Few musicians capture personal pain in songwriting and live performance as well as head Pumpkin Billy Corgan. Since their inception, the band has maintained steady growth in terms of mainstream accessibility and artistic cacophony. With each recording -- from the strained star-mappings of "Gish" to the populist rock of "Siamese Dream" and the apocalyptic indulgences of "Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" -- Corgan digs a little deeper beneath his own protective skin.
On "Adore," sad, reserved balladry prevails, with unsteady piano melodies underscoring painful mood swings. Metallic percussion pops up every now and then, but never stays long enough to pep Corgan out of his maudlin pose. Love is good and love is kind, he offers with some profundity on "Shame," Love is drunk and love is blind. Only the Garbage-like sex drone of "Ava Adore" stands apart from rest of the album's wistful atmosphere.
"Adore" is a remarkable album that soars beyond the band's tested credibility, past its recent bouts with tragedy and into a previously unexplored territory: beauty.