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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Mary Star of the Sea [CD + Bonus DVD]
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.06+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 5 February 2017
Great album, One of Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlin's best works. I don't think Billy should have given up on this group so quickly. I know there were internal conflicts with the other members but I always thought he should have removed them & found some others who actually wanted to build something rather than just joke around.
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on 14 May 2003
So, Zwan. The hype surrounding Billy Corgan's post-Pumpkins extravaganza has been nothing short of immense. Fans of Corgan are well known for their dedication, so would Zwan be able to match with the Pumpkins?
To be honest, to put a comparison between the two would do neither justice. Of course, "Mary Star Of The Sea" features Billy Corgan's classic songwriting style, but it is all together a different beast to the Smashing Pumpkins. And what a beast it is! While taking a different approach to the Pumpkins sonically, Zwan have produced an extraordinary debut here.
The first single "Honestly" is a good plave to start to get an idea of what Zwan sound like; gentle, melodic guitars topped with Corgan's trademark voice. The general feel of the album is a lot less heavy than anything that the Pumpkins did, possibly signs of Corgan's maturity as a songwriter. Tracks like "Endless Summer" or the epic "Mary Star Of The Sea" ooze the kind of songwriting that most people would die for. The latter is a 15 minute monster of a song, a true musical journey.
While I could analyze each song individually, I think that listening to Zwan would do them far more justice than my review ever could. If you are a fan of rock music, or just music with feeling, you can't go far wrong with "Mary Star Of The Sea". In this case, do believe the hype!
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2008
Always difficult to follow up carrier highs Billy Corgan decided to start a new group ditching `Smashing Pumpkins' for a new band, retaining Jimmy Chamberlin. It's a shame however that this album treads a similar territory to `Smashing Pumpkins'. Not many highlights on this album mainly because `Darcy' and `James Iha' are missing with that key ingredient.
The bonus DVD which accompanies some copies of this album adds nothing to the disappointment.
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on 4 February 2003
Zwan is a 5 piece band based in Chicago. The band was formed shortly after the final Smashing Pumpkins shows in Chicago. Billy Corgan (guitar/vocals) and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) moved on to expand their horizon. Matt Sweeney (guitar/vocals) is formerly of an indie band, Chavez. David Pajo (guitar) is formerly of an indie band, Slint. Paz Lenchantin (bass/vocals) came to Zwan from A Perfect Circle.
Billy, Matt and Paz takes turns with the lead/backgrond vocals duty even if Billy wrote most of the songs. The album has a very strong texture to the music. The guitars are pretty heavy. Paz's bass playing style is strong and heavy. Jimmy's drumming is heavy. The band has been together for about a year and a half. It must have been very difficult for them to choose the songs for this album. Their rock anthem, "Glorious" isn't included on the album. It seems like the whole band found their personal Jesus and it's probably the most "religious" album I've ever heard. This album would do any true Smashing Pumpkins fans proud by their first spin on the CD. Give this album at least 2 days to get a good listen and you'll fall in love with it, your personal Jesus forever.
This album would definately do James Iha and D'arcy (formerly of The Smashing Pumpkins) proud. Melissa auf der Maur (formerly of Tinker, Hole and The Smashing Pumpkins) would be very pleased with this album. The CD itself is almost 66 minutes long.
Essential tracks on this album are: "Honestly", "Lyric", "Settle Down", "Declarations Of Faith", "Ride A Black Swan", "Baby Let's Rock", and "Jesus, I/Mary Star Of The Sea".
My copy of this album comes with a bonus limited edition DVD. The DVD includes some tracks which doesn't appear on the CD. It contains interviews, live footage and studio footage. The interviews with band members are kinda funny. If you get this CD/DVD edition, you'll enjoy the DVD. It's only 40 minutes long.
This album is strongly recommended along side with every Smashing Pumpkins releases and Paz's former band's (A Perfect Circle) album.
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on 3 February 2003
to a lot of people, Zwan represents Smashing Pumpkins mk II - I'll admit it's the main reason I bought this CD. Billy's nasal vocals and Jimmy's amazing drumming underpin the songs, but there's altogether a much more upbeat, less doomy feel to the project, and even in places ironic nods to retro reference points. Members of Slint (guitar) and A Perfect Circle (bass) mean that Zwan have a distinctly different sound to the Pumpkins, once which has moved with the times. A slightly over-produced album which doesn't always live up to the promise of earlier live bootlegs I'd heard, but is definitely worth owning - all of the songs are good and a couple are real gems.
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on 3 March 2003
I am a great fan of Smashing Pumpkins and in my opinion 'Siamese Dream' is the perhaps the greatest rock album ever recorded.
But the follow up 'Mellon Collie' was too overblown and when their excellent drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was sacked (following the tragic death of touring keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin) things went really downhill with the release of the rather soulless synth-laden and drum machine-backed 'Adore'.
It's as though Billy been given a second chance at that pivotal point in the Pumpkins' history and decides instead to stick with guitars.
I really can't understand people criticising this album... OK, it's not quite as good as the Pumpkins at their peak, but it's a million times better than how they ended up.
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on 23 March 2010
If you like Smashing Pumpkins, the early stuff, i.e. before they sacked their drummer this is an album for you.

Really Pisces Iscariot-like with few of the heavy tracks often associated with Billy's pumpkin crew.

Quite a few become sing-along tracks even during the first listen. I was a fan of Smashing Pumpkins first album as the female bass player sang along, this album too has a female backing vocalist which adds a new dimention.

People say Billy is egocentric, that may be so but he writes some good songs.

Any Pumpkin fan worth their weight should add Zwan to their collection.
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on 11 February 2003
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.
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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2003
As soon as I heard that Billy Corgan of the smashing pumpkins was in a new band I instantly pre-ordered this album. And when i got it I wasnt disappointed, there are many good songs on this album including "of a broken heart" and "Lyric" of course they released "Honestly".
If you get this album you will listen to it for hours on end, if you like S.P. you will LOVE this.
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on 9 April 2015
After reading reviews from diehard Pumpkin fans I thought I'd try this. Glad I did. Corgan triumphs again. Reminiscent of Pumpkins melodic rifts and Corgans unique voice. Delivery was quick and am well pleased. A must for any Pumpkins fan. You won't regret it. Perfect!
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