|02-10-2011, 07:30 PM||#51 (permalink)|
No Ice In My Bourbon
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA, USA, USA!
Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness:Dawn To Dusk Review
MELLON COLLIE & THE INFINITE SADNESS
DAWN TO DUSK
The grandiose double album begins quietly and softly with a slow moving piano song titled Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness. If you heard this in 1995, you'd probably be wondering, "What happened to the Pumpkins? They never made music like this!" Well, for Billy Corgan, 1995 was the year his creativity knew no bounds. After listening to this album countless times, this song still doesn't get old, and manages to give you a taste of the diversity and grandness of the rest of the album. I give props to Billy for opening with this song. In fact, I'll go all the way and say this is the best double album opener of all time. Better than 'Back In The USSR,' better than 'Custard Pie,' better than 'In The Flesh?,' better than 'Misunderstood,' better than 'Somewhat Damaged,' better than 'The Magnificent Seven,' and certainly better than 'Dani California' and 'In Your Honor.' Despite its greatness, it is still in an album full of highlights, so I wouldn't consider this one an absolute highlight.
'Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness' leads beautifully into Tonight, Tonight. The first thing you recognize is the grand string section, and it works brilliantly with the bass, drums, and Billy's voice. The string arrangements here even put "Automatic For The People" to shame. "Life can change, the young aren't stuck in vain," "The impossible is possible tonight, tonight," "Believe in me as I believe in you tonight, tonight," this song definitely has some killer lyrics to go with the killer orchestra. I don't think I need to tell you what the song is about. Anyways, this is definitely one of the Pumpkins best tunes, a timeless tune, might I add. Definitely a highlight of the album.
Well, if you were dieing for something more like Siamese Dream, Jellybelly was probably one of the first songs you loved. This is like what Siamese Dream would have sounded like if it were a metal album. Surprisingly enough, a metal song following a blissful song like 'Tonight, Tonight' somehow manages to not disrupt the flow, which is definitely a plus. One thing that has always irked me about this song is the production, which is noticeably muddy. Jimmy goes crazy on this song, the riffs are metallic and skin tearing, and the bass lines are...well I couldn't tell you because I can barely hear them! Thanks alot Flood! On a serious note, the bass lines aren't that interesting on this song, and largely just follow the guitar riffs, at least from what I can hear. Billy's voice somehow manages to compliment this song nicely. Definitely a great song.
Next up is Zero. What a mean guitar riff! I’ve always liked this song, even the funny acapella part in the middle. “Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and God is empty, just like me!” This song has a fairly nice guitar solo in it as well. Everything about this song really revolves around the guitar and Billy. I don’t know if you guys have ever been to an SP show, but there is always some jackass yelling out “Zero! Play Zero Billy! BILLY! ZEROOO!” It does become tiring. Billy will then reply “What song do you guys want to hear?” and the old school fan is yelling Mayonaise or Rhinoceros, the casual fan is yelling out 1979 or Bullet, the young fans are yelling out Tarantula or That’s The Way, the hardcore fans are yelling out Spiteface or Age Of Innocence, and the jackasses are yelling out Zero. Billy will then reply, “Sorry, we don’t know that one!” Anyway, this song is still great despite how many times I’ve heard it, but it isn’t an absolute highlight of the album.
Now we get the mid-tempo rocker Here Is No Why. The song has a nice build, nice lyrics, great drumming, decent and interesting enough guitar riffs, a nice guitar solo, and the bass lines complement the guitar playing nicely. Billy's voice does bug me a little bit on this song though. Probably around the first ten to twenty times I heard this album, I always had a big liking to this song. I still do now, but it doesn't wow me as much as it used to. Looking at it more critically, the vocal melody does seem a bit uninspired and the bass line could have been a bit more interesting. From listening to the many demos of this song, it seems it was a bit difficult for them to get the sound and timing of the guitar riff perfect, but they did in the end. This is still a pretty good song, and it seems to be the natural connector of Zero and the next song.
That next song is Bullet With Butterfly Wings. If you haven't heard this song, I don't know where you've been. This is probably one of the biggest 90s alternative-rock hits, up there with the likes of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Closer," and "Black Hole Sun." Many crappy modern rock bands today basically take this song and other 90s hits and rip them off continuosly. This song is also often mislabeled as "Rat In A Cage." The song itself is pretty good. I love JCs drumming and the build of this song is excellent. The vocal melody is decent, and I still, to this day, enjoy it when Billy yells out at the top of his lungs "CAAAAAAAGE!" Well, nowadays Billy sings it more like this-"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a UAHHHGHHHHHHHHGE!!!" This song is actually the second biggest hit the Pumpkins ever had. Bottom line, good song but overrated and overplayed and not quite a highlight of the album.
After anger comes absolute melancholy with a silent, subdued, and somewhat desperate tone. Sit back, relax, and enjoy To Forgive. A sad humming guitar riff is complemented by Billys longing vocals. The bass in this song is actually very apparent and works very well. Jimmy's soft drumming adds to the flavor of this quiet tune. The vocal melodies are great, especially in the chorus. "Holding back the fool again." This song definitely has many themes of loneliness and regret. This is the perfect follow up to Bullet. Every time I hear Bullet on the radio, right when it ends, I'm half expecting to hear this song afterwards. This is one of my personal favorites and a definite highlight.
And back to anger! Fuck You (An Ode To No One) is as angry as any angry Pumpkins song. From what I can tell, its about a relationship gone bad and the frustration from it.
"And you, you make me so I need to disconnect
And you make it so real
I don't need your love to disconnect"
Although decent, the song doesn't do much interesting. The vocal melodies feel uninspired, the guitar work is ok, the bass feels non-existent due to production, but the drumming is great! Basically a run-of-the-mill pumpkins rocker.
The distortion, my lord the distortion! Love almost sounds like a sludgy NIN song. In fact, this song wouldn't have been too far off from The Downward Spiral in terms of instrumentation and meaning. If only it had a bit more sampling! Anyway, this song is basically about empty sex helping an empty person feel...well, less empty I guess! The vocal melodies stay interesting, the guitar work stays interesting, the guitar solo is great, the drumming is great, and even the bass stands out on this song. I believe there is a light use of synth in this song that helps make it stand out even more. "An Ode To No One" flows perfectly into this song. The only complaint I really have about this song is that Billy's voice can get on my nerves a little bit throughout the song. Despite all of these great things, I can't quite call this song a highlight. It's a very good song though. I love the end too, "Love solves everything, Loooooove..."
Speaking of varied songs, Cupid De Locke is the most unique song on MCIS in my opinion. The harp, the humming bass, the lovely guitar, and the beautiful drumming make this a great song. Billy's lyrics and vocal melodies are also very nice. Many cite this as a weak spot on MCIS. I could see where they're coming from, but I still think it is a lovely song. Not a highlight, but a great little intermission at the least. It works very well in shifting the mood from the anger and frustration of "An Ode To No One" and "Love" to the more quiet reflective mood of the next song.
Soft cymbals, a dreamy guitarwork, and gentle bass make up the beginning of Galapagos. This song has some of the best songwriting found on Mellon Collie with every instrument working together to create this emotional centerpiece. Not only is the instrumentation great, but so are Billy's vocals and lyrics. I love the part about 3 minutes into the song where it starts to get loud. "And if we died right now, this fool you loved somehow is here with you." The only negative part about this song that I can think of is that it doesn't reach a definitive climax like I feel it should have. Still, this is a great song that is one of the best on MCIS. A definite highlight.
Now we have the promotional single, Muzzle. Some Pumpkins fans praise this song to death, and I like it as well, but Billy's vocals irk me throughout the song. Usually, Billy's often self-pitying lyrics work well, but in this song, they get on my nerves. Around the middle of the song, there is a short little guitar solo that definitely should have been more fleshed out, but Billy's vocals cut it off before any substance is delivered. The song does keep the flow going nicely into the next song. This song is decent, but doesn't live up to it's potential.
Is Disc 1 over? I thought it was when "Muzzle" ended and Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans began. It starts so softly you can't even hear it until about 20 seconds into the song. A dreamy guitar riff repeats while the cymbals are softly hit. This goes on for about 2 minutes when the song finally explodes out of nowhere with an awesome guitar riff. This is one of the most epic songs The Pumpkins ever put to tape. Everything about this song is great. The guitarwork, the bass lines, the drums, Billy's vocals and lyrics, the atmosphere, the flow, the climax. Everything is great, that is, except for the production. Billy's vocals seem to float a bit above the instruments. The Bass is also barely audible. But the core song is incredible. The climax is great too. "And in my mind I'm everyone, and in my mind I'm everyone, AND IN MY MIND I'M EVERYONE!" Pretentious, maybe, epic, definitely. In case you didn't notice, the title of this thread comes from lyrics to this song. This is the best song on Mellon Collie. There are many times where I'd probably rather hear another song on MCIS, but overall, this song is the best.
Billy must have felt bad for James, because he allows his song Take Me Down to close disc 1. This is probably the softest song on the album yet. This isn't a particular stand out track on the album, or Disc 1 for that matter, but it is better than "Blew Away." You can see his songwriting progressing for the better. The sappy love lyrics are nice contrast to Corgan's angst, anger, frustration, and melancholy. Definitely an enjoyable track. I've always liked the last line, "There's a love, that God puts in your heart," as the song slowly fades out and disc 1 ends. James actually wrote several tracks for MCIS but most ended up as b-sides.
This disc alone could have fared incredibly well, and alone, probably would have sold more than Siamese Dream. You might ask, "If that is the case, then was disc 2 really necessary?" That is a question I can't directly give my thoughts on yet, but I can say that it all leads/adds up to Corgan's most ambitious undertaking. I can also say that on most double albums you'll have filler. Either in the form of short, unnecessary, instrumentals, or a band will have their own "Wild Honey Pie." There really isn't such a thing on MCIS.
Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans
Well, that just about wraps up Dawn To Dusk (disc 1). Supposedly, the concept here was that we just went through the cycle of day, but I don't really see it. Anyway, I am going to give the rating for the whole album once I post my review to Twilight To Starlight (disc 2). I am also going to do the Overview and the Conclusion at the end so bear with me.
|02-11-2011, 06:04 PM||#54 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Brilliant review, Dawn To Dusk is definitely the better disc of the two. You're right about 'Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans' being the best song, it's an absolutely epic masterpiece and is one of the best things the band ever recorded. 'Muzzle' is one of my favourites as well, it wouldn't sound out of place on Siamese Dream.
I remember when i saw them live 3 years ago to be precise some people were calling out for 'Zero' and Billy replied "No we don't play that song anymore". I can understand he's probably sick to death of that song but it would have been nice for the fans to hear that song live in the flesh.
|04-22-2011, 10:42 AM||#56 (permalink)|
MB quadrant's JM Vincent
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Washington, DC
I'm so happy I saw them before Jimmy left...that would have been so damn disappointing to see them without him.
Confusion will be my epitaph...