As I said earlier on, I’m going to skip the albums everyone knows and stick to the ones that get passed over to try and find some new perspective. You can check out the great retrospective piece my colleague Jason wrote a while back if that is what you want to read. Instead I’ll be plunging into the confounding 1998 album that was Adore.
I can remember hearing the single “Ava Adore” and loving the bounce of the drum machine,, then hating the fact Jimmy Chamberlain wasn’t playing the drums. At this point in time Billy Corgan was going through a rough patch: his two previous efforts were massive and gave the band much critical acclaim, he was burning out from the touring, his marriage was coming to an end and his mother was also dying of cancer. Had I known most of that at the time I would have had a different feel for the album in 1998.
With the use of a drum machine there is a certain amount of bounce and electronica added to these tracks. It still feels very dark and gothic compared to previous efforts with more leanings toward The Cure, even Depeche Mode. Corgan, D’Arcy and James Iha painted darker murals for their fans to embrace or retreat. This was when the band became shaky for me and I wasn’t sure how long I could last. However, the fans of groups like Silversun Pickups that I talk with seem to love this album the best.
Listening now, I seem to appreciate more of the complexity that is added to these songs and I can draw comparisons to Garbage considering that Corgan and Butch Vig are friends. No matter what, I miss Jimmy’s drums, but after a few listens there are plenty of other sounds that envelope you so you begin to forget this was a three-piece.
If you are in a retro state of mind, Avid Reader, then listen to the single again or check out: “Perfect”, “The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete”,”Pug” or “For Martha”. This was a step in a different direction for the band, and Corgan did say he wanted to venture toward other territory at some point, but it isn’t so far out of left field that you can say “well I didn’t see that coming”. With increased listens I find this album to be much better than it was 14 years ago and I apologize for my hasty judgment.