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
Summer Jams Clearance Sale, Part 2
BoDeans
Thirteen (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Aug. 18, 2017

Summer Jams Clearance Sale, Part 2
George Kinney & the Golden Dawn
Rebel Heart (Record Review)

Greg Beets, Aug. 18, 2017

More by Kevin Curtin
Peelander-Z Survives the Gong!
Peelander-Z Survives the Gong!
Watch Austin-brand punk aliens on ABC’s Gong Show

Aug. 18, 2017

Summer Jams Clearance Sale, Part 2
Sons of Santos
The Spindletop Blues (Record Review)

Aug. 18, 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)