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    Smashing Pumpkins

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    Gish 3 ( 1991 )
    I Am One / Siva / Rhinoceros / Bury Me / Crush / Suffer / Snail / Tristessa / Window Paine / Daydream

    You see, the Smashing Pumpkins were right there, right at the beginning of grunge and played a major part in popularizing the American underground rock scene. Produced by Butch Vig, 'Gish' was actually released a few months before his other 'minor' production work at the time Nirvana's 'Nevermind'. My problem with the Smashing Pumpkins has always been, what are they? Alternative or underground? Not really, the shiny glossy production and drums that sound like cardboard boxes and the bass guitar sounds like every other second rate semi-hard rock band and the lead guitar sounds like mashed potatoe. Vocals? You want whiny vocals? We've got em! Singing? Mark E Smith of The Fall, and I realise this isn't particularly relevant to the Smashing Pumpkins, but fuck them - can sing through a megaphone, through the side of his mouth. Add a casio keyboard and a rhythm section who only learnt how to play three weeks previously and a guitarist who only knows three chords, record the results for ten pence - and? The results still contain more melody in ten seconds than this entire Smashing Pumpkins album. And sounds better too. "She knows, she knows, she knows" x 3 - lasts for about 50 seconds. That's the 'chorus' for the excrement that is 'Rhinoceros' and I don't give a shit.

    On the plus side, the opening two songs manage to be as good as average! And 'Bury Me' features a half interesting bass line, before everything swims together in a mush. A mush? What's a mush? Listen to Led Zeppelin. Now, fuck, i'm no great Led Zeppelin fan as a rule ( although I like them and respect them, wait a second.... ) but you can hear every single instrument on their recordings. The Smashing Pumpkins can obviously play fairly well, 'Bury Me' demonstrates this, but what the fuck is this sound? The singer is indistinct, screaming from five hundred yards away at a trash can. What's he singing about? Do you care? "Tell me why.... why won't you come outside.... inside" Yeah, let's do it! 'Crush' is quite nice, I like the mellow guitar sounds through the introduction. The entire five songs that comprise side b I don't care a damn for. 'Tristessa' is a typical mushy sounding Smashing Pumpkins song, may as well be sung in Latin for all the imagery it gives off. A mixing or production problem? Maybe, maybe part of the problem. The closing two songs I can never remember. 'Daydream' is okay, but have you heard of The Chameleons? The Cocteau Twins? Christ, how many Mudhoney songs have you heard, bringing it closer to home? Are the Smashing Pumpkins really any good on this album? It's not their best work, i've never met anybody that thinks it is. Do you think so? Where did they fit in?? Does anybody even care?

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    Readers Comments

    Jonathan Roseveare jrr1@ukc.ac.uk
    Ok this is worrying. I'm not a particular fan of the pumpkins, but I know they were a fantasticly talented band whose releases were inconsistent.Their records (bar their debut) tend to be too long. Their debut is good, not great, but really it's not 3. No way, maybe a 5 or a 6 but not a 3. And to say the opening song is ONLY ok sums this review up really. 'I Am One' is possibly their best song and is just awesome. Give it another listen and if you don't mark it up then just don't don't review their other albums. There's no point really.

    Juli Rossi
    I'd have to say that the drumbing on this album is pretty fantastic. That alone has to elevate it at least to a five. I agree that the songs are mediocre, but the drumming, man. Seriously. Boom. That makes me sound like an idiot, I know, but that doesn't mean that Jimmy Chamberlin isn't amazing, drugs and all.

    If the ratings are out of 10, this album should get no less than 9. I've heard no band play like these guys whether it be Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Soundgarden. They were tagged as 'grunge' but with an alternative rock feel and with psychedelic and metal influences. Billy Corgan, as it has been said by many rock magazine editors, was just as responsible as Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder (his contemporaries) in making the grunge scene an excellent part of the early-to-mid 90s alternative rock wave which, for a long time dwarfed r&b, pop and also metal (the dominating rock genre of the 80s). Although not as huge selling as 'Mellon Collie ...", (and 'MCIS' is about a 8/10 album, maybe .5 more), 'Siamese Dream' was the Pumpkins' best album which has to be considered as one of the classic grunge or alternative rock albums of all time. I'm guessing you're from the U.S. so you wouldn't have heard of Silverchair and their first album which was record! ed at the tender age of 15 - 'Frogstomp'? Around 5 American grunge fans I know have never even heard of this CD. One even said to me once, " ... my dad got it for me for my 13th b-day ... i never once put it into my cd player." This is another HUGELY under- rated grunge classic, just because the sounds belong to an Australian band. If you haven't listened to it, give it a good listen. As well as maybe rethinking that 7 you gave 'Siamese Dream'.

    Allan allanelephant@hotmail.com
    Whoa, gotta totally disagree. I'd give this album at least a 7. And 'Rhinoceros' is one of my favorite songs ever, hardly "excrement".

    Brett 523423423432423@coolmail.com
    Gish has always been their weaker album. However, a 3 is going a bit far. Maybe a 5. It is a hard album too sit through.

    chris loades LoadesC@aol.com
    This is way off the mark.I think this album deserves an 8.The Alternatine guide by SPIN gives it 9!

    Jon someofthethingsinmyhead@yahoo.co.uk
    i've read a fair few of your reviews and generally find them to be quite balanced, but here you have me perplexed. I can't make up my mind whether you were temporarily suffering from some unfortunate disease of the brain or were having trouble with your hearing. Ok this is all a bit subjective i know, but shit what are you on - three, three!!!! I don't think this is difficult music at all, it's a blend of beautiful melody and perfect acceleration. This album will endure the test of time.

    Divyang thakurdivyang@yahoo.com
    Why anybody would want to listen to this band with the existence of Soundgarden is completely incomprehensible to me.(Nirvana,Pearl jam..many other bands too.) I liked that "minor" production part of Butch Vig. shows that he couldn't tell good music from crap. to him "Smells Like teen Spirit"sounded incomprehensible the first time he heard it.

    DJ Gish7888@netscape.net
    A 3? A 3!! Are you kiddimg me? This is amazing music...my fuccking email address is named after it. I certainly respect your opinion. Some people think differently than others. But to just mark it off with a 3 doesnt seem right. Billy Corgan is a great songwriter and here he crafted a raw, gritty gunge-alt album that was so much deeper than any of the music at the time. Excellent songwriting. This is no where close to their best album, but it deserves an 8 at the least. After seeing the way you ripped it up like it was the worst album ever, I doubt you will ever enjoy it. But even if the style doesnt appeal to you, look past it, and really listen to the music. After that, even if you don't like it, at least respect it and understand how much effort it took to make. This music is extremely comlpex and although they dont always pull it off 100%, at least they gave it a shot. I am not telling you to like it, I just want you to respect it. A 3? Please re-think this! album. I think it has earn much more a 3. Thank you and good luck.

    John Shawler js242899@ohiou.edu
    First of all, this is the first major gripe I've had about your reviews. I really enjoy your site, and your reviews are well-written and fair (in my opinion, anyway.) That said, nothing Billy Corgan has ever written deserves a 3. If Nevermind hadn't been released around the same time, Gish would have gotten a lot more acclaim. For corn's sakes, you gave 15 Big Ones a 6-if it had been by the Pumpkins instead of the Beach Boys what would have been its score?

    insecured ajelston@yahoo.com
    I've always had mixed feelings about Gish. Being a big Pumpkins fan, although I only ever managed to see them live once, I've listened to their first 3 albums at least 200 times each since. Gish isn't a great album, but it does contain some simply wonderful rock songs. "Snail" is the most uplifting song I heard at the time of it's release and I've come across few songs as powerful since. Billy Corgan's rock influences are apparent which makes it easy to criticise him for being uninspired, but the sheer power of the sound on this record is what makes it worth having and listening to LOUD as often as possible. "I Am One" and "Bury Me" still make the hair stand up on the back of my neck and make me want to start a mosh pit in the back garden (if only the neighbours would join in!). It isn't an album where every track is astounding. It isn't the best vocal or guitar or bass performance you're ever going to hear, but it is something special for it's time. 7 out of 10 - ! "Snail" alone is worth a 10 though.

    Jason jasonlammons@yahoo.com
    OK.. I give it that Gish is unlike any other Pumpkins tunes around but the fact is Corgan was initially making an instrumental album, decided to add vocals to it in production. Another thing, the timing and structure of the songs on Gish all have a very Jimi Hendrix vibe, so if you think Hendrix sucked, well ok al you said is true.. I ended up reading this "review" because I thought it was going to be positive, it seemed like it would at 1st. The Pumpkins have more ability than any other alt rock or rock band to come out during all that stuff. I agree that the lyrics were a bit mediocre but it was the 1st go at that.. Let's see what other lame ass "reviews" you have...

    The Pumpkins are chronically underrated and dismissed in the UK. Gish is a very solid debut, already showcasing more variety than many bands ever manage. Corgan's voice is an acquired taste, but he gets the best out of it and I've heard much worse singing in many so-called influential, cult bands - Pavement? Rhinoceros, Snail and I am One are classics of alternative rock.

    James herbertbobby@hotmail.com
    This is a ridiculous review. This album is amazing, it has great guitar work on it and the song writing is excellent. it deserves at least an 8. You are kidding aobut that 3 arn't u?

    Paul Vancouver
    As far as Pumpkins albums go, I definitely give it more than a 3. It doesn't hold a Candle to Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie, but it is a solid debut. I guess the big thing about this album is that the hooks aren't there like they are in later work, and that sense of the grandiose that went with Mellon Collie. It's a nice little album with several good songs and a few skips. 6/10

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    Siamese Dream ( 1993 )
    Cherub Rock / Quiet / Today / Hummer / Rocket / Disarm / Soma / Geek USA / Mayonaise / Spaceboy / Silverfuck / Sweet Sweet / Luna

    The sound is much improved for the second Pumpkins album, with better separation of the instruments. The overall feel of 'Siamese Dream' is softer than 'Gish' with a song like 'Today' coming across as a pop song. A beautiful vocal, a truly lovely vocal and the song that got me interested in the Smashing Pumpkins all over again after 'Gish' had proved less than welcoming for me. The singles 'Today' and 'Cherub Rock' are both strong songs, well structured and both share a warm melodic sound. 'Quiet' is a fairly generic Pumpkins rocker with only that improved production and mixing distinguishing this from an average 'Gish' song. The near seven minute long 'Hummer' rides along on strong bass melodies and shockingly, isn't at all boring for a single one of its minutes or seconds. Shockingly? It's just a regular mid-tempo Smashing Pumpkins song, not obviously better than before, but it sure sounds better - and that's half the battle won for me. 'Rocket' has a nice 'throb' about it, 'Disarm' features plenty of acoustic guitar, occasional cello and is a very nice pretty song. Maybe you don't want your Smashing Pumpkins to be pretty? Well, if they do 'pretty' better than they 'do' Grunge or Hard Rock, then maybe that's the way to go?

    Whatever, for those who want rockier Pumpkins, 'Soma' provides it well across its closing sequence, other songs provide it in places too but usually mixed in with the softer music and melodies that 'Siamese Dream' provides. A few too many mid-tempo songs are here through the albums second half, although 'Siamese Dream' still works and these are well written songs. If this review sounds like 'Siamese Dream' is too soft for your liking, maybe you'll prefer one of their other albums. But whilst we're here, let's not forget 'Cherub Rock', which I mentioned right at the start of this review. Great drums, good riffs - good Rock music. Let's not forget the thrash and wild playing ( although playing 'with chops' ) of the more than decent and hard hitting 'Geek USA'. 'Siamese Dream'? It's a keeper.

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    Readers Comments

    Niall nialltg@hotmail.com
    Probably my favourite album of the 90s, it features many great songs and is too sophisticated to be grungy. I notice that across the web the pumpkins are one of the main bands that divide opinions, but I think people unaware of them should check them out for themselves. Yes Billy Corgan is no genius, but he can really write a great, almost poppy song, and practically playing all the instruments shows him to have at least great talent.

    Tom tomtoocool2065@yahoo.com
    Where to start with this one? I have just listened to it for the first time, and I'd have to say it's probably the 4th greatest album I've heard in my entire life (Behind Bleach - Nirvana, hite Light/White Heat - Velvet Underground and of course Dark Side of The Moon). Some songs rock insanely hard (Geek USA, Silverfuck in parts) and some songs are absolutely gorgeous (Mayonaise, Spaceboy, parts of Silverfuck, Luna). It may be just because this is the first album I've heard by the Pumpkins, but I honestly believe there are no weak tracks. Everything seemed absolutely sensational to me. One of the highlights is the production. I would definitely say it is a production of Sonic Youth and (gasp) Radiohead. Guitars weave in and out of eachother flawlessly, there are a lot of studio tricks similar to that. One shining example is Silverfuck. In almost 9 minutes it pulls of a ballad, a dark gloomy Joy Division-like section, a monster straightforward rocker, a fading in and out spok! en word section, and a Sonic-Youth-meets-Revolution-9 noise freakout. Highlights are Cherub Rock, Today (which you will have heard), Geek USA, Mayonaise, Silverfuck and every other song on the album. But I've talked for way too long. To sum up - Buy this album now.

    Jason jasonlammons@yahoo.com
    Man... 7 1/2?? Come on.. Softer than Gish?? Have you been mixing crack in your wheaties? Siamese Dream is like putting the Pumpkins as the Boston of our time, which to me would be a very noble and honorable thing! I think you must have some issues with the group rather than their music. This album is, was, and always will be a 10!

    William Patroklos68@yahoo.com
    Whew! I'm kind of relieved (after the horror of Gish's rating) to see you in the right ball-park for this one! Still, I'd give it a 10 (maybe a 9.5, if we're not going crazy). A softer sophomore effort? Plenty of hard drumming and serious distortion going on here. Plus, Geek USA and Mayonaise are possibly the two best tracks, swirling and driving alt-rock. Luna is a sweet song also.

    Paul Vancouver
    I do think Smashing Pumpkins are the most painfully underated band of the 90's. They never really fit in with critics most of whom pandered to the tortured angst of Nirvana and the train-wreck-in-progress of Kurt Cobain (don't get me wrong I like Nirvana too). In comparison Billy Corgan seems like a fairly normal guy and an incredibly talented musician and songwriter. I hinted in my Gish comments that there was the Grandiose that set them apart from other grunge acts. They knew how to make things sound epic, and Siamese Dream doesn't lack in ambition. Take Hummer for instance, which rocks out fairly heavy before going into a nice almost semi acoustic. Call it progressive alternative I guess. There isn't a bad song on here and really needs to take it's rightful place among the classics of the 90's like Ten, Nevermind, and OK Computer.

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    Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness 8 ( 1995 )
    Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness / Tonight, Tonight Listen Listen / Jellybelly / Zero / Here Is No Why / Bullet With Butterfly Wings / To Forgive / An Ode to No One / Love / Cupid de Locke / Galapogos / Muzzle / Porcelina of the Vast Oceans / Take Me Down / Where Boys Fear to Tread / Bodies / Thirty-Three / In the Arms of Sleep / 1979 / Tales of a Scorched Earth / Thru the Eyes of Ruby / Stumbleine / XYU / We Only Come Out at Night / Beautiful / Lily (My One and Only) / By Starlight / Farewell and Goodnight

    The album opens damn well. Damn well, and continues to provide pleasant rock listening for a good while. A laudable ambitious project, this. A determined band leader, a together ( ish ) band as far as listening to the record reveals. They had their problems behind the scenes of course, but who doesn't? You know, I can get right to track five here and realise i've enjoyed every song. Not loved a single song, but i've enjoyed every song, and that's something. The introduction, the Piano part leading into 'Tonight Tonight', itself a great track.... song six, one of the finest Smashing Pumpkins songs, 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings', and you begin to believe. This album has strings and mellow feels but then it has pure rock music, energy and bile. Rage. 'An Ode To No One' demonstrates the energy and rage pretty damn well. 'Cupid' demonstrates the lighter side of the group well. Of course there is filler here, any album with as many songs as this isn't going to avoid that. A few songs are barely here, barely there - so light or lacking they may as well not be here..... but, the double album concept helps in this case. Besides, 'Take Me Down', one possible piece of filler, so quiet it barely exists, is actually very sweet and nice - lovely vocals.

    The second CD is less enjoyable than the first, slightly less consistent and without a 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings' or a 'Tonight Tonight'. It does have a few decent rocking songs, a few ballads. It's got the glory of '1979' - fabulous bass melody, a good song. What? I gave 'Gish' a '3', now i'm saying they wrote a good song? It's true! You see, 'Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness' in all its great big swarm of differing songs, in all its displaying of absolutely everything The Smashing Pumpkins ever were or would be... just impresses. You can't help that. It's not a masterpiece, filler intermingles with good songs and bad songs. But wait a while, and yeah, a song you'll enjoy will surely come along. I like this, I love the concept and adore the ambition and more groups should try it. It rambles, it impresses and alternately disappoints. 'Lily' is strange and quirky and gorgeous, and I don't even like The Smashing Pumpkins.....

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    Readers Comments

    ben leach misszg@wideopenwest.com
    mellon collie is much better then an 8. This is one of the greatest CDs of the 90s. Though i dose start to sound the same in places, songs like muzzle,lily and 1979 make it diverse. Not to metion tonight tonight, the best track on the album. This is much better than an 8. 9 maybe

    johnny johnnymails@gmail.com
    i have to say that this album deserves at least a 9, and i hardly find any filler here. of course all the songs cannot reach the heights of tonight, tonight, but even the possible fillers (beautiful, we only come out at night, in the arms of sleep...) have great melodies. the most forgetable songs are the last song of each cd. i wouldn't say either that cd 2 is less enjoyable when it features great rockers (where boys fear to tread, bodies), lovely ballads (33, in the arms of sleep, lilly, by starlight) and more complex songs like thu the eyes of ruby. with adore, it's the pumpkins' best work.

    Yazz adrian.mee@gmail.com
    A double/concept album? And the music is every bit as bad as that would suggest. The Smashing Pumpkins are just an awkward mish mash of Judas Priest, My Bloody Valentine ,The Cure and just about every 'alternative music' cliche imaginable. I'm just surprised that they never released a Rap-Metal album...

    Jason jasonlammons@yahoo.com
    Well you Mellon Head...lol I love many of the songs on Mellon Collie but you can tell some of these songs weren't given the attention Siamese Dream songs had. I personally fins Corgan to be a genious and the fact a double album like this came out along the time the B sides (pieces iscariot) came out, well that's many songs to record, not to mention write and flesh out the bugs. There is more "radio-friendly" aspects to these CD's in Mellon Collie but Corgan sneaks in meaningful, thought provoking lyrics. I can't say it is a 10, but if you look at the condition of rock, be it hard/alt/heavy/folk, whatever you wanna call it this was a major demonstration of balls and pretty straightforward comments toward this spinning shitball we call Earth.

    William Patroklos68@yahoo.com
    Again, in my opinion sadly undervalued. Every reviewer mentions 'filler' - where? OK, some tracks don't work as well as others, but they were trying new things. And no, as much effort was put into this as SD - check out The Aeroplane Flies High boxed set to see the tracks that didn't make MCIS, many fine songs (plus some mediocrity, admittedly). The commenter suggested the Pumpkins were a metal/goth/new wave cliche has no clue.

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    Adore ( 1998 )
    To Shelia / Ava Adore / Perfect / Daphne Descends / Once Upon A Time / Tear / Crestfallen / Apples + Oranges / Pug / The Tale Of Dusty And Pistol Pete / Annie-Dog / Shame / Behold! The Night Mare / For Martha / Blank Page / 17

    Problems, problems.... During 1995/1996, Jonathon Melvoin joined the Smashing Pumpkins on tour, playing keyboards for them. Apparently, he used to be a member of The Dickies' or at least, so my sources tell me. Well, he then dies of a drugs overdose and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain is also ejected from the band, a band fed up of his long standing heroin addiction. So, The Smashing Pumpkins are reduced to a trio, and proceed to make an album featuring very little guitar, drums - no 'rock' much in evidence at all. But they do record several semi Depeche Mode type things. And plenty of Piano ballads. The singles from this set were 'Ave Adore' and 'Perfect'. 'Ave Adore' features electro industrial backing and a strong melody amid a semi-rock feel. 'Perfect', which rocketed to number 54 on Billboard ( hey, outtasight! ) has melodiois guitars and a semi electro chugging rhythm. A few nice songs follow, typical Pumpkins softer moments in 'Daphne Descends' and a semi-folky acoustic thing going on actually quite charmingly all through 'Once Upon A Time'. Trouble is, much of this perhaps naturally gloomy and downbeat set of songs just sounds like personal therapy for Billy Corgan. Nice, if unsubstantial Piano ballads such as 'Crestfallen' and 'Annie Dog' intermingle with weird gothic keyboard/electro songs. Much of the album sounds like a set of demo's.

    But, nevermind. It does have a certain charm, if that's the correct word to use, and besides, the soft very slow dirge of 'Behold! The Nightmare' is kind of romantic in a dreary gothic too tired to get up today kinda way. 'For Martha' is one of the Piano ballads, so is 'Blank Page', hey, rock n roll! "You know you're just like me" sings Mr Corgan at a certain point in the album. God, I hope not! Still, 'Adore' is no disaster, and given then recent events in the groups life, perhaps an understandable step down from the ambitious double album 'Mellon Collie....' - one final note. The 17 second closing '17' is 17 seconds of silence. They should have called it a day right about now. <

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    I love the site, but i have to disagree with this review. firstly, to me it sounds like a downbeat 'new order' but with a lyrical depth that band lack. Given his subsequent flirtations with that band, it seems far more likely that Corgan was aiming for such an effect, rather than 'therapy'. I just think it's a really underated album, that really grows on you. i'd give it an 8 personally. still, love the site idea!

    Jon someofthethingsinmyhead@yahoo.co.uk
    Ok, 3 for gish, can forgive as a moment of madness on your part. SD undoubtledly is really one the great albums of our time (even people who don't like the SP's worship this album), and ok opinion is split on mellon collie, but adore? You've had your moment of madness and this review almost implies you've not listened to the album. How can you have, when you've failed to notice the wonderous first song, to sheila. This was by far their most critically acclaimed album and i think rightfully so, they survived and then produced nothingless than a modern masterpiece. It is unique, beautiful, dark, mysterious and appealing. What are you thinking?

    Jason jasonlammons@yahoo.com
    You have to be kidding.... Very little guitar? Are you even a musician? I think reviews and critiques should not be written by non musicians.. There are tons of guitar in there, excellent vocals, Adore is a masterpiece. Again, I think you have something against the band, maybe Corgan didn't notice you in the crowd once or didn't pick you out of 10,000 people to say hello to?? ESPECIALLY with his mother passing away this album is ART, EXPRESSION, something no other musician has been able to achieve on this level that I know of. Adore = 10

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    Machina 7 ( 2000 )
    The Everlasting Gaze / Raindrops + Sunshowers / Stand Inside Your Love / I of the Mourning / The Sacred and Profane / Try, Try, Try / Heavy Metal Machine / This Time / The Imploding Voice / Glass and the Ghost Children / Wound / The Crying Tree of Mercury / With Every Light / Blue Skies Bring Tears / Age of Innocence

    This album has presented me with a curious problem. Well, not really a problem as such at all - it's just that i'd made various noises about the album on the basis of other people having heard it and told me it was shit. Everyone i've seen or read who has an opinion on 'Machina' will tell you it's a weak Smashing Pumpkins work - that the genius of the band ( genius? jesus.... ) lies in works such as 'Gish' and then either 'Mellon Collie...' or 'Siamese Dream'. 'Gish'? 'Gish' physically affects me, my throat retches, my skin crawls. I dislike the sound of 'Gish' more than anything else, although no, the songs aren't great either. Here's a controversial comment. Marry the production and mixing qualities of 'Machina' to the songs of 'Gish', and i'd double my 'Gish' rating overnight. Add a song like the fantastic radio friendly rock catchiness of 'I Of The Mourning' and the sheer splendour and fury of 'The Everlasting Gaze' to 'Gish' in place of a couple of the very weaker songs.... I'm speculating. The first five songs here, five including two bona-fide Pumpkins career highpoints - are all good songs. They sound good, they've been performed well. The songs have hooks, decent enough lyrics. Where's the problem? There is none, of course. 'Try Try Try' is a great softer mid-tempo Corgan ballad that would fit happily on any Pumpkins album in place of the inevitable weaker material, and benefit that album.

    The one flaw of this 'Machina' album is that it's unweildy and overlong. A few Rock groups in the late nineties see fit to fill up a CD with material, because the space a CD provides is there, and they can. As far as i'm concerned, a ten or twelve song 'Machina' would be right up there with 'Siamese Dream' or even 'Mellon Collie'. Seriously. Making my way through this album, and I apologise for the reactionary nature of this review - I don't like coming across as defensive, but it's neccessary here - I find that I dislike virtually none of the material. Well, 'Imploding Voice' is rather messy and doesn't quite work. 'Glass And The Ghost Children' is nearly ten minutes long and moves into a piano / spoken word section and probably shouldn't even exist. On the otherhand, 'Wound' is a fine melodic Rock song musically, although the vocals are stretched sounding and don't quite match the accomplished and catchy nature of the musical track. The album closes with a few pieces of filler, although 'With Every Light' is a nice ballad inbetween it all. And, 'Machina' is a decent record, seriously.

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    Readers Comments

    will willvero@hotmail.com.au
    I completely agree Adrian. Why does everybody say Machina is absolutely terrible? I think its pretty decent, 'Everlasting Gaze', 'Stand Inside Your Love' and 'Iof the Mourning' are the best songs. Its not all that bad. Why does everyone think the other way? Siamese Dream remains my favourite.

    cam coolcam64@hotmail.com
    again a very unrated album from the pumpkins as with adore. whats wrong with daring to be different. im sure if they produced an album similar to siamese dream or mellon collie they would have critised for that, same old same old. i admit my list of the best 20 pumpkins songs consists of tracks mainly from siamese & mellon collie, my favortie out of all comes off this album. "Stand Inside Your Love" i think is something special, i don't know how you could get sick of listening to this track, very unrated as with alot of pumpkin songs. i've read reviews of this album that critise it for being to long, to long! at least you get your moneys worth. i agree not as good as siamese dream or mellon collie but still very good. 7.5/10.

    William Patroklos68@yahoo.com
    Nearly all reviewers (and Pumpkins fans) dislike the production. The industrial background buzz apparent on many tracks swamps the musicianship (much as you think occurs on Gish, but doesn't). Still, happy to see you not slate it like every other reveiwer! Highlights include SIYL, I of the Mourning, This Time and Age of Innocence. Glass and the Ghost Children would be a lot better without the spoken section - first half of the song rocks. Bad - Heavy Metal Machine, Blue Skies Bring Tears and probably Raindrops and Crying Tree of Mercury. Oh, you really should reveiw Pisces Iscariot (b-sides and rarities album) and Machina 2 (don't panic, you can download it for free!)

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    Zeitgeist 6 ( 2007 )
    Doomsday Clock / 7 Shades of Black / Bleeding the Orchid / That's the Way (My Love Is) / Tarantula / Starz / United States / Neverlost / Bring the Light / (Come On) Let's Go! / For God and Country / Pomp and Circumstances

    Guitar and caterwaul drenched monotony. Original line-up or no original line-up. Gish undeinably a classic of the 90s or, indeed, caterwaul drenched monotony, the same label many would apply to the superior 'Machina' or 'Adore' albums. Let's be fair, though. The Smashing Pumpkins got better and better, peaking around the time of 'Melloncollie' where even non-believers started to believe. Of course, we can all debate the merits of that particular double-album set and start to wonder whether firing band-members did indeed hurt a chemistry the original Smashing Pumpkins apparently posessed. So, only drummer Jimmy Chamberlain rejoins Corgan for 'Zeitgeist', same two fellows that recorded the averagely received 'Zwan' album, as much of a Smashing Pumpkins album in reality as this is. Corgan does try manfully to recapture the classic Pumpkins sound however and for the most part, he succeeds. He seems to have lost his knack of penning crossover hits, but there are indeed some solid tunes here all the same. Pantera's producer helps Corgan shape this into one of the nosiest, most rockin' Pumpkins releases. Unfortunately, there is a sameness in sound from one track to the next that doesn't help the repeat-play factor. The near ten minute jam of 'United States' slap back in the center of the album also hurts this record, included seemingly to pull off the conjurers trick of making this 'Zeitgeist' more weighty than it actually is.

    For reviewing purposes, i listened to this album three times on the trot and still can't remember a single thing about it. Listening again now. The sound of the album is indeed much the same as you remember the Pumpkins to sound like. Good drumming from Chamberlain throughout the album, who at least seems committed to the cause. No particularly noteworthy lyrics, no real standout tunes although a few do peek their head above the parapit to see if it's safe yet. '7 Shades Of Black' is slightly faster than other songs, 'Bleeding The Orchid' slightly darker than other songs. First single 'Tarantula' opens with blasts of guitar and furious drums and will sound great in alternative rock clubs. So, are the Pumpkins back? Perhaps. Although, there are plenty of cliched guitar lines here. There isn't a dreamy Smashing Pumpkins ballad, aka 'Today'. The nearest we come to a ballad is the closing tune, a spooky piece that sonically doesn't match the rest of the album and is all the better for it. This is much like a typical modern rock album in the downloading age. It isn't so much an album, thought about, sequenced well to enhance the contents within so it's more than the sum of its parts. It's just a random collection of new Billy Corgan songs all given the same alternative heavy rock makeover in the studio and designed to sell more copies than Zwan or the solo albums.

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    Readers Comments

    Tim timothyhoop@gmail.com
    I think you are totally wrong. I think that this is a solid new Pumpkins record. Though the tracks may seem a little odd at first they are really great. I think that there are some possible b allad type songs on here. Like Bring the Lightand Come on let's go. Great album. Not left my stereo since I bought it.

    Dave Baker bravedave23@yahoo.ie
    I think you have summed up the album just about perfectly. Im not a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan and I wasn’t exactly expecting to be blown away when I picked this up. But there are some decent tunes such as “Bleeding the Orchid”, “That’s The Way (My Love Is)” and “Bring the Light”. “United States” is disappointing and sounds more like a Tool d-side with Billy Corgan poorly substituting Maynard James Keenan on vocals.

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