Review: ‘Oceania’ from Smashing Pumpkins
Q101 isn’t as bullish on the new Pumpkins collection as the Sun Times’ Thomas Conner, sans a few tracks. “The Chimera” is the one we keep rolling back to over and over again. However, To our ears, there aren’t any hits. A few tunes are pretty damn solid though. But what the hell do we know: We loved Zwan here in HQ and most people ridicule that band’s lone effort. So, you may feel differently when you sample Oceania front-to-back.
Once again we agree with much of what Billy has to say, particularly his assessment of Facebook. A powerful platform, but not the end-all-be-all its made out to be. Read on and let us know what you think of the new Pumpkins album in the comments section (and on Facebook, or course!)
As usual, Starting late in 2009, Billy Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins molded the distribution plan of their new music to the emerging habits of the Internet and its hit-or-miss consumption patterns. With an ambitious, 44-track song cycle in mind called “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope,” the band dropped a dozen songs a few at a time, like digital mini-EPs.
By last fall, however, Corgan lamented the effort, saying it was “a tremendous amount of energy to put out to just feel like you’re throwing a pebble in the ocean.”
“I reached a point where I saw that the one song at a time idea had maxed itself out,” he said. “I just saw we weren’t getting the penetration in to everybody that I would have hoped. I mean, we have 1.3 million followers on our Facebook page, right? So you think you put [a song] up and 1.3 million people are gonna see it — but only if they’re looking at the exact moment it goes up.”
He added: “I just saw that we weren’t reaching the sort of casual person who still gets their information from traditional sources. So I thought, ‘What do I need to do?’ and then I thought, ‘OK, I’ll go back to making an album.’ ”
The result is “Oceania,” the next 13 songs in the “Teargarden” cycle but released in one batch like a traditional album. For once, believe the advance buzz about it — this is easily one of the best albums of the band’s entire career.