After 5 long years, The Smashing Pumpkins has emerged with their ninth release, Oceania, which features a brand new band line up. No more James Iha or Jimmy Chamberlin, now Billy Corgan is on his own… or is he? Avid fans would know that Smashing Pumpkins is releasing a 44-track odyssey titled Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, and though some tracks have already been released since 2009, Oceania is also part of the mega-album. Fortunately, it can also be considered as a stand-alone album with its 13 tracks that goes on for an hour.
For a fan to listen to a band’s new record, it’s hard not to compare the new from the old. Usually, fans will be let down by a band’s change in sound, musical take or lyrical progression. Surprisingly, Oceania vividly reminds us of why we love Smashing Pumpkins. Although this album shows a brighter side of a normally dark, angst-filled or rather melancholy mood of Smashing Pumpkins, like it or not the music in tracks like ‘Quasar’ and ‘Inkless’ will subconsciously make you think of the old Smashing Pumpkins. Lyrically, Corgan seems to have taken a cheesier approach, with lyrics like “I’m gonna love you / 101 percent” from ‘The Celestials’ and “there’s a sun that shines in / there’s a world that spills out of me” from ‘Panopticon’, it really looks like he is in a happier place than he was before when he wrote ‘Today’ and ‘Mayonaise’.
As a whole, fans who were initially sceptical about Oceania will soon change their minds once they’ve actually heard it for the first time. This album is a great turnover from their last one, exuding much more quality in the music and even Corgan’s unique voice. We look forward to the release of the rest of the tracks that will be Teargarden By Kaleidyscope.
LISTEN TO: ‘Panopticon’, ‘My Love Is Winter’, ‘Inkless’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Foo Fighters, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots