Smashing Pumpkins > Zeitgeist
Ok, I now begin my long awaited Zeitgeist review. Why 'long awaited'? Because I regard myself as the greatest Pumpkins fan and expert of the intertubes. That being said, I am not impossibly pro-Billy and blind to criticism. If you don't believe that, read my just plain mean and terrible review of 'the Future Embrace'.
So the Pumpkins are reunited. What does that mean, when only half the band came back? It means the only two who mattered are back. It has been long rumored and assumed that Billy Corgan did ALL the recording on the Pumpkins discs.... bass and guitar. Iha and Darcy were just a touring band. So, if we have Jimmy Chamberlain and Billy Corgan then we have 99% of the Pumpkins songwriting and recording team. I should note the albums credits are slyly succinct. They read, verbatim: Jimmy Chamberlain: Drums Billy Corgan: everything else. It was suspected Billy did all the string work, now its official.
The new record is very good, but I can't say great. If you are looking to hear 'Siamese Dream 2', this wouldn't be the release for you. Of course, nothing would as Siamese Dream is the greatest modern rock record every made... only on par with 'Appetite for Destruction'. The new record is so much a new feel of Billy Corgan, it actually sounds a LOT closer to Zwan. In fact, you can really call this a Zwan re-union as well. Billy Corgan & Jimmy Chamberlain were both in Zwan as well.
The album does not fail to rock. In fact, this will sound stupid, but it rocks too hard. My favorite work of the Pumpkins is great introspective stuff like 'Mayonnaise', 'Snail', Rhinoceros', 'Soma'. I won't go through track by track, because I would need 40 or 50 listens to do that well (I am at about 10). However am most fond of 'Tarantula' currently. Problem is, I am not sure if that is because it is the best song.... or because they released it first. Regardless, that song kicks major ass. If you are looking for Jimmy Chamberlain to 'bore holes in your skull', start with 'United States'.
I have had the disc a week or two now. It has done quite well. It debuted at #2 on Billboard, and most of their shows have sold out. If you are a fan of the band, I definitely encourage you to pick it up. It isn't that simple, though. Annoyingly, there are five versions out there. There is the standard CD, the standard CD with a great and strange booklet, and three versions with extra songs. Best Buy has one with an extra song, Target has another with a bonus song, as does iTunes. Problem is, each release is 'exclusive' and not on the other bonus tracks. This means to get each of the three extra tunes on the market, you need to buy $100 worth of the same CD. To me, that is evil bullshit marketing... but clever. They also did a deal just for iTunes customers, pre-sale on concert tickets.
Now that I do the math, maybe that is how the Pumpkins got to #2... it was just 12 or 14 super fans who bought every version. It's ok, the Pumpkins have brought me more joy than I can put a dollar to, and knowing that I will see them Red Rocks this fall freaks me out!