The Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments to an Elegy

Billy Corgan cheers up (sort of) and turns up the synths

Credit: Dan Hallman

For all his world-is-a-vampire nihilism of years past, Billy Corgan has been sounding shockingly well-adjusted lately. Still, the Great Pumpkin's deep dive into synth pop on Monuments to an Elegy – the latest installment in his band's multi-album cycle Teargarden by Kaleidyscope – is a surprise. Corgan's characteristically acidic vocals make sure that songs like the New Wave-y "Dorian," the Killers-ish "Run2Me" and the cloying "Anti-Hero" are as much Pumpkins as they are pop. And the record's sole grunge grinder, "One and All (We Are)," sounds hopeful without losing its bite.