Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania (Cover Artwork)

Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins: OceaniaOceania (2012)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Oceania, the new record from Smashing Pumpkins, is surprising, by virtue of simply recalling the band's previous triumphs. Frontman Billy Corgan has always been the mastermind behind the Pumpkins, even during the original lineup's heyday, but the idea of there ever being another good release under t.
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Oceania, the new record from Smashing Pumpkins, is surprising, by virtue of simply recalling the band's previous triumphs. Frontman Billy Corgan has always been the mastermind behind the Pumpkins, even during the original lineup's heyday, but the idea of there ever being another good release under that particular moniker seemed improbable, especially after the dull chugging of would-be comeback effort Zeitgeist. Yet here we are, in 2012, and I'm telling you to check out this album.

Follow me on a tangent, won't you? Billy Corgan will never get the respect he deserves, even though he is a self-described musical genius. And I completely agree. I really do think he's underrated, and I really do think he's a musical genius. But genius can be measured in different ways. If Kurt Cobain is the alt-rock Michael Jackson (kicked in MTV's doors for his genre, reshaped the mainstream, left behind a handful of universally acclaimed records before dying young), then Corgan is the alt-rock Prince (technically proficient, insanely prolific, kind of a dick about it), forever chasing validation. After self-releasing a bunch of tunes and getting nowhere, Corgan has done what Prince did a little while ago: Distilled his best work into a new crop of crowd-pleasing songs. Oceania is his Musicology.

Much like Musicology, Oceania recalls its creator's best songs. It roars like "Cherub Rock," swells like "Disarm" and possesses all the grandeur of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It's a back-to-basics record from a guy who loves going larger than life. While no one would ever confuse it with the Pumpkins' '90s period, it's still a worthy addition, and a nice lil slice of redemption to boot. Do I care that the band consists of hired hands? Not as much as I care about the quality rocking.

The downside to mining past triumphs is that the Pumpkins were never exactly critical darlings. Everything wrong with the band before is still wrong here. Corgan's lyrics have always proven contentious and clunky, and here he gets as maudlin and melodramatic as one would expect him to get. "My love is winter / My love is lost" goes the hook from, natch, "My Love is Winter." Corgan really rides that one hard, but he also serves it up with a bevy of chiming guitars, booming drums and a catchy synth part. Harp on the lyrics all you want, that guitar solo is still awesome.

Stylistically, the record falls somewhere between Siamese Dream's epic guitar dirges and Adore's goth-pop leanings, only with way more electronic textures. Those happen to be my two favorite Pumpkins albums, so I'm certainly not complaining. Oceania is supposed to be part of a larger batch of songs entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, which the band was releasing for free on the Internet one song at a time, but much like the lineup change, I'm not terribly interested in that. What matters is that, separated from hype and hate, Oceania works on its own.

(Fixed Link)


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Thumbs (June 25, 2012)

Better than how I thought it would be...

renaldo69 (June 23, 2012)

that was for bowlercap.

anyways...agreed with this review...decent album

renaldo69 (June 23, 2012)

everyone has diff tastes. or did you not know that. your opinion is yours...dont chastise for it...you sound like a dick-tator

bowlercap (June 23, 2012)

You are insane. I have been a die hard pumpkinhead since Melon Collie and this album makes me want to puke. Even Zeitgeist was technically pleasing, but this is just garbage. He needs to kill the synth (or at least turn it down significantly), quit using major chords at the end of every cadence, and for christ sake, quit singing so literally about made up girls. Also, he needs to learn how to play guitar again, fire that teenage drummer, and take a poetry class.
God damn, how the mighty have fallen.
When someone asks me what I think of the new Smashing Pumpkins record, I'm going to have to reply, "It's a comedy record; you won't stop laughing for 108 minutes."

kickaha (June 23, 2012)

Josiah - "We've always been at war with Eastasia."

Nicely done, sir. If you hadn't done it, I was gonna.

angstyderek (June 22, 2012)

Finally, some new music to cry to.

EchosMyron (June 22, 2012)

Now that`s a phallic album cover.

Bryne (June 22, 2012)

Better than I expected.

Piata (June 22, 2012)

Album sounds alright I guess, but nothing ground breaking. Had to stop it half way through before it put me to sleep.

mrdogg45 (June 22, 2012)

Let's talk about prince forever!


Josiah (June 22, 2012)

We've always been at war with Eastasia.

donovanjames (June 22, 2012)

That stream link doesn't work....it goes to the reviews.

renaldo69 (June 22, 2012)

ava adore, tonight tonight etc set a high standard...but this wasnt too shabby

domotime3 (June 22, 2012)

loved the single, didnt care for anything else

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