TheFutureEmbrace

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TheFutureEmbrace
THEFUTUREEMBRACE.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 21, 2005
RecordedOctober 2004 – March 2005
StudioPumpkinland
Genre
  • Alternative rock
  • shoegazing
  • electronic rock[1]
  • electronica[2]
Length45:21
LanguageEnglish
LabelReprise
ProducerBilly Corgan, Bjorn Thorsrud
Billy Corgan chronology
TheFutureEmbrace
(2005)
Ogilala
(2017)

TheFutureEmbrace is the debut solo album by American musician Billy Corgan, frontman of The Smashing Pumpkins. Released in June 2005, the album's sound was markedly different from 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.[3]

Background and production

After the dissolution of Zwan in late 2003, Corgan set to work on a solo album of songs based on the history of his hometown, Chicago. This project was shelved and Corgan began work on TheFutureEmbrace in late 2004 in his Chicago studio, Pumpkinland. Rather than repeat the sonic territory of his earlier bands, Corgan decided on an electronic sound with shoegaze influences. Regarding the atypical sound of the album, Corgan remarked,

The sound of the album is almost entirely synthesized, with the exception of Corgan's voice and guitar playing.[4] Corgan has an extensive collection of vintage analog synthesizers and drum machines that were employed on the album.[4] The synths were largely programmed by Bon Harris of Nitzer Ebb.

Arrangements on the album followed an unusual process: for each song, Corgan would write the basic structure, and the song's melody was then split into four sections based on the bass, tenor, alto, and soprano voicings of the chord structure.[4] The production team – Corgan, Harris, producer Bjorn Thorsrud, and programmers Matt Walker and Brian Liesegang – would then program different synth melodies in each voicing, and combine them into a multitrack recording.[4] Drums were added, mostly from pre-1985 drum machines.[4] At this point, Corgan would rework vocal parts and record vocals, as well as recording his guitar part.[4] Each song contains a single take of guitar, in stark contrast to the Boston-style multitracking employed on Smashing Pumpkins albums.[4] Despite the challenge of this approach, it was employed for all album tracks as well as an additional 8 outtakes.[4]

The album features backing vocals and a guitar solo by The Cure frontman Robert Smith on a cover of the Bee Gees' song "To Love Somebody", while "DIA" features electronic drums played by Corgan's longtime collaborator, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, as well as the violin and backing voice of Emilie Autumn.

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". Corgan, with his touring band, performed "Mina Loy (M.O.H.)" on Late Show with David Letterman the day before the album's release.[5] Corgan also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and played "ToLoveSomebody."[5]

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.

Release and aftermath

TheFutureEmbrace was released on June 21, 2005. On the day of its release, Corgan took out an ad and wrote that the album "picks up the thread of the as-yet-unfinished work and charter of The Smashing Pumpkins", and also announced plans to reform that band.[6]

TheFutureEmbrace received many positive reviews. Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times said the album represented Corgan's "most distinctive and consistent music."[7] The Alternative Press gave it 5 out of 5 stars,[8] while The Guardian gave it 4/5 stars.[9] The album charted at number 89 in the UK and peaked at number 31 in the United States.[10]

Billy Corgan, with Matt Walker, Brian Liesegang and Linda Strawberry, embarked on an international club tour in support of the album in the summer of 2005.[5] Beginning in 2015, TheFutureEmbrace songs began appearing in Smashing Pumpkins concert sets.

Track listing

All songs written by Billy Corgan, except as noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."All Things Change" 3:59
2."Mina Loy (M.O.H.)" 3:53
3."The CameraEye" 3:04
4."ToLoveSomebody"Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb 
5."A100"Billy Corgan, Bon Harris4:23
6."DIA" 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" 3:31
iTunes exclusive bonus track
No.TitleLength
13."Tilt"3:49
US promotional release
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Mina Loy (M.O.H.)" 3:53
2."A100"Billy Corgan, Bon Harris4:23
3."Walking Shade" 3:14
4."Now (And Then)" 4:44

Release history

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country Discogs MusicBrainz
June 21, 2005 Martha's Music • Reprise 48712-2 CD US 1122015 66a20ef5-4c56-3b3e-a4f5-aa8516a5ad4e [1]
June 21, 2005 Reprise Digital US 01b7142b-0c89-4431-b06b-a758ebcee200 [1][2]
June 2005 Martha's Music • Reprise CD US 5ece6d85-e30a-4fdc-a344-b03fc7301712 [3]

More releases: DiscogsMusicBrainz

Personnel

Guest musicians
Production
  • Todd Brodie – engineering assistance
  • P. R. Brown – sleeve photography and design
  • Nikola Dokic – engineering assistance
  • Roger Lian – final digital editing
  • Ron Lowe – mix engineering
  • John Maschoff – engineering assistance
  • Alan Moulder – mixing
  • Dave Rieley – engineering assistance
  • Paul PDub Walton – recording of Robert Smith's parts
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering

Chart position

Album
Year Chart Position
2005 New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 25
US Billboard 200[12] 31
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 89

References

  1. "Tail between legs: 27 solo albums that sent musicians scurrying back to their main bands". The A.V. Club. April 3, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  2. Leas, Ryan (October 28, 2013). "Smashing Pumpkins Albums From Worst To Best: Zeitgeist". Stereogum. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Corgan, Billy. "Blue Room Interview, Part I." Recorded 2005. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neC8TzeR0tg
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Liesegang, Brian. Q&A on Gearslutz.com forum under username "LesterMagneto". https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/581048-billy-corgan-future-embrace.html 2011-02-13.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Tour history: 2005. Smashing Pumpkins Fan Collaborative. Accessed on 2015-02-03.
  6. A Message to Chicago from Billy Corgan. Full page ad in Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. 2005-06-21.
  7. DeRogatis, Jim. "Ready for love on 'Embrace'" Chicago Sun-Times: 19 June 2005. Showcase, Page 6.
  8. "Reviews for TheFutureEmbrace by Billy Corgan – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  9. Dave Simpson (2005-06-17). "CD: Billy Corgan, TheFutureEmbrace | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  10. "Smashing Pumpkins Reunite... Sort Of". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original (http) on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  11. "Charts.nz – Billy Corgan – The Future Embrace". Hung Medien.
  12. "Billy Corgan Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  13. "Billy Corgan | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.

External links