Various Artists

Midnight in the Patch: Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins

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Midnight in the Patch is a tribute to Smashing Pumpkins. Focusing exclusively on material from 1993's Siamese Dream and beyond, the album includes 12 tracks varying wildly in quality and style. Zulana's "Perfect" is faithful to the original, complete with a Billy Corgan sound-alike, and Minstrels get the magical quality of "1979's arrangement correct, even if the vocalist has an irritating tendency to over-emote. While it's true that Corgan himself over-emotes, it's accepted as part of his singing voice, and not an affectation best left for the karaoke bar. The rest of Midnight in the Patch's songs are radically altered from the originals. The De Capo Players embrace the strings of the Pumpkins' "1979 and "Disarm," turning in instrumental, chamber quartet versions of the songs. Solomon Burke Jr. reimagines "Today" as vintage Motown, while Jimmy & the Tercels take "Rhinoceros" on a detour into the country bar. Some of these work better than others, but taken as a whole, they make Midnight in the Patch a novel pop oddity that's worth a few laughs.

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