Monuments to an Elegy is The Smashing Pumpkins' ninth studio album and the follow-up to their 2012 critically acclaimed album Oceania. It is the group's second album after 1998's Adore to not feature original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, and their second after 2007's Zeitgeist to not feature original bassist D'arcy Wretzky (Billy Corgan took over the bass playing for this album).
The 2014 album was recorded in Chicago with guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and featured Motley Crue's Tommy Lee on drums throughout. This was the last album before the return of original guitarist James Iha and drummer Chamberlin in 2018. The album was produced by Howard Willing (who first worked with the Pumpkins on the Adore sessions), Corgan and Schroeder. It was mixed by David Bottrill and mastered by Howie Weinberg, who did the same honors for Pumpkins classics in the '90s.
Formed in Chicago in 1988, The Smashing Pumpkins have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in musical history, having sold more than 30 million albums and won multiple Grammy Awards in the process. The pivotal group's many hits defined the alternative music era and continue to resonate on modern rock radio, influencing a whole new generation.
More than either Zeitgeist or Oceania, both of which traded in the surging six-strings of Siamese Dream, Monuments to an Elegy feels like a Corgan solo project and not just because this percolates with analog synthesizers straight out of The Future Embrace. Monuments stitches together all of Corgan's obsessions — thick sheets of guitars, 4AD space rock, delicate acoustica, Commodore 64 synthesizers, a fondness for both noise and beauty — but there is an ease to the album that not only feels self-reflective but also rather mature. Usually, when Corgan covers this much ground it was with the express intent to dazzle, but here his attitude is almost casual as he slides from the volcanic 'One and All' to the exquisitely sculpted new wave of 'Dorian,' stopping for a respite of disco on 'Anaise!' The breadth impresses and it resonates stronger because he's funneled all these sounds and textures into a tight nine-song album that lasts barely over a half-hour. For an artist who has fervently believed more is indeed more, this restraint is thoroughly appealing and helps showcase his craft in surprising — and, yes, sometimes dazzling — ways.
- Vinyl LP
- Gatefold Jacket
- Limited Time Free Download
- Being Beige
- One and All (We Are)
- Drum + Fife