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If you have kept up to date with The Smashing Pumpkins, you may have mixed thoughts on their new double album CYR.
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Their previous effort Shiny & Oh So Bright: Volume 1 was safe and stagnant, utilising power chords and predictable choruses to make basic rock music. Luckily, CYR is an improvement. Whilst it may still steer clear of the grunge stylings that got the band prominent in the early 90’s, it does have some mesmerising moments, but, it does also have some lacklustre moments; I guess that’s to be expected in an album of 20 songs.
The Color Of Love shows that this time around the songs are much more layered. It was most likely intentional to have a more subdued approach for the last album, but it made the songs immediately forgettable. The layering provides for the songs to have their own intricacies from each instrument, this was something not on show previously for certain works that felt like it should have been released under the moniker ‘Billy Corgan and a band.’
CYR as an album is more synth driven than it is riff driven.
CYR as an album is more synth driven than it is riff driven. It’s not necessarily anything new considering the groups experimentation with synths all the way back on Adore. The title track delivers Dandy Warhols type synth rock whilst the upbeat tempo highlights a modern day pop sound. Going for a stripped back approach Dulcet in E is one of more monotonous numbers. The lack of any additional components as the song progresses makes it hard to maintain your attention for the 3 and a half minute run time. Wrath is the opposite, with it’s slower feel being dominated by synth and percussion being at the forefront, giving off a vibe similar to Depeche Modes ‘Precious.’ The album’s highlight is found in Wyytch, a song which will easily translate the best in a live setting. It’s ominous riff feels like a throwback to when The Smashing Pumpkins were seen as an industrial rock group, while the recurring synth line is reminiscent of Tomoyasu Hotei’s ‘Battle Without Honor Or Humanity’ and would bear the most epic song off the album in a live setting.
STANDOUT TRACKS: The Color of Love, Wrath, Wyytch
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