The Smashing Pumpkins
Zeitgeist | [2 stars]
From the Police to the Spice Girls, this is the year of the band reunion. But the Smashing Pumpkins reunion is one that even the most nostalgic fan could have lived without. First off, it’s not a real reunion: The group, which disbanded in 2000, now only comprises frontman Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, with their fellow founding members (guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy Wretzky) conspicuously MIA. So in essence this is a Billy Corgan solo album and, as such, it isn’t much better than 2005’s lackluster TheFutureEmbrace. You’re better off dusting off Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
DOWNLOAD THIS: “That’s the Way (My Love Is)”
Ms. Kelly | [3 stars]
In the ultimate testament to the strength of Kelly Rowland’s second solo album, there are some tracks here that are even worthy of Ms. Beyoncé, none more so than “Work (Put It In),” a sexy, sassy club banger that sounds like an outtake from B’Day. Meanwhile, other cuts echo Rowland’s work with Destiny’s Child, both sonically (the hip-hoppish “Come Back”) and thematically (the Snoop Dogg-assisted “Ghetto,” which plays like a smoothed-out version of “Soldier”). Song for song, Ms. Kelly represents a solid improvement upon 2002’s Simply Deep. And whether it’s the psychedelic-tinged “Flashback” or the lush balladry of “Still in Love with My Ex,” Rowland certainly knows her way around a good tune.
DOWNLOAD THIS: “Work (Put It In)”
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