ChartNews is reporting that based on one day sales, Smashing Pumpkins’ new album Monuments to an Elegy will sell 17-19,000 copies in the United States during its first week on sale, based on one day sales. This is the lowest first week sales total in the band’s career, outside of 1991’s Gish. The album has been seen as a creative return to form for the band, despite the sales.
J. Cole will debut with 320-250,000, Carrie Underwood with 85-90,000, and K. Michelle with 75-80,000. The Pumpkins’ last album, 2012’s Oceania, sold 54,000 copies in its first week on sale.
Previous first week sales for Smashing Pumpkins albums:
Oceania (2012) – 54,000
Zeitgeist (2007) – 145,000
MACHINA/The Machines of God (2000) – 165,000
Adore (1998) – 174,000
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) – 246,500
Siamese Dream (1993) – 71,900
Below is Alternative Nation’s 4 star review of Monuments to an Elegy:
Billy Corgan has been hyping up Smashing Pumpkins’ new album Monuments to an Elegy ever since the ambitious project (which also includes its followup Day For Night) was announced earlier this year. BillCo even told AlternativeNation.net in September, “I feel like it’s there, and all of the response that I’ve gotten behind the scenes is off the charts. Just a really, really intense response. Things like people saying, ‘This is the record I’ve been waiting for you to make for 15 years.’ That kind of stuff, very grandiose things, but it tells me that we’re on point, in terms of hitting the right note. Because if you made like, ‘Hahaha, Siamese Dream 2,’ people wouldn’t have that response. They wouldn’t see it as current, and I know that from my own list, so it feels current to people that are hearing it.” You can stream the full album on iTunes by clicking here.
Opener “Tiberius” sets the tone for the unpredictable album. There is a sense of familiarity with the riff, which does harken back a bit to 90’s Pumpkins, but the piano parts and Corgan’s ‘ghosts and gods’ refrain keep the song sounding fresh. The production is noticeably solid on this track, which helps alleviate any fears of missteps like Zeitgeist.
“Being Beige” is the album’s lead single, and when it first came out I was caught a bit off guard, as with Corgan’s hype I was expecting a big rocker, but the track has grown into being one of my favorite rock songs of 2014. Corgan’s lyrics of heartbreak still have a sense of sincerity that many of his contemporaries have lost in the later years of their career. Corgan sings: ‘I don’t love you/for what it’s worth/so if you’re leaving could you hurt.’ Even as he pushes 50, Corgan still sounds lost and yearning for love, which always makes for great music. The song has two great hooks, with the standout being: ‘The world’s on fire/have you heard?’ “Being Beige” features one of Corgan’s best vocal performances in recent years.
“Anaise!” is probably the oddest song on the album, opening with a bass riff mixed with synth. There are some good vocals during the chorus, but this song isn’t as immediate as the first two. A new part comes 2 minutes in that helps elevate the song, and it gives it some potential as a grower.
When “One and All” first was released I thought it was a little Pumpkins by numbers, but after “Anaise” it makes sense to go back to basics. The song has a classic Grunge rock riff, and is a nice midlevel album cut, but there are more memorable songs on the album.
“Run2Me” is the best song Billy Corgan has written since “Tarantula,” maybe even Zwan. The track is driven by synth, with some shades of New Order and Bruce Springsteen (and even The Killers). “Run2Me” has an incredibly catchy hook, ‘Run to me/my love is strange,’ it easily sounds like something that could easily be a huge radio hit. Corgan covers new sonic ground here and doesn’t sound like he’s reaching for the past, but reaching for new melodic highs. Tommy Lee gives one of his best performances here, giving a real edge to what is at its core a beautiful pop song.
“Drum + Fife” is another song with a catchy chorus, there is a real emphasis on this album of cutting through the bullshit and having a strong hook, and getting there as quick as possible. There are some corny aspects of the song like the line ‘I will bang this drum until my dying day’ but the tight arrangement and chorus makes it memorable.
“Monuments” sounds very contemporary, like something that could be played at a club while kids my age do ecstasy. When it comes to experimentation, this track worse much better than “Anaise!.” There are still classic Corgan melodic parts thrown in despite the club vibe of the song.
“Dorian” sounds a bit like Adore. It’s a nice track with some interesting sonic textures, but it gets a little repetitive.
“Anti-Hero” has been hyped as having a ‘Grunge’ riff, but it has more shades of pop punk. It’s one of the catchiest songs on the album, and sounds like something somebody in their 20’s today might write, in a good way.
Overall, this album proves that Billy Corgan has something left to give the world of rock. He sounds focused here on writing the best songs he can, with the biggest hooks possible. This isn’t Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, it’s The Smashing Pumpkins in 2014. Monuments to an Elegy is Corgan’s tightest album since Zwan’s Mary Star of the Sea, and while 2012’s Oceania was a solid album, this one packs more of a punch and has catchier songs.
Best songs: Run2Me, Being Beige, Tiberius, Anti-Hero, and Monuments