Siamese Dream review by The Smashing Pumpkins

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  • Released: Jul 26, 1993
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (80 votes)
The Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream

Sound — 9
This record has an overall sound that I don't think I have ever heard before. Everything sounds so full, and you never have the feeling where you think, "I wish they had put more (-) here." The heavy, distorted guitar on tracks like "Cherub Rock" and "Mayonaise" are examples. The drums on these tracks are also very defined and full. The use of strings combined with the other instruments on "Disarm" and "Spaceboy" is an innovation that I'd like to note, for it helps create one of the most subtle yet powerful blend of instruments I have ever heard. Another style that they used was hanging on the octave and using it for melody, like in "Mayonaise" and "Cherub Rock." It is no wonder that this album went way over the production deadline, and $250,000 over budget. It was definitely worth it.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are also something special. As mentioned before, everything blends so smoothly in this album, including the vocals. Whether it be a soft, passion-filled song like "Disarm" or one of the more fast-paced, driving, hardcore songs like "Geek U.S.A.," the vocals are always filled with emotion and blend with the music in perfect interludes. This being said, you can tell that melody/rhythm section parts may have been a priority over lyrics, as they definitely are held back a little on some tracks and have more lengthy spaces in the spaces between each verse. When you hear the lyrics, you will notice that it always seems Billy Corgan is addressing somebody. This adds great depth to each song, for it almost touches you in a different way, like you can really feel the meaning of each song. I find the lyrics to be another thing that really stand out on this album, and by no means lack any depth. Corgan has one of the most unique singing voices I have ever heard, and one may, upon first listen, think that his vocals belong nowhere near rock and roll music. It is just the opposite. Music is a creative window in which anyone with the highest-pitched voice can rock and where anyone with the grimiest voice can sing smooth jazz. I can't exemplify enough how well his voice goes with this dreampop, shoegaze alternative rock masterpiece that the Pumpkins created.

Overall Impression — 9
This is by far the Pumpkins' best album. They have not created another album with such fullness, diversity and creativity that has songs that sound like a ballad, a true rock and roll song with heavy guitars, and a lullaby all at once (though Gish comes close). I think this album stands up with other artists in the '90s, not to mention all time, and will not fail to gain recognition as one of the "classic" rock albums of the past (not that it already hasn't). Some of the most impressive songs are "Cherub Rock," for its catchy yet head-bangingly heavy melodic riffs, "Mayonaise" for its heavy, dreampop sound that almost puts me in a (pleasant) trance, and "Disarm" for the beautiful arrangement and emotional, powerful vocals. What I love about this album is the composition and full sound, which I have discussed. What I also love is that there's really nothing to hate about the album, unless you really don't like nineties rock. I love that the record has a little bit of everything to offer, and that if you like rock music, you will not be disappointed. I'd like to say that it is an understatement that I would buy this again is it were stolen/lost (a true nightmare), but it really doesn't make too much sense. You get the point though, that this album is worth ten replacements. If you came up with a list of the top ten defining albums in Alternative Rock, I would really not like to speak with you if you did not include "Siamese Dream" (if I did, it would be to talk some sense into you).

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