I thought about how I would approach the review of  William Patrick Corgan’s Ogilala and I felt like I would be going down the same road as many others may do. I could talk about the man, his past and recent endeavours, but really that sort of approach only gets in the way of talking about the music.

That’s why we’re here, right?! Music.

So I have prepared a little translation guide to help you wade through the all cookie cutter reviews out there.

What reviewers say What they actually mean
We all know him well from Smashing Pumpkins and other projects. I’m guessing he’s had other projects…right?
He’s a song writer, a pioneer and even dipped his toe in the wrestling business. I decided to read his Wikipedia page.
Billy Corgan is rebranding himself as William Patrick Corgan. He is using his full, legal name. That must mean something.
He’s written so many iconic songs that defined a generation. I once read a listacle about 90s songs that defined a generation.
Will Ogilala meet up to fan’s expectations? I’m not overly optimistic about an acoustic album.
There are songs here that will remind you of “Disarm” and “Tonight, Tonight”.
I figure these are the only Smashing Pumpkins songs people know with acoustic guitars.
His distinctive, nasal voice carries the melodies over the pianos and acoustic guitar backdrop. Billy Corgan’s voice is a bit annoying when it’s not in a full band mix.
Some of the songs surprised me. It’s been a while since he wrote a good song.
It felt a bit two dimensional after the first few tracks. He’s really committed to this acoustic album thing.
There are some forgettable songs here. I could only be bothered to listen to the first few songs.
Some fans may be disappointed at the slower, quieter nature of this record. Seriously, all the tracks are acosutic? Not even drums on any tracks?
There are some nice songs, but no classics.
I’m still holding a torch for Siamese Dream.
Worth a listen, but don’t expect it to set the world on fire. Really? Not even one guitar solo?

 

But in all seriousness Ogilala is an honest and confident outing for Corgan, showing that his songwriting is as sharp as it’s ever been (well in the first half). The stripped back nature really showcases his craftsmanship and actually works a lot better then I thought it would.

If I’m honest, the past few Smashing Pumpkins records have not been good, I had put Corgan down as a spent force.

He’s proved me wrong. He’s done the acoustic album thing without rolling out the stereotypical tropes (not a harmonica in sight) and shows why he’s been so successful for so long.

Ogilala is definitely worth a listen if you are a fan, but if you’re not a fan of Corgan’s voice, this wont be the record to convince you differently. I’ve actually gained a new appreciation for it here, but I can see why many just can’t get past it. This is an album I can see myself going back to, but not one I’d buy a physical copy of. Good for a stream for those first six tracks.