The Smashing Pumpkins
At this point, the only confirmed members of the Pumpkins are Jimmy Chamberlin and Billy Corgan - which makes me a bit nervous. Sure, we all know that Corgan wrote all the music, all the parts... and that the other musicians pretty much just put on the roles of featured players in order to play what Corgan couldn't on his own - but that doesn't explain to me just how his solo album was so completely mediocre in comparison to everything the Pumpkins ever put out.
Maybe it was because he was writing the parts with the intentioned players in mind - knowing that Darcy was, at best, capable of keeping time and playing 1/4 notes at the tops would have kept him a bit limited on that end, but knowing that he could write literally anything for Iha or Chamberlin would have allowed plenty of embellishment freedom in the areas he knew best - melody and tension. Writing with certain constraints and other freedoms may have been exactly the right formula which kept every album the Pumpkins did an interesting evolution from the previous release, whereas The Future Embrace, written with no constraints and a presumably unlimited budget, was at best boring.
Other possibilities? Maybe he tried to do too much in his songs to set himself apart from what he was before, or maybe he's just (and this is the possibility that I really, really don't like) too happy to write good music anymore. I've read his blogs (here reposted on LJ - I lost the original site of his writing, but it's well-worth a read) and it really seems like maybe he's worked through his demons. Our entertainers shouldn't be allowed to do that!! (okay, they should - I'm just mostly kidding)
Well, somewhere around 7-7-7, we'll hear how great or terrible this album is firsthand, right?
if man is five (if man is five) (if man is five)
then the devil is six (then the devil is six then the devil is six then the devil is six)
then god is seven then god is seven then god is seven
-the pixies "monkey gone to heaven"