Smashing Pumpkins

Oceania (Martha's Music)

Phases & Stages

Smashing Pumpkins

Oceania (Martha's Music)

Forget the cluttered cultural context that surrounds this once-monumental band. Oceania is a well-thought-out album with respectable execution. Varied yet familiar, it hits marks on three key Pumpkin elements: sandpaper guitar, dynamic drumming, and compelling emotion with a grandeur that shows Billy Corgan still wants to be a hero. Forget that it's probably the middle part of some overblown epic song set and enjoy it for what it is: 13 songs that try to break new ground, and generally succeed, while managing to sound like the Pumpkins we know rather than plastic studio production (Zeitgeist). Opener "Quasar" charges hard with prog-metal poise and righteous coffee-shop poetry, while "The Celestials" recalls "Disarm" in instrumentation and pace, yet takes a happy tone in the refrain. The beautifully restrained "Pale Horse," with a haunting four-note lead and sticky chorus, is so good it glimpses Corgan's 1993-1995 gold standard of songwriting.

***.5

READ MORE
More Smashing Pumpkins
Box Sets
Smashing Pumpkins
Adore: Super Deluxe Edition (Record Review)

Neph Basedow, Dec. 12, 2014

Phases & Stages
The Smashing Pumpkins
Live Shot

Kevin Curtin, Oct. 5, 2012

More Music Reviews
SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Diet Cig
Swear I'm Good at This (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, March 17, 2017

SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Lvl Up
Return to Love (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, March 17, 2017

More by Kevin Curtin
Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Playback – SXSW Recap: Love, Hate, Garth & Trump
Final love / hate SXSW listicles

March 24, 2017

SXSW News: Garth Brooks Performing at Auditorium Shores on Saturday
SXSW News: Garth Brooks Performing at Auditorium Shores on Saturday
Country icon stages his own version of Willie’s Picnic

March 17, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Smashing Pumpkins

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)