Oceania review by The Smashing Pumpkins

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  • Released: Jun 19, 2012
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (77 votes)
The Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania

Sound — 9
The impression I get of this particular album is very spacey, and ethereal! The overall genre of this album zones in towards Progressive rock, with splashes of dreamy Psychedelia. In the style of "Gish", "Siamese Dream", and "Pisces Iscariot" but with a more modernized twist; staying true to their Psychedelic layered "shoegazery" dense guitars with crystal, flawless production! A must have! MUSIC STYLE Each song is very unique and still follows the past Pumpkin formula with that modern 21st century twist. Which is truly progressive. As a listener, and a fan of the band; I've noticed this album is probably the "Gish"/"Siamese Dream" of the 21st century, but in no way does it rip off their classic work. But what this album does is incorporate vast genres into this album that pulls the listener into a trance of epic proportion. The music styles used in this record are based upon what I noticed in each song. They may not be that accurate to you, but like I said it's what I noticed. 01. "Quasar" - has a very psychedelic, hard rock and shoegazing inspired sound. Almost like heavy shoegazing music, like Siamese Dream. A kicka-s song! 02. "Panopticon" - has that psychedelic, hard rock sound with that splash of dream pop in the song like from "Gish". A great song! 03. "The Celestials" - to me has kind of an "Adore" vibe, with that gloomy "goth" inspired persona of the band. Also it kinda sounds like symphonic rock. A good song, not my favorite song; but's worth a listen. 04. "Violet Rays" - has a majestic mix of psychedelia, dream pop, synth pop style mixed into this song; with the thick shoegazery style production like most Smashing Pumpkins releases. One of my favorite songs because it has that "spacey early feel to the band. 05. "My Love Is Winter" - has a more modern pop inspired alternative sound to it. Very uplifting! A real listener! 06. "One Diamond, One Heart" - has that Adore electronica, techno rock feel to it, with a tiny splash of psychedelia to it. Not one of my faves but it's cool though. 07. "Pinwheels" - has a synth pop sound to it with the intro with a splash of symphonic rock to it. Probably my least favorite song from this album. But it's not a terrible song. 08. "Oceania" - ahh this song is the holy grail of the whole album! The defining piece! You know how "Starla" was the epic song from "Pisces Iscariot"? And "Echoes" was the defining song from "Meddle"? Well "Oceania" is definitely the king of all songs on this album, it's so epic. To me, I feel as though this song is a mix of Psychedelia, folk, pop, alternative, shoegaze and a slight pinch of acoustic work by Billy Corgan to create a true progressive rock masterpiece! The best song from this album. 09. "Pale Horse" - another great song from "Oceania". This song has a sad gloomy psychedelic and dream pop sound. Another solid track. A very haunting but killer song. 10. "The Chimera" - has a kinda buzzsaw Queen tone guitar to me, a straight up basic hard rock song. Give it a listen it's great. 11. "Glissandra" - has a trancey, and dreamy shoegaze layered guitars that sounds heavy yet hypnotic, like that song "I Only Said" by My Bloody Valentine. Definitely a shoegaze style song with psychedelic melodies. One of my favorite rock songs from the album! 12. "Inkless" - another rocker with a modern rock twist to that classic Pumpkin formula(spacey rock). 13. "Wildflower" - a kinda mellow type rock song. It's pretty eerie but great! For anybody a fan of this band or a fan of Psychedelic, shoegaze, dream pop, progressive rock, synth pop and Alternative rock style music please buy this record! Hell it's even worth stealing the record haha, just run like hell when the alarm goes off.

Lyrics — 8
Overall impression of the lyrics. As a listener I try to feel the music the ambience and heaviness of the record. But the lyrics are sung artfully by Billy Corgan and the other members as backups for the band. But the lyrics still have that Pumpkins feel to them. Aggressive, sad, gloomy, happy, uplifting. Billy Corgan despite getting of age, he's still the man and has a great voice that has that "Gish" but modern feel to it.

Overall Impression — 9
This is probably the best rock album of 2012! A record everyone should hear before they die. My favorite songs from this album are in no particular order. 1. Oceania 2. Quasar 3. Panopticon 4. Violet Rays 5. Glissandra 6. Pale Horse 7. The Celestials are my top 7 favorite songs from this cool record. What I love most about this record is that it has that spacey rock and shoegazey sound from "Siamese Dream", the Psychedelia from "Gish" and the synthesizer inspired sound from "Adore" but it doesn't sound nostalgic at all! It sounds completely new! What I don't like about the album is just the song "Pinwheels". Sorry for all the fans of that song. But other than that I gave this album a good rating so screw off! If this album were lost/stolen I'd be pissed as hell because it's such a cool record, so I'll probably buy 2 copies of the record.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pumpkin fan here. This album is easily moving up the ranks for me the more I listen to it. It has some definite sounds of Gish/Siamese, but I don't automatically think its a rip of the older albums. Favorite tracks: The Celestials Oceania Quasar My Love is Winter
    CaliforniaKid wrote: "Oceania" huh? I suppose this album was only intended to be heard by fish. Everyone is always a step behind Dethklok.
    Dethlock??? really dude? Dethlock is a ****ing parody of music. Basically the modern day Monkees if you ask me.
    siamesedreamful wrote: CaliforniaKid wrote: "Oceania" huh? I suppose this album was only intended to be heard by fish. Everyone is always a step behind Dethklok.Dethlock??? really dude? Dethlock is a ****ing parody of music. Basically the modern day Monkees if you ask me.
    How does no one get that this is sarcasm? You guys give guitarists/metalheads/americans or whatever you are a bad name. Lighten up, if you can't see the joke in there I feel sorry for you.
    Mr. Stripe
    Lovely album. I'm happy the fan community is responding so positive! The band deserves this. Yes, I said band. Because Oceania isn't a Billy Corgan effort, it's a real band effort. You can hear all the band members playing their own parts and doing great vocal harmonies. Beautiful.
    Great comeback album with a new crew...Zietgeist sucked...love Oceania. Billy's vocals are much better and much more emotion than on Zietgeist. No, it's not old pumpkins, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, love the new record and would gladly see them perform it in full live.
    oh i forgot to mention that the celestials has an element of hard rock too, i only listened to a minute of it because my computer conked out so i could not finish my review of the song. Oh, and Pinwheels is starting to become a decent song for me; not bad once i gave it some time.
    I am a lifelong SP fan, and I love (almost) every single track they/he has ever recorded, so I am always a little biased when it comes to SP. This is by far my least favorite SP album, yet, it still rocks. The heavy hitters: Quasar, Panopticon, The Chimera, Glissandra, & Inkless are heavy, hype songs with slicing guitars that we have come to know and love from SP. The Celestials, in my opinion, is a one-of-a-kind SP song, something from Billy that really does not sound like anything else from his catalog. It is a great song. My Love is Winter, One Diamond One Heart, and Inkless are all average songs, but they all contain certain moments where a guitar slashes in and rips your face off, which makes them all worth listening too. Oceania is by far my favortie track on the album, with a superb middle section which I wish was a complete song in and of itself. The drum beat and lyrics during that short section leave you wanting more, which is a typical reaction to an SP song. Pale Horse is a nice, sweet little ditty, that somehow will have you singing along, or humming it to yourself later in the day. It has some solid bass lines in there which make the song legit. Billy's voice is also great on this track, for being someone who was never really praised for his voice, and for being 45 years old, he sounds great. Violet Rays was my favortie track after the first few listens, but kind of wore off after listening to the rest of the album. It is a slow, love ballad, with, once again, some great Billy lyrics. The final track, Wildflower, is not a faovrite of mine. It seems like SP just wanted to end the CD with a slow, almost acapella track, which most SP albums do contain, yet I feel that this one falls short. I think it could have been left off the album completely. 7/10 stars for me on this latest SP cd, from a die-hard, "SP is the greatest band in the world" fan.
    its good, but i cant stand the genres its in, hoping for a little more of the siamese dream type of style in the next album, that would be gold, even though billy corgan would hate to hear that... btw, pale horse is about billy's mom (for the author of this article/anyone that dont already know), he said so in the "stompland" interview
    I think it's a stronger album than some that they've done. It's obvious it won't match the power of Gish and Siamese Dream, the clarity and beauty of Mellon Collie, or even the dreaminess of Adore. However, even without Jimmy and D'arcy and James, the album still is solid and Corgan proves it himself with his continuing songwriting ability. Go Oceania!