Trent Reznor. Billy Corgan. That's about it. Those two are the only alt-rock artists who cannot do anything wrong in my book. Honest.
That said, how can I rate "The Future Embrace" with such a low grade? Well, boy, believe me when I say that I have tried and tried to grade it higher! I have listened to it in the car, in my basement, in my living room... And believe me when I say I am not one of those guys who didn't get "Adore". I adored (pun intended) it and still listen to it as often as I bang my head to "Siamese Dream".
Still, this, Billy Corgan's baring his heart to cold electronic music (with the help from Bon Harris from Nitzer Ebb), I don't quite get. Or rather, I get it, and I don't really like it. I understand that Mr Corgan feels a need to make such an album, to bare his love for 80's synth based music and at the same time clean his slates so that he can start afresh, with or without the other Pumpkins.
And the mood of the album is great too, ranging from resignation (or such like) in nice opener "All Things Change" to more aggressive, colder in "Mina Loy (M.O.H.)" and paranoia in "The Cameraeye". Incidentally, these three opening tunes are by far the best on "The Future Embrace", with a couple of more highlights like the strange Robert Smith-backed cover of Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody". But that's about all there is. And these songs lack discernible hooks in the same way almost every other track on the album do. That's right. The master of the alt-rock hit has made an album full of personal thoughts and sounds. Maybe just what he wanted, but it is also far too much like the uncensored drawl one gets on almost every blog on the web - including Corgan's own.
Apart from that, I, who have defended Billy Corgan from critics for years, about the way he sings, can't quite stand the way his voice looms in the foreground here, not quite fitting, being almost too much "Corgan" for it's own good.
Nag nag. I am disappointed. Maybe this album too will become a gem in my collection. But I doubt it. As with the blogs - again - they are perhaps interesting to read once, but far to unmoderated and sprawling to garner many return visits.