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Review of the Album "Cyr" by the Smashing Pumpkins

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A Cyr Falcon

Band Personnel for the Album Cyr

Billy Corgan: vocals, guitars, bass guitar, synthesizers, production and mixing

James Iha: guitars

Jeff Schroeder: guitars

Jimmy Chamberlain: drums

Cyr is Not Like The Smashing Pumpkins Type of Album

Cyr also sometimes stylized as CYR is the 2020 studio album by alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Released on November 27, 2020, the album is a totally different type of album compared to what fans of the band heard 25 years ago. Cyr is described as a contemporary synth pop kind of album and it feels more like a Billy Corgan solo album rather than a collaborative kind of effort. At first hearing this if you are a longtime fan of this band you will be rolling your eyes and wondering what the heck happened to this band. You are not alone because at the first time hearing this, I thought the album was a piece of junk.

The Smashing Pumpkins Are Not Supposed to be Writing Synth Pop

This is a band which has been around for most of the last 32 years if we don’t count the six or so years that they were disbanded. Artists do change but Cyr isn’t even remotely like what we know that The Smashing Pumpkins write and compose. These guys are not supposed to be about pop music. If I wanted to listen to pop music I’d listen to Lady Gaga or No Doubt instead of what is offered on Cyr.

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Cyr is an Album Made Due to Public Pressure

Billy Corgan caved in to pressure from people telling him that the music that was being made wasn’t contemporary. Billy Corgan told himself that he is a contemporary sort of artist and calls himself a progressive musician. The result that we have with Cyr is something that is really soft and far away from the heavy distorted grunge rock with a ballad or two mixed in.

"Anno Satana"

Cyr Sounds Like a Musically Disjointed Album

The one obvious member missing from this lineup is bassist D’arcy Wretzky who was one of the core members of the band all the way through the 1990s and she provided some darn good bass guitar work. Cyr was produced by Billy Corgan who wanted to push himself to work outside his comfort zone. But what good is changing musically just for the sake of trying to sound more modern? If that modern approach works then that is one thing. However, this album was made due to people telling Billy Corgan that the music he was making wasn’t contemporary enough. That’s called caving into pressure from fans. The Rolling Stone Magazine mentions that Billy Corgan doesn’t know what to do with himself. Gone are the rebellious lyrics that we heard on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and what we have from this Chicago area band is an album full of electronic pop style songs. Cyr is one of those albums that does not really have that awe kind of moment where you are inspired by the music. These kinds of moments may be few and far in between. Twenty songs and over 72 minutes of synth pop that does not even feel halfway inspiring is what I would refer to when describing Cyr. As of this early moment, Cyr is the weakest moment for a band that has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Perhaps the only good to catchy song in this epic 20 song offering is the one called “Anno Satana” that has this sort of progressive rock kind of feel.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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