William Patrick Corgan – Cotillions

Left-wing rock journalists (most rock journos are left-wing) absolutely cannot stand Billy Corgan – they love to mock him. He’s the ultimate antithesis of groupthink (and they love groupthink). He does what artists are supposed to do – y’know, create art and be fucking weird. In the music/art world it used to be cool to be different/weird, but now that’s just super-lame and not allowed for whatever reason. Artists have to act and say everything perfectly, care about social media metrics, and be politically correct or they’ll be called a “boomer” or something else equally safe/lame/unclever.

VICE wrote a story called “A Brief History of Billy Corgan Losing His Goddamn Mind,” but something tells me Corgan doesn’t really give a shit about that or other criticisms…that he’s some kind of conspiracy theorist/white supremacist/goofy spiritualist et al, ’cause he’s only gotten weirder and more polarizing. Like a bunch of goons in middle school, they even make fun of his appearance. They say he’s short, bald, and old (“progressives” only care about ageism and body shaming if it’s one of their own). But Corgan still just says whatever he wants to, he has no filter, and he does whatever he wants to do. I mean, it doesn’t get much more rock ’n’ roll than that, right? But if you’re looking at him through a boring, safe, status-quo-like prism, well, he’s obviously “crazy.” The guy opened up a pro wrestling company, he resurrected the old National Wrestling Alliance/GA Championship Wrestling right here in Atlanta. That’s cool as hell, but of course there’s always haters/critics, people saying he’s lost his mind even more.

2017’s Ogilala was Corgan’s first solo album in over a decade and the first under the William Patrick Corgan moniker. That album was great, but the newest WPC record, Cotillions, is even better. Billed as a double album with 17 tracks, there’s plenty of introspective lyrics set to simple, no frills, stripped-down musical arrangements. The album is 100% drum free, so it’s not a rock ’n’ record by any means, but it’s a well-rounded, in-focus production with tremendous songwriting. It’s calm, subdued, with sublime musical peaks/climaxes. A country/folk record in a way, many of the songs have a Southern twang to them, but mixed with Corgan’s guttural-to-high-pitched voice, the music comes out sounding somewhat fresh/original for this type of faux-country record that’s been done ad nauseam by so many artists. If you liked the last record, Ogilala, you’ll love Cotillions. If you won’t listen to this record ’cause you hate Billy Corgan or whatever, well, you’re doing yourself a big disservice.

William Patrick Corgan
[Martha’s Music/Reprise]