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CD Review: William Patrick Corgan - Ogilala

William Patrick Corgan

Zowie – 2:39 Processional – 3:49 The Spaniards – 4:07 Aeronaut - 3:40 The Long Goodbye –2:40
Half-Life of an Autodidactic – 3:24Amarinthe – 3:50 Antietam – 3:54 Mandarynne – 3:54 Shiloh – 3:10

I was looking down my list and trying to figure out what album to review for. I'd play a song, then think, nahh, I don't feel I can listen to this entire album. I must've done this for about an hour. I finally came across a name I thought I might recognize, William Patrick Corgan. Corgan I thought, William..Will...Bill..no wait...Billy Corgan -Smashing Pumpkins. It couldn't be, I thought. So, I googled it. Sure enough, it's Billy Cogan's solo album.
Ah, I recognize that voice. Zowie, is a piano melody. I don't know how you can't just fall into the vocals and lyrics that follow the melody of the keys. This can't be taken like anything his previous band produced. Just by this opening song, you can get a feeling of his mastery of lyrics and music. I am quite curious, though. I know this album shouldn't be compared to any previous work, hence him using his full name. But at this point, I can't help but wonder if he will pick up a guitar and the tempo.
Processional, is the next song on the album. There comes the acoustic. This song is still driven by the lyrics and vocals. From the instrumental strumming in the intro to the riff change of the bridge as the chorus kicks in, this is the kind of songwriting that I haven't heard in a while. There is a keyboard/piano that accompanies the song. His voice perfectly harmonizes with the melody. Lyrically, he is a poet, so you really have to carefully listen multiple times to this song.
The Spaniards, opens up with what sounds like a church organ. I know it's not, probably just a keyboard put to sound like one. The acoustic comes in with a light strum. From what I can gage, lyrically this song speaks about dragons and fairies. I know I shouldn't be, but while listening to this song I am waiting for the crash of drums and electric riffs blazing. Before that happens, the song ends. I feel like it leaves the listener in the lurch. This song, to me, sounds like it should be the piece of something larger.
Aeronaut, just has a really great title, so far, I think. There I had to blare it, and finally I feel at the appropriate volume. This song you really have to listen to with great headphones. It is piano, and what sounds like a string ensemble. I had to just sit back and enjoy it. A lot of the time, I just free-write these while I listen. But, so far on this album each song I have to take in.
Half-Life of an Autodidactic, is a great deal faster tempo. There sounds like a violin in the back, He could have probably done this with his keyboard. I love the transition into chorus. I visited Antietam a few times growing up: the battlefield. The song, Antietam, has acoustic strumming with a beautiful piano in the background...
I could go on and on. I wish I had lyric sheets that were in a printed book, and I am not talking about one of those small CD case booklets I mean a real book. I always thought Billy Corgan, or William Patrick Corgan was one of the great poetic lyricists of our time. But, this album just really demonstrates his complete musical genius. This is a show I am now determined to see. Even if you weren't a Smashing Pumpkins fan but are just a serious music lover this album is for you. For me, this is an album that will be going in my collection of great albums.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International

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