The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania (2012)

“Quasar” sounds extremely alive, intense and rocking, it’s surprisingly fresh and powerful, almost anthematic, have the nerve and rawness, positive energy of the 90’s and “Panopticon” follows pounding as well.
Although Billy Corgan argued that albums are a dead medium and experimented the “one-song-at-a-time” releasing recipe instead the classic format of 12–15 songs in one package with the previous tracks of the concept album “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope”, after releasing the first 10 songs as free downloads at the band’s official site, Corgan changed his mind and released the tracks compiled eight of them in two box sets.
Produced by Billy Corgan and Bjorn Thorsrud, “Oceania”, ninth studio album of the band is also part of the band’s ongoing 44-song concept album, “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope”, adding 13 new songs to the project. Corgan admitted that they switched back to the album format because – “I just saw we weren’t getting the penetration in to everybody that I would have hoped.”
Well, we’re living pretty strange times and nothing is what it seems, nothing is what it used to be and music became only secondary sub-product, accessory of the so-called “music” business which eat itself up and sell exclusively fakes packed and labeled originals.
In this conditions and state of fact, kind of difficult to predict which audience is targeted by The Smashing Pumpkins because “Oceania” is a pretty classy album for old fashioned listeners.

“One Diamond, One Heart” for instance is a sweet and smooth Pop song with pregnant 80’s taste, kind of reminded me of Prince, and maybe strangely, the whole album have some kind of 80’s Prince feeling, but with the unmistakable trademarks of Billy Corgan. As bassist Nicole Fiorentino had stated: “I think we delved into new territory for sure, but what I love about this record is that it has that familiar old-school Pumpkins feel to it, with a modern twist. The cool thing is he was able to capture the energy of the old material without ripping it off. Billy’s definitely found his way back to whatever he was tapping into when writing “Gish” and “Siamese Dream”.
On the other hand, the title track is a pretty complex, dark, but pulsing Progressive Rock song pumping for over 9 minutes. And once again strangely, everything seems to make perfect sense and fit together nice and smoothly. From Pop to Progressive Rock, throughout all that classic Smashing Pumpkins vibe and taste, “Oceania” is one of the most beautiful and exciting Pumpkins albums. Listen to it will hypnotize you and suck you in.
Nice, interesting, good mixture of freshness and retro vibe. Almost suicidal.

Tracklist:

01 – Quasar
02 – Panopticon
03 – The Celestials
04 – Violet Rays
05 – My Love Is Winter
06 – One Diamond, One Heart
07 – Pinwheels
08 – Oceania
09 – Pale Horse
10 – The Chimera
11 – Glissandra
12 – Inkless
13 – Wildflower

Can listen the album at the band’s Soundcloud page.

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