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The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania

You have to hand it to Billy Corgan… it can’t be easy to fuck up the reputation of a band that thoroughly and consequently! But he’s way up there alongside Axl Rose, both pissing on what their bands once used to stand for. Back in the nineties Corgan was on top of the world with albums like “Gish” and “Siamese Dream”, but things have been steadily going downhill ever since with more cast changes than a soap opera and albums that kept getting worse.

Listening to “Oceania” though, it becomes clear that maybe the tides are finally turning. You do have to get through opener “Quasar” first though, the hardest song to digest on the album. But after that you’ll get to hear some of the best songs the Pumpkins (aka Corgan) have written in the last fifteen years. That vintage wall of guitars, Corgan’s familiar whine and the extremely melodic yet rocking tunes… it’s all there in “Panopticon”, “Violet Rays” and ballads like “My Love Is Winter”.

Things unfortunately don’t stay as exciting throughout the second half of the album with the Pumpkins sounding like a bad New Order imitation in “One Diamond One Heart”. And then there’s “Wildflower”… honestly, I don’t even know where he’s trying to go with that! Luckily there’s still a song like “Glissandra” to keep things on the rail.

“Oceania” won’t be a classic like the abovementioned releases but at least Corgan shows that he still has it in him to write a good song. Which is already a lot after clusterfucks like  “Machina” and “Zeitgeist”!
 Score: 7.5 out of 10

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