Smashing Pumpkins- “Zeitgeist”
A Wall of Noise…
Audio CD (July 10, 2007)
Original Release Date: July 10, 2007
Label: Martha’s Music / Reprise
Playing Time: 52:28
Rating: ½* out of 5
Last year Smashing Pumpkin fans finally had reason to hope that they might get what they were waited seven long years for– a new album. However, with the release of Zeitgeist, the Pumpkins new effort, old fans will experience nothing but letdown. If this is the best that Billy Corgan can come up with after a seven-year hiatus, then it is rather pathetic. At the core of the album’s problems is the wall of guitar noise which masks Billy’s voice. If this was done intentionally, I do not know why.
Unfortunately the problems don’t end there. On the songs that you can hear Corgan singing, the elocution is horrible. He is trying to sing with an accent that is not even recognizable. I don’t what the intent of this is supposed to be. This was not done on any of the past albums, unless I missed something.
I am not a hard-core Smashing Pumpkins fan. Gish was a tremendous album. The ones that followed were good but could never measure up. It could be debated that this is not a real Smashing Pumpkins album at all, as it only retains two of the original members (Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin). Guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy Wretzky are not on this album period. Rumor has it that Billy invited them to play, but they declined. Knowing some of the history of the band, Billy said some nasty stuff about D’arcy and James, and I would make the assumption that either that was why they did not accept, or that they may not have even been invited at all.
Pictured: The Smashing Pumpkins old lineup (top) versus its depleted new lineup (bottom) in which only Corgan and Chamberlin remain.
“Starz” seems to be really the only track that stands out from among the rest of the guitar noise and bad accent. This is a song that could have been on past Pumpkins albums and would have fit in acceptably.
Unfortunately for this sole bright spot, there are countless negatives, including the “epic” 10 minute long “United States”, which is a complete waste. The sound of it (as well as most of this album) goes nowhere. It does not achieve anything. I don’t know what the thinking was during the writing process, or in the recording studio, but if I were there I would point out that this album was seriously flawed.
I love Jimmy Chamberlin’s drumming. I always have since Gish. He is a talent behind the kit. Unfortunately, Billy Corgan played the remaining instruments on this album. If you are a Smashing Pumpkins fan, I am sorry, but this album cannot be justified as good. The reason for the half star is for the song “Starz”. The rest of this album could be passed on. There are many better albums out there to check out.
1. Doomsday Clock
2. 7 Shades Of Black
3. Bleeding The Orchid
4. That’s The Way (My Love Is)
7. United States
9. Bring The Light
10. (Come On) Let’s Go!
11. For God And Country
12. Pomp And Circumstances