A review will be posted for each song from the Smashing Pumpkins’ new album,Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, as they are released. For an overview of the project and a complete index of song reviews, click here.
Now this is the Billy Corgan we’ve come to know in the last five years. “Widow Wake My Mind,” the second song released from the Smashing Pumpkins’ mammoth, ambitious Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, gets wrong just about everything “A Song for a Son” got right. “Widow” is clearly trying to be a guitar-driven anthem in the “Zero”/”Here is No Why” vein, but the annoyingly clean production makes it sound like a rejected Zeitgeist Best Buy bonus track. “A Song for a Son” genuinely tapped into the Zep/Queen/Boston ethos Corgan has channelled his entire career, but this new song settles for mere imitation. And confused imitation at that – it’s as if Corgan knew he wanted to write a Zeppelinesque rocker, but couldn’t decide whether to rip off “Kashmir” or “Dyer Maker,” so he tried to combine the former’s chugging, repetitive guitar rhythm with the latter’s “oh-oh-oh” vocals. The result is a disjointed mess, the likes of which the Billy Corgan of 1996 would never have deemed worthy of the second single on a project of this magnitude. If Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness were being issued track-by-track, “Zero” and “Tonight, Tonight” would be among the first few songs released. “Widow Wake My Mind” is worse Mellon Collie disc-two duds like “X.Y.U.”, and this is the early, relatively fresh-minded stage of the project.
19-year-old drummer Mike Byrne once again does nothing to justify Corgan calling this a Smashing Pumpkins release. “A Song for a Son” at least was well-sung and had the kind of Tom Scholz-emulating guitar solo more people should try to write. “Widow Wake My Mind” merely exemplifies the most annoying attributes of latter-day Corgan material.