can we have a "shut the fuck up, scotty!" sticky thread?
06-20-2012, 12:24 PM
06-20-2012, 04:48 PM
awesome. we need a hardline approach to whip this lame board into shape. shipshape no less.
06-20-2012, 04:51 PM
oh i forgot about the obligatory mockery
06-20-2012, 05:07 PM
title should be ATTN: WE DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT OCEANIA
06-20-2012, 05:11 PM
oh i forgot about the obligatory mockery
lolwut? i'm agreeing with you for once, goddammit.
06-20-2012, 05:37 PM
i just assume any affirmative comment levied at a moderator is sarcasm
06-20-2012, 07:37 PM
10-4 copy that
06-20-2012, 07:44 PM
can we have a "shut the fuck up, scotty!" sticky thread?
lol check out this young dude.
06-20-2012, 08:45 PM
You're getting a raise for this.
06-20-2012, 08:47 PM
double his salary!
06-20-2012, 10:38 PM
pretty close to deleting all of your posts
06-20-2012, 10:49 PM
I just deleted a lot. Final warning, stop trolling.
06-20-2012, 10:59 PM
well at least be funny you feel me
06-20-2012, 11:29 PM
are you talking to me?
06-20-2012, 11:30 PM
Although I previously had claimed this album was most likely going to be shitty, the truth is I had no real idea. This was because although Corgan is clearly at the lowest point of his career, there were also some glimmers of hope. I actually thought Astral Planes and Freak were alright songs, and pretty much every one of the Oceania songs debuted on the last tour piqued my interest. “It could go either way” is what I really thought, and I wasn’t excited about this album per se—merely interested which way the direction will fall.
In hearing it all (http://www.mediafire.com/?bwumfv5apwc7a9g), I’d say it teeters back in forth between the lowest of the low and the highest of the, well, low. Surely, this is nothing close to anything achieved by “SP1”, Gish through Machina. The dynamics that Corgan and Chamberlin created together is absent, as well as the creativity, dynamics and consistently-solid songwriting. But certainly, Oceania is better than Shitgeist, The Snoozer Embrace and Smelly Farts of the Sea. Clearly this batch of songs is the cream of the crop harvested in the Teargden By Crappyscope.
The impression I have is what I felt for all of Teargarden: this is a continuation of the musical themes and songwriting established at the very tail end of Machina and into Zwan. To put it bluntly, this is simply what Billy Corgan’s songs sound like now. I would not say they are more contrived or formulaic, but refined. You can tell he has reached a point where the act of songwriting has become so easy and thoughtless, the songs themselves have become a shadow of what they were a decade ago. He knows he has to work hard to produce something of real value, and it shows. In effect, we can have some real stinkers, mingling with real gems--just like the whole of Mary Star of The Sea and Shitgeist. Luckily, he has filtered the stinkers for the most part on Oceania, and it is 2/3rds pretty impressive. The stinkers must have been reserved for Teargarden. But don’t get me wrong: when Oceania smells, it smells BAD.
The sonic landscape and vocalization also goes with the refined-Corgan approach, and this album, in essence, could very well be the second Zwan album that never existed. If Chamberlin had drummed on this album, it very well could have been Zwan. That must say a lot about his former Zwan bandmates, of how much they actually contributed to the sonic landscape of the band…
Speaking of, one thing that must be touched upon is this new line-up: What exactly is Smashing Pumpkins Mark 3? We are essentially left with a more apt guitar player to emulate Corgan’s own playing; a more creative and flowery bass player; and a less interesting drummer. While the first two aspects are simply improved James and D’Arcy clones, the third point hits the band hard—but not hard enough to totally knock them out. To say that it does is just ignorance. Without a doubt, The Kid is no Jimmy Chamberlin. But then again, NO ONE is Jimmy Chamberlin. So then we come to the crux, should this be a moot point then? I believe it is. I will give the young man credit: no one can fill Chamberlin’s shoes, so, hey! don’t even bother trying. At least he has balls to step up. But I will say the biggest drawback is the drumsound itself. Who the hell engineered this album? The drums sound soulless and lack character. In comparison to soundboard tapes, it doesn’t seem to be the little tike’s drumming, but poor mixing and/or recording of his drums.
Let us look at the individual songs…
Quasar – Compositionally pretty average and obviously written as an introduction to the album. At least other openers such as Cherub Rock or To Sheila had some substance; Quasar does not. Decent enough performance and production though. B-
Panopticon – A solid song, probably one of the best he’s written in ten years. It would sit alongside the best tracks of Mary Star of The Sea easily, and that is fine by me. A-
The Celestials – not bad, but not convincingly good either. Nice contrast to the previous two songs, but the formula of ‘Hit single as the third track’ has completely worn thin for this band and Corgan’s intent is completely transparent here. It seems to try to be that hit single he drastically needs, but falls completely short. But it’s an enjoyably song, still above anything grown in a Teargarden. B
Violet Rays – The album starts to turn sour as we soon realize that Corgan has already turned to the filler tracks so early in the album’s running order to sandwich the good tracks. Violet Rays is of little value in the SP discography, barely a Machina b-side. It is completely forgettable. C-
My Love Is Winter – Probably one of the best songs on the album, a stand-out track as Stand Inside Your Love was on Machina or Honestly on Mary Star of The Sea. Unfortunately, it lacks the awe-inspiring lyrics and fantastic hooks of the previous decade’s hit singles. Although excellent when in the context of this album, it becomes a decent Mellon Collie b-side when compared to the rest of Corgan’s discography. A-
One Diamond, One Heart –Well, at least Owata was interesting in the slightest, something that cannot be said of this song. I don’t know what’s sadder here: this song, or the fact that there must not have been a better song to take its place on the album. D+
Pinwheels – What begins as a pretty obvious rip of “Baba O’Riley” turns into a cleverly-arranged song that somehow manages to not build into the expected rocker. As much as I would have liked the drums to come in and rock-out, I applause Corgan for holding back. Stand-out track. B+
Oceania – I think most people should think that the fact that there is an epic, nearly-10-minute track on every single Smashing Pumpkins song is completely contrived. But we all ignore this because the songs are generally quite fantastic and fit perfectly in the context of its album; we seem to overlook its contrivance. Upon hearing the live versions of this song, I was not able to forget it this time: it was obviously a number of fragments, crammed together to make The Stereotype Epic Smashing Pumpkins Song For Side B. But upon hearing this studio version, I was pleasantly surprised how cohesive the title track and I reversed my opinion. Apparently, the live interpretation was lacking the crystal clear vision Corgan had intended all along for these perfectly fitted fragments. My only complaint is the lack of resolution in the song’s inappropriate fade. Imagine the final phrases of Iha’s closing solo of Glass + The Ghost Children fading out… Or the power being pulled on Starla halfway through the closing solo. This is the impression I received, Corgan effectively ruining what could have been his crown achievement over the last decade. B
Pale Horse – This is inarguably Corgan’s finest moment on the album, and possibly the finest moment he’s ever had since Machina. This is one of the few songs on this album that could stand proudly alongside his entire discography. Pale Horse could have been the Machina outtake that everyone lamented was not included on the album, or the Double Door song that no one understood why it wasn’t recorded for Mellon Collie. Excellent use of percussion and restraint, gathering atmosphere for the mysterious and vividly interesting lyrics. A
The Chimera – Unfortunately by this point in Oceania, it seems Corgan has run through all his great ideas after the fantastic triad of Pinwheels-Oceania-Pale Horse. The remainder of the album is forgettable, not only by comparison, but on its own right. The Chimera is a completely throw-away rocker, nothing short of a Zwan outtake you could leave or take. C
Glissandra – Flashy, characteristic Corgan song titles won’t save this album at this point, as the barrage of throw-away Zwan ditties continue. This song should have been left roadside with Paz, Pajo and Sweeny. C
Inkless – A surprise hopeful amongst the duds, Inkless is mistakenly tagged near the end of the album and nearly forgotten. Sounding like a riff salvaged from the Pasticio Medley, it references an era long gone and shall never return. But it’s too easy for our judgment to be clouded in nostalgia; this classic Pumpkins sound is grounded in the lack of Chamberlin, and it becomes painfully obvious way Oceania sounds the way it is in the first place: there is no other Chamberlin, don’t even bother trying. You can try to relive the past, but what’s gone is always gone. B-
Wildflower - Throughout Oceania, we feel that Corgan is grasping for his former power, and we can feel the electricity just barely scraping his fingertips as he reaches harder and harder. Mid album, we think he might actually grab a hold of it! But after a closing run of forgettable songs and frankly a completely amateur and embarrassing closing tune, we see that it is realistically far, far out of reach. Maybe he is over the hill, out of ideas. Maybe it’s the lack of a prodigal drummer. Or maybe this is all intentional, a part of some sick masterplan. Either way, this album full of hopefulness is closed with a complete lack thereof, a dreadful snoozer. Wildflower is, without a doubt the worst album-closer of the entire Smashing Pumpkins catalog, and we are reminded of where and WHEN we are. This is not 1994, this is 2012. There is no Chamberlin and The Smashing Pumpkins are forgettable adult alternative of varying degrees of brilliance and failure. D+