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TheFutureEmbrace

TheFutureEmbrace is the first, and, thus far, only solo album by Billy Corgan, of The Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan. Released in June 2005, the album's sound was markedly different than most of Corgan's earlier work, eschewing his characteristic "drums, bass, (and) big-guitars sound" in favor of an electronic sound punctuated with heavily distorted guitar parts reminiscent of shoegazing.

Overview

TheFutureEmbrace's instrumentation and programming were mainly performed by Corgan and Bon Harris of Nitzer Ebb. There is an absence of live drums, and guitar overdubs are kept to a minimum. Typically, each song on the album has only one guitar part throughout, with little to no use of rhythm guitars. Regarding the atypical sound of the album, Corgan remarked,
I chose to not use the conventional drums, bass, big-guitars sound both because I'm so identified with it and I felt that there's sort of a corner there that I didn't want to paint myself in, plus it reminds people of the Pumpkins, and I think for a solo record, having your solo work be reminiscent of your past work, particularly with the band you're known for, gets into a trickiness because it makes people sentimental for the old band, and makes them hate you because you're not in the band.

The album also features a collaboration with The Cure lead singer Robert Smith on a cover of the Bee Gees' song "To Love Somebody", while "DIA" features electronic drums played by Corgan's longtime creative foil, Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, as well as the violin and backing voice of Emilie Autumn.

Also of note is the cover art and booklet photography, by P.R. Brown, which focuses on parts of Corgan's body that he has traditionally and publicly been ashamed of, most notably the port-wine stain that covers his left hand and much of his left arm, and his poorly aligned teeth.

TheFutureEmbrace was Corgan's second album to be largely recorded at his Pumpkinland studio, the first being the 1995 Smashing Pumpkins album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Promotion

In the lead-up to the album, Corgan generated considerable attention when he started publishing an autobiography, The Confessions of Billy Corgan, on his website, piece-by-piece. The postings are notable for Corgan's candor regarding his family, personal relationships, and activity during different eras of The Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan updated the Confessions on a frequent basis, but after posting an entry titled "Following the Moon (1974)" on July 1 2005, the entries stopped.

The album was preceded by the release of a single and music video release of "Walking Shade". In addition, "A100" was played by several radio stations prior to the album's release, including WKQX and WXRT of Chicago. Corgan, with his touring band, performed "Mina Loy (M.O.H.)" on Late Show with David Letterman the day before the album's release. Corgan also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and played "ToLoveSomebody."

Those who pre-ordered the album from the iTunes store received a bonus track from the TheFutureEmbrace recording sessions, "Tilt." "Tilt" was also included on the Target retail stores exclusive release, Red Room Vol. 4.

Billy Corgan, with Matt Walker, Brian Liesegang, and Linda Strawberry, embarked on a club tour in support of the album in the summer of 2005.

Reception

TheFutureEmbrace's critical and commercial reception was mixed. The album was released amid a fairly high degree of buzz, particularly in Corgan's hometown, Chicago. Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times said the album represented Corgan's "most distinctive and consistent music." To punctuate the importance of the release date, Corgan also took out full-page ads in the Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune promoting the album and announcing his intention to reform the Smashing Pumpkins, even going so far as to say that TheFutureEmbrace "picks up the thread of the as-of-yet-unfinished work of the Smashing Pumpkins." Despite these efforts, it charted at #89 in the UK and peaked at #31 in the U.S., beneath Corgan's usual chart successes. As of February 2006, the album's domestic sales were a mere 69,000 units sold.

Track listing

All songs written by Billy Corgan except where noted.

  1. "All Things Change" – 3:59
  2. "Mina Loy (M.O.H.)" – 3:53
  3. "TheCameraEye" – 3:04
  4. "To Love Somebody" (ft. Robert Smith of The Cure) (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb) – 4:00
  5. "A100" – 4:23
  6. "DIA" (ft. Jimmy Chamberlin & Emilie Autumn) – 4:20
  7. "Now (And Then)" – 4:43
  8. "I'm Ready" – 3:44
  9. "Walking Shade" – 3:14
  10. "Sorrows (In Blue)" – 2:48
  11. "Pretty, Pretty Star" – 3:46
  12. "Strayz" – 3:31Bonus track
  13. "Tilt" (iTunes exclusive)

Chart position

Album

Year Album Chart Position
2005 TheFutureEmbrace New Zealand Album Chart No. 25
2005 TheFutureEmbrace The Billboard 200 No. 31
2005 TheFutureEmbrace UK Album Chart No. 89

Personnel

Notes

External links

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