It can be said that The Smashing Pumpkins may not be who they used to be, but after listening to their latest album that line mostly applies to their physical lineup rather than their sound. Their latest album, Oceania, is a very welcomed blast from the past with a batch of new songs that take us back to the band’s most prolific time. The new album is said to be a continuation of the band’s ongoing 44-song concept album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, was produced by bandleader Billy Corgan and Bjorn Thorsrud.
The first (and possibly best) examples of a return to that primal Alternative Rock sound are the tracks “Quasar,” which boasts a ferocious two-punch attack of distorted guitar and thunderous drums, and “The Celestials,” which contains an excellent acoustic guitar accompanied by (excuse the redundancy) a celestial string arrangement before making way for the instruments that induce the head-banging. Songs like “One Diamond, One Heart” and “Pinwheels” help bring a touch of light to the collection while “Pale Horse” showcases bassist Nicole Florentino’s abilities to beautifully harmonize along with Corgan.
Although the album does have a 90’s sensibility to it, it holds up as a solid piece of work all on its own. Once you get past the initial feeling of nostalgia, fans can enjoy this album as another classic from the Pumpkins. Overall, the album flows together nicely and can be enjoyed as a whole rather than a collection of singles with some filler. Best of all, it delivers great Alternative Rock.
Key Tracks: Quasar, Panopticon, The Celestials, Pinwheels, Pale Horse
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