I, like many of the other reviews that I have read, was not overly impressed with this album when I first heard it. This was a huge disappointment to me as Zeitgeist was one of my most anticipated albums since I had first heard of the reunion.
I really liked Tarantula and Doomsday Clock, but nothing else stood out. However, I kept wanting to listen to it and I'm thankful to say that after about 6 or 7 listens, I really like it now, and it stands up well against their back catalogue. I always thought Machina was a bit of let down, bar a couple of classics such as Everlasting Gaze and Stand Inside Your Love. This is a return to form in terms of consistency. Every song is strong apart from United States which, despite some good moments, is a bit of a self indulgent dirge. My highlights are Doomsday Clock, 7 Shades of Black, Tarantula and Bring The Light, which contains some wonderful guitar, powerhouse Chamberlin drumming, and great tempo changes. Doomsday Clock and 7 Shades of Black are two heavyweight old school Pumpkins rockers, and Tarantula hears Corgan's sublime screeching guitar return after an absence of far too long. There are still moments of Corgan's mellower more romantic side with the likes of That's The Way (My Love Is), which is in the vein of Zwan, which is not such a bad thing in my opinion. Corgan's willingness to experiment is still evident in For God and Country and Pomp and Circumstances. These two tracks require the most patience, but are rewarding in the end.
The album has been criticised as not being a true Pumpkins record due to the absence of Iha and D'arcy, but the fact that it is well documented that the Pumpkins masterpiece Siamese Dream was almost solely recorded by Corgan and Chamberlin renders this criticism void. Zeitgeist doesn't reach the sublime heights of Siamese Dream or it's excellent successor Mellon Collie, but it is still a worthy addition to your Smashing Pumpkins collection.