Keven's Music Review: THE SMASHING PUMPKINS – Oceania
Published: June 29, 2012 - 7:04am
Billy Corgan is both a very humble and yet very angry man. Throughout the years, the Smashing Pumpkins have shifted lineups with the only static member being Corgan himself. I've found at times that the band has stumbled during the later years but with the release of 'his' ninth studio album 'Oceania', Corgan has dropped the bomb on his critics in a massive way.
'Oceania' is technically the ninth Smashing Pumpkins album although in the strange world that Corgan has created, the songs fall into the 'album within an album' format of the ongoing 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope'. The theory behind that release is that the band is releasing 44 songs for free over time and they all fall into the concept album of 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope'. So here's your drugs, take them, sit down and forget what I just said. Just enjoy the music because this is the best Smashing Pumpkins album since 1998's 'Adore'.
Musically speaking, the sound is more similar to even earlier Smashing Pumpkins releases and sounds like a technological advancement from the seminal (and one of the greatest records of all time) 'Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness'. At times Corgan experiments with some Coldplay-esque pianos and electronica, but it's never overused and doesn't feel out of place in the slightest. I will be honest and say that not only was I not a fan of the Pumpkins' last complete album 'Zeitgeist', but I absolutely loathed it. I wasn't emotionally moved at all but when I turn on 'Oceania' I'm reminded of the good ol' days of alternative rock in the 90's.
I miss the 90's music scene terribly and 'Oceania' is one of the few records out there right now that although current, takes me back to that time. Music didn't rely on auto-tune or internet leaks, you had to go buy the damn CD or listen to it at your friend's house. Corgan is aware that things have changed, so he's releasing all his music for free now but at least it sounds like it's from a better time.
'Quasar', 'The Celestials' and 'Pale Horse' are some of the best Smashing Pumpkins songs ever written. Traditional albums might be dying or completely dead in a world dominated by singles but 'Oceania' is proof that you don't need to pander to an audience to make good music. The album is by no means perfect, but rock music was never perfect to begin with, so get 'Oceania' and don't tweet for an hour – just enjoy life for Christ's sake.
3. "The Celestials"
4. "Violet Rays"
5. "My Love Is Winter"
6. "One Diamond, One Heart"
9. "Pale Horse"
10. "The Chimera