Ex-Pumpkin’s solo disc not so smashing

Jon Dieringer

Former Smashing Pumpkin dummer Jimmy Chamberlin (right) back with solo disc.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Expectations should be set low for the debut solo album of the drummer of a five-years defunct ’90s band — and yes, it has been that long since the Smashing Pumpkins called it quits.

With Life Begins Again, Jimmy Chamberlin does nothing to defy the lessons of sidemen solo projects past, but he at least avoids making a total embarrassment of himself.

That’s fortunate, because Chamberlin was always a Pumpkins’ fan favorite. everyman junkie.

Hinting at jazz-fusion and prog rock , the total amounts to nothing but the banal sort of lifestyle music that’s more Starbucks than star-crossed.

This sounds like Chamberlin’s indulgence of a personal interest in experimentation. This would be guaranteed not to attract any attention if it didn’t have a name attached to it or predictable guest vocals from Corgan.

While that itself doesn’t make for a bad album, it does mean that this has nothing to offer but an answer to fans’ questions about what Chamberlin has been up to lately.

Apparently, it’s nothing as exciting as we might have thought.

Contact Pop Arts reporter Jon Dieringer at [email protected].