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on 4 January 2017
A gorgeous album, with a couple of boring blips. Some familiar sounds from much older albums, paired with some of Billy's more recent newfound Buddhist/Catholic faith. As much as most SP fans don't like Mike, I think the drums on this record are actually pretty good, but the best feature by far has to be the new juicy riffs from Billy which I think some of his other projects have lacked.
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on 15 October 2015
This album has got such a fresh and unique sound to it. People may think billy corgans appeal has dwindled but as in the
words of Billy Corgan "You can only run at a thousand miles an hour for so long" it's in the same vein as Kurt cobain's borrowed phrase
"It's better to burn out than to fade away" From his retirement note (not a suicide note at all) Even if Kurt cobain lived, Nirvana would of broken up anyway. So yes Billy Corgan may have faded not in
talent but in the commercial eye, he is still a true musician and a pure musical genius. These rappers and pop stars hog the limelight, but
Billy stays true to himself and his music rather doing siamese dream 2, he does what he wants, for the music. A stunningly unique and densely
layered beautiful album, absolutely riddled with gems!
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on 27 September 2013
If you like the work of billy corgan and his smashing pumpkins , you will love this ,
I had read it was "a return to form" album - whatever that means ?? So i bought it ...
I am not saying you will fall in love with this on the first listen ( how many albums do you ever do that anyway), and on the first listen i actually disliked the first track (quaser) and just thought the rest was ok !
BUT , by the third listen i was loving it , and even liking Quaser ,
Now on my umpteenth listen i am loving it and the "teardrop project" and holding them with such esteemed company as Siamese Dreams , meloncollie, Machina and side A of Gish (never liked side B ..... but thats a whole different debate)
So all in all if you like the music of the smashing pumpkins , buy this cos you will love it - as it really is a return to form ...... whatever that means ???
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on 7 November 2017
perfect condition, great album
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on 27 July 2016
Good, not excellent
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on 12 January 2015
This one had passed me by when first released. So pleased to have bought it - excellent!
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on 2 November 2014
excellent 5 stars
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on 17 November 2015
Possibly the best Pumpkins CD?
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 October 2012
Being an album within an album, the 13 song "Oceania" is extracted from the far bigger, still unreleased 44 song "Teargarden by Kaliedoscope" : Billy, where the hell do you find these titles? This is absurd.

Being the first Pumpkins record without Jimmy Chamberlain on drums, the Pumpkins are now, to be strict, an extension of Corgans solo identity in the rock format. Less than the traditional idea of a band, more than a solo project, The Pumpkins of 2012 are now - 25 years on - a weird prospect : much like other bands of ever rotating members - where the identity sits not in people, but in sounds and rhythms. Would you know that this lineup shares only one person with the band that recorded 2000's "Machines Of God"? Would you care? When you're in the crowd of the London O2, or the Seattle Dome, or whereever, it might be irrelevant. At least one person told me they saw Pink Floyd performing "The Wall" last year, even though not one member of the final Floyd lineup was present.

"Quasar" opens : rampaging, angry rhythms, rolling bass, growling guitars. This is how Corgan does it. The lyrics are the usual stuff : questioning, semi-sixth form poetry (not that this is a bad thing), but also spiritually stuck, dealing with the same concerns and issues he was twenty years ago. Sonically there is not much progression - and this is no bad thing either. When the template is at a certain standard, there is little refinement to make. The production is clear and dynamic with slight compression in the mastering. Whilst lacking in killer hits that are instant setlist classics, there are 13 solid songs

To be blunt though, I started to get bored on first listen. The songs all sound roughly the same with similar tempos, structures, and with no ebb and flow : it is only when the set moves into second gear with "One Diamond, One Heart" and "Pinwheels", and the palette widens to a much larger canvas, that the record lose the one dimensionality and claustrophobia the first half has. No one can deny Corgans justified passion and artistic integrity in following his vision, but perhaps it might be time for him and the Pumpkins to spread their wings a little wider, to explore the world a little more.
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on 12 July 2012
The first 'proper' album from the Pumpkins (well Mr Corgan anyway) since Zeitgeist, Oceania (still unsure how to pronounce it) shows the band under Billy's total control (give or take) is not cause for concern. Yes they were better earlier on in their career, and still haven't produced anything else as seminal as Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, but this is a far better expression of intent since Adore. Zeitgeist wasn't bad as such (insomuch as Machina wasn't as good as everyone made out) but Oceania is just a very good rock record. It is assured, well-structured, doesn't pander to commercial needs and feels 'honest', as if a band go together and made some songs together because they wanted to. Some talented band. It's not groundbreaking but it's also unlike a lot of their previous material, heading toward the prog-rock side of music as opposed to the grunge/metal or alternative/indie sides.

Opener 'Quasar' is immediately powerful and smacks of material from Gish but doesn't shine as bright as it should. The lyrics are odd (to me) but that's not really the issue. The song itself is ok but not as strong as the opening song from a NEW Smashing Pumpkins album should be. 'Panopticon' fares slightly better and reminds of Mellon Collie's faster and more thoughtful moments. Again it's not perfect but still pretty good. It's when 'The Celestials' kicks in that the album starts to make waves. It is the unashamedly 'singley' song. It has an awesome chorus, hooks aplenty and a nicely ramped up guitar. But it's what it says that is important. And that is simply that the Pumpkins can make great music again. 'Violet Rays' is back to the alt-prog side of things again but in a good way. Again, the chorus kind of reminds of 'Galapagos' from Mellon Collie. It's good but demands a bit of your time to truly appreciate. Something 'My Love is Winter' doesn't. It's slightly run of the mill but by no means a bad song. It just seems, well, nice. As does also 'One Diamond, One Heart'. These tracks are more akin to the Adore era of the band. Again, not bad songs, just less rocky and slightly flimsy.

'Pinwheels' continues this but in much better fashion. It spends a minute or so introducing itself with electronica and then continues with a ballad of sorts and a superb mantra-esque chorus. The title track is a prog indulgence too far in my opinion. It is 9 minutes long, which is fine, but it twists and turns too many times to keep interest. After 6 or so listens it does begin to gel but it's not the best thing they've done by a long chalk.

It is after the title track when the best part of the album plays out. 'Pale Horse' is near-perfect. It's gentle, tuneful and uplifting. 'The Chimera' is the band at their playful and wistful best. The chorus is almost folk-inspired genius. 'Glissandra' is almost dance and most definitely pop, a little like 'Appels & Oranjes' from Adore, only miles better and more grown-up. 'Inkless' is similar in tone to Siamese Dream material and has an infectious, grungey riff. And the closer, 'Wildflower' is another quiet ballad that takes a while to enjoy but is also one of the best songs on the album.

So patchy in places, mainly from the start to the title track but nothing but perfection from there in.

To summarise best tracks are: 'The Celestials', 'Pale Horse', 'The Chimera', 'Glissandra', 'Inkless' and 'Wildflower'.

Look forward to what they're going to do next. Well that and the release of Machina II on cd for the first time.
3 people found this helpful
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