Life Begins Again

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The title of this disc, the former Smashing Pumpkins drummer's first outing as a leader, is perfectly apt, what with the feeling of musical rebirth that flows from its grooves. Chamberlin has, to some degree, moved on from the Pumpkins' lush alterna-prog vibe, replacing it with a sinewy sound that owes a bit to jazz fusion and a bit to the cosmic rock of the pre-punk early '70s. The latter element is particularly evident in the engagingly brittle "Cranes of Prey," which conjures up images of King Crimson in full flight, while the former rears its head on the lush "Loki Cat" which features guest vocals by ex-bandmate Billy Corgan. For a disc helmed by a drummer, Life ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The title of this disc, the former Smashing Pumpkins drummer's first outing as a leader, is perfectly apt, what with the feeling of musical rebirth that flows from its grooves. Chamberlin has, to some degree, moved on from the Pumpkins' lush alterna-prog vibe, replacing it with a sinewy sound that owes a bit to jazz fusion and a bit to the cosmic rock of the pre-punk early '70s. The latter element is particularly evident in the engagingly brittle "Cranes of Prey," which conjures up images of King Crimson in full flight, while the former rears its head on the lush "Loki Cat" which features guest vocals by ex-bandmate Billy Corgan. For a disc helmed by a drummer, Life Begins Again is surprisingly unfussy in terms of rhythm. Rather than boss the songs around, Chamberlin is content to lay back in the pocket, letting guitarist Sean Woostenhulme and organist Adam Benjamin propel songs like the skittish "Owed to Darryl." Chamberlin also calls upon a wildly varied array of vocal talent, including Rob Dickinson of the Catherine Wheel who takes center stage on the anthemic title track and Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers whose mellifluous baritone buoys the sultry "Lullabye". At times, Chamberlin seems ready to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the songs collected here, but that's easily attributed to first-timer's enthusiasm, and he's deft enough with his sonic spicing to make the overall recipe taste just fine.
All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
Though it's billed as his band first and foremost, in ways it's more accurate to call the solo debut of Jimmy Chamberlin, the brilliant jazz-into-hard rock drummer who helped make the Smashing Pumpkins deservedly famous, a collaborative effort growing out of jams with a guy named Billy. Not with Billy Corgan, though he does show up to do vocals on the gently moody "Lokicat" -- interestingly, with lyrics from Chamberlin, who wrote them throughout, aside from one song. Instead, Chamberlin's partner is one Billy Mohler, a journeyman songwriter and musician who's worked on a variety of efforts before this project. Chamberlin's sonic stamp, however, is the unsurprising core of Life Begins Again, as one listen to the rolling, rapid-fire fills on the opening "Streetcrawler" demonstrates; the similar deftness of touch mixed with power is on display throughout, showing that if anything his abilities haven't suffered even after personal and professional upheaval. This said, some songs can sound, well, a lot like the Smashing Pumpkins -- not constantly and entirely guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme can crank up the feedback but even the often-brawling "Cranes of Play" doesn't turn into monstrous riff mayhem, but there's the same sense of aggro and delicious melancholia on display, more than once suggesting what a version of Adore with Chamberlin on drums might have sounded like. One of the most inspired moves on the album is the use of guest vocalists as the album alternates between instrumentals and vocal numbers. Besides Mohler on the shoegaze-tinged "Neverwaves" and Corgan's turn, there's a guest spot by Righteous Brothers legend Bill Medley on "Lullabye to Children." Perhaps most enjoyable of all, however, are the two songs sung by Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson, whose warm, aching voice fits in perfectly on the title track and "Love Is Real." Meanwhile, among the instrumental highlights are "P.S.A.," which besides being a fine showcase for Woolstenhulme gives Chamberlin a chance to go drum crazy on the break, and the more overtly jazz jam of "Owed to Darryl."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2005
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • UPC: 060768473423
  • Catalog Number: 84734

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Streetcrawler (4:05)
  2. 2 Life Begins Again - Rob Dickinson (3:44)
  3. 3 P.S.A. (5:46)
  4. 4 Loki Cat - Paul Chamberlin (4:09)
  5. 5 Cranes of Prey (5:18)
  6. 6 Love Is Real - Corey Wilton (3:22)
  7. 7 Owed to Darryl (5:14)
  8. 8 Newerwaves (4:13)
  9. 9 Time Shift - Corey Wilton (2:43)
  10. 10 Lullabye to Children - Linda Strawberry (3:45)
  11. 11 Loki Cat (Reprise) (3:43)
  12. 12 [Untitled Hidden Track]
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jimmy Chamberlin Primary Artist, Drums, Group Member
Bill Medley Vocals, Track Performer
Billy Corgan Vocals
Rob Dickinson Vocals
Bill Corgan Sr. Track Performer
Sean Woolstenhulme Guitar, Track Performer, Group Member
Billy Mohler Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Track Performer, Group Member
Linda Strawberry Background Vocals
Paul Chamberlin Drums, Track Performer
Corey Wilton Guitar
Rob Dickenson Track Performer
Technical Credits
Jimmy Chamberlin Composer, Producer
Machito Sanchez Engineer
Sean Woolstenhulme Composer
Billy Mohler Composer, Producer
Edmond Monsef Engineer
Forrest Borie Video Editor, Video Producer
Frank Gironda Management
Corey Wilton Artwork
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