, ex-Pumpkins fans won't be impressed since guitars are barely there and lyrics never rhyme, so nothing ever feels cohesive. (Warner)