6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mary Star of the Sea [CD + Bonus DVD] (Audio CD)
When your name is Billy Corgan, you don't make average records.
People tend to talk to you a lot about an album called Siamese something-or-other, when youre going to do another version, et-cetera, repeat ad infinitum. Must get a bit tiring, and when you consider that most of your songs were about topping yourself, you had to worry about the kind of effect this kind of chat was going to have to have on you.
You needn't have worried, however, because you've just made your best album since the one you spent 20 hours a day for about a decade recording.
Zwan then... pretend you never heard the Smashing Pumpkins, because to compare the two would be cruelly unfair. Either way, you put in your shiny new CD and press play, waiting for the first bone crunching riff-o'doom...
...Whats this? The shiny happy lick that opens the stunning feel-good opener 'Lyric'? Since when did Corgan play those? No matter you think, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness had an off-the-wall introduction didn't it?
But this is how the album ploughs on. Ploughs? I mean glides, waltzes, swings, dances and smiles its way onward, barely stopping to frown before the next summery peice of guitar intercourse raises the corners of your mouth again.
Of course this isn't Corgans show. Oh no. Do you remember 'Slint'? That album 'Spiderland'? That song 'Washer'? Never mind... My point is that David Pajo from that lot is in Zwan too. Possibly the best musician in the band, you can see his influence on quite a few tracks, especially the meandering epic 'Jesus I / Mary Star Of The Sea''. Matt Sweeney from Chavez is in there too, and so is Paz Lenchantin, although the 'A Perfect Circle' influence is definitely limited. Maybe Corgan took her share of the say.
Dominating the album though are those songs that, despite being a much happier, mellow angle than previously taken, are definitely inherently -Corgan- songs. You can almost picture 'Come With Me' closing the second disc of Mellon Collie, 'Jesus I/ MSOTHS' could have slipped nicely into Porcelina's trousers, but neither would quite have worked. Why? I wonder...
The only thing that drags this album down are the track or two on here that don't really work, such as the cheesy leading single 'Honestly', possibly the albums weakest track, and the albums pace does fall a bit closer to the end, with 'Yeah!' and 'Heartsongs', whilst both good, maybe last 30 seconds too long each. Also, theres no 'Today' on this album, nothing that will catapult them to superstardom.
Maybe thats what Corgan wants. A new direction! A band who have an input! Corgan wants to live again!
And on this evidence, long may he live.