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August 21, 2017

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CD review: The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Oceania’


The Details

The Smashing Pumpkins
Two and a half stars

Since late 2009, Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan has been quietly releasing songs one at a time via the band’s website, as part of a planned 44-song concept album called Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. The new Pumpkins collection Oceania is billed as an “album within an album,” as part of Teargarden, and it continues that project’s affinity for classic rock and psychedelia, with a mellower sound than the Pumpkins have typically been known for.

Songs like “Violet Rays,” “One Diamond, One Heart” and “Wildflower” are slow and trippy, and even the heavier rock songs have a woozy, dreamy quality. That can also make them limp and unfocused, and while there are a handful of catchy, energetic songs on Oceania (notably the excellent “My Love Is Winter”), it’s mostly unremarkable, with Corgan and his latest bandmates offering little that distinguishes the album from the larger, similarly inconsistent project surrounding it.

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