The Smashing Pumpkins
Oceania


3.0
good

Review

by dghkfgfdkfgkfudfka USER (1 Reviews)
July 29th, 2012 | 24 replies | 1,741 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: this record hopefully represents a pivot in corgan's career.

1 of 5 thought this review was well written

"It is the first time where you actually hear me escape the old band.
I'm not reacting against it or for it or in the shadow of it." - billy
corgan on oceania

i gave this a wide berth for several weeks out of what really
ultimately reduces to intense fear.

while the smashing pumpkins haven't always been my favourite band,
they have certainly been my favourite band most often over the period
tracing back to when i was about twelve years old or so. certainly, no
other act, save perhaps REM, has been as formative, or has provided me
with as many headphone hours, or has hit me on such a profound level,
first as an awkward and marginalized teenager, later as a devastated
young person and still later as a completely broken adult. there are
relationship records, breakup records, party records......and then
there are rock-bottom records, the kind that hit you most effectively
when things couldn't possibly get much worse, that only really make
sense in those circumstances where suicide seems like a valid
solution.

the smashing pumpkins are an essential, indivisible, irreplaceable and
yet deeply *intangible* component of my existence. they're
simultaneously a teddy bear, a syringe and a knife meant for
self-mutilation.

so, when i claim fear as a disincentive to explore the record, that's
stated with the thrust of something deeper than a shrug and a cringe.
and, what other reaction could there have been to the teargarten
kaleidoscope thing/project? it seems like each successive project
since siamese dream has become progressively more difficult to listen
to. while that record may be an impossible to match peak, the descent
has been astoundingly perverse to experience. what hill becomes
steeper as it approaches the ground? or is it in fact approaching an
abyss? nor is the descent into insanity as is often the case when
genius erodes - in fact, corgan descended into madness many, many
years ago - but a descent into mediocrity, inanity and irrelevance.

the interesting question for several years now has been when it is
that corgan, himself, is going to finally hit rock-bottom, what it's
going to sound like when he does and what it's going to sound like as
he slowly climbs his way out.

i think this record provides the answer to that. his rock-bottom stage
may have occurred a few years ago, when he was recorded berating a
handful of 15 year-old kids, visibly embarrassed by the audience he
was able to generate for himself. it may have sounded like the singles
released through the kaleidoscope project. oceania may be what it
sounds like as he begins the slow crawl towards daylight....

aiding him in what is now his struggle to reassert himself as a
relevant, creative musician is the long sought for re-establishment of
his relationship with his guitar. for the first time in well over a
decade, the instrument is the true focal point of the record - not in
the form of power chords and riffs but in the form of expressive lead
work and abstract songwriting. the title track, oceania, is also the
first coherent epic that corgan has produced since 'for martha'.

i need to be clear in stating that this is a first step out of the
darkness, rather than a reassertion of brilliance. this is not a great
record, but merely a mediocre one with flashes of extreme brilliance.
yet, who was truly expecting one? in truth, the flashes are a pleasant
surprise! nor is it certain that recovery is inevitable. what *does*
seem certain is that corgan's tastes have permanently changed. while
the production and writing is more deliberate, the record remains full
of difficult to rationalize cheese - both on the
pop-punk/emo/hair-metal side of the spectrum and the 80's pop side of
things, even going so far as to explore territory that would be better
left on a coldplay record.

yet, as the general expectation was nothing short of pure awful, the
high points - the expressive guitar playing, the immense production,
the deep overdubs, the epic and abstract songwriting and even the
return of a recognizable pumpkins *feel* at points - are immensely
satisfying....

....for now. ultimately, it's substantially and comprehensively and
objectively more interesting than zeitgeist, and may end up viewed as
of comparable or higher quality than machina, but is still likely to
rank on the weaker end of the band's output.

what's exciting about it is that it reasserts some hope for corgan's
creative future.


user ratings (494)
Chart.
3.6
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
dghkfgfdkfgkfudfka
July 28th 2012



4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

just to add to this slightly....

i've noticed a lot of people like to pick out collections of songs that define the record. i actually do that often, too, but didn't....

as is this case with most of the post-adore output, this record would probably be better as a pared down ep. i'd strike out the struck tracks...actually it won't let me do that....ok they *say* strike....

1) quasar
2) panopticon
strike3) the celestials strike
4) violet rays
5) my love is winter
strike6) one diamond one heart strike
strike7) pinwheelsstrike
8) oceania
strike9) pale horse /strike
10) the chimera
11) glissandra
12) inkless
13) wildflower

as an aside, i'm not really grasping the love for pale horse. why can't everybody else hear that it's a base rip on an awful coldplay song? and, for pinwheels, have any of you kids heard 'baba o'reilly' before?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2012



7177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Best username ever.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Lakes.
July 28th 2012



27026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pinwheels =/= baba o'riley

neg'd

Digging: Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring

breakingthefragile
July 29th 2012



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If only this review was as well written as your username.

Digging: The Blood of Heroes - The Blood Of Heroes

oWhoadYo
July 29th 2012



1241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm not sure of what I just read.

minty901
July 29th 2012



1988 Comments


how do people feel about not using upper-case lettering?

ThroneOfAgony
July 29th 2012



3485 Comments


best review

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2012



31097 Comments


This is the biggest pile of self-aggrandizing nonsense I've read in some time. It's truly impressive to see a review attempt to bring itself to orgasm

Digging: Banks - Goddess

taylormemer
July 29th 2012



4917 Comments


What is equally brilliant are the forced line breaks.

ZedO
July 29th 2012



1096 Comments


hmm

dghkfgfdkfgkfudfka
August 11th 2012



4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm glad some of you enjoyed my writing style, but i don't plan on writing here often. i ramble about music over here:

1) recent: http://www.facebook.com/jessicas.cdcollection.
2) old: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessicas-CD-Collection/125764480842066

oWhoadYo
August 11th 2012



1241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"aiding him in what is now his struggle to reassert himself as a
relevant, creative musician is the long sought for re-establishment of
his relationship with his guitar."

Wh-What? What could that possibly mean?

Graveyard
August 11th 2012



5706 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is terrible

Digging: Total Control - Typical System

KILL10
August 11th 2012



120 Comments


its ok i guess

oWhoadYo
August 11th 2012



1241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously though. What the tits does that mean? Is it just far too advanced for me?

Graveyard
August 11th 2012



5706 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

What the tits? [2]

sixdegrees
August 11th 2012



16951 Comments


"the smashing pumpkins are an essential, indivisible, irreplaceable and
yet deeply *intangible* component of my existence. they're
simultaneously a teddy bear, a syringe and a knife meant for
self-mutilation."

What the...?

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

oWhoadYo
August 11th 2012



1241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously, this guy is either a genius or retard. And I cannot decide.

sixdegrees
August 11th 2012



16951 Comments


maybe both.

oWhoadYo
August 11th 2012



1241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe being a retard is an indivisible, essential and intangible component to his genius existence. Maybe having autism will somehow aid him in his struggle to reassure himself with his long sought re-establishment with his English skills and grammar. Or something like that...



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