After reading Billy Corgan’s recent bewilderment as to why critics weren’t heaping endless praise on the newest Smashing Pumpkins effort, I had to hear the album for myself. To Corgan’s credit, Monuments… is very much a solid Smashing Pumpkins album, in the respect that it boasts the trademark loud guitars, pounding rhythm section and nasally vocals that have graced their music in the 24 years since their debut record. The problem as I see it? Monuments… is just simply underwhelming. Its songs sound a little too familiar, but not in a fond way. It is as though Corgan is trying to recapture the group’s glory days but without the spark that endeared them to millions to begin with.