Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Song #213 of 9999 - Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins

Song #213 of 9999 

Title: Disarm
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Year: 1993 
Album: Siamese Dream

A few weeks ago we were listening to some Smashing Pumpkins in the pop music class we offer at school and I was struck by how dramatic the songs are. I mean, I was aware of the band's style but had forgotten just how effective the combination of an intelligent arrangement and Billy Corgan's versatile voice could be.
"Disarm" is perhaps the ultimate example of this juxtaposition. My favorite Pumpkins song by a lot, its effect has been diminished slightly by the fact that I played it like a million times in 1993. But listening now, I'm reminded of the chill-inducing effect of the violin and cello duo snaking their way around Corgan's chugging guitar. Corgan's vocal vacillates between a whisper and a growl, perhaps in sympathy with a lyric that seems just as schizophrenic. Although the words have been interpreted in a variety of ways (most disturbingly as being anti-abortion), there is no denying the powerful phrasing and imagery of a refrain like "the killer in me is the killer in you."
This was probably the best song of 1993. Just stunningly beautiful and more than a little devastating.

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