William Patrick Corgan Ogilala
Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is no stranger to self-importance, so it’s no surprise that he’s going by his more somber-sounding full name, William Patrick Corgan, for his very somber-sounding second solo album, Ogilala. It’s a solo album in a true sense, performed almost entirely by Corgan himself, on vocals, acoustic guitar and piano, with some lush string flourishes and one guest appearance from former Pumpkins guitarist James Iha (on the forceful “Processional,” not coincidentally the album’s best song).
Ogilala is certainly an improvement over Corgan’s muddied, electronic-heavy 2005 solo debut, TheFutureEmbrace, but it’s also a bit monotonous, like an entire album of the quiet palate-cleansers that would show up in the middle of a Smashing Pumpkins record. Restrained, tasteful and sort of dull, the Rick Rubin-produced album might itself work best as a palate-cleanser, a break from Corgan’s typical anguished wails and blistering guitar solos. The songs aren’t particularly catchy or memorable, but they’re concise and inoffensive, a glimpse into the sensitive, boring singer-songwriter Corgan could have been if he never let loose his monstrous heavy metal angst.