I've been a Smashing Pumpkins
fan for only a few years now. I sadly missed them during their heyday, and only discovered them through Zwan
. So Zeitgeist
is really my first "new" Pumpkins record. So keep this in mind when reading this review, as my hearing/opinions may be skewed a bit.
I had heard all the early rumors of how Zeitgeist
sounds like Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
and Siamese Dream
kind of confirmed these rumors as it definitely had a throwback appeal. So you can imagine my surprise when I actually started listening to the record.
First off, it's heavy. Probably the heaviest they've ever done. Second, Zeitgeist
sounds more like... well, imagine Gish having a love child with Machina (I or II, take your pick), well the final result of that union would be very close to the new record.
It's very aggressive, with tracks like United States(which reminds me of X.Y.U.) and 7 Shades of Black that just rock your heart out. Bring the Light and Starz
reminds me a little of 80's style Queen (which sounds bad but it really isn't, the last half of Starz is awesome). There are a couple slower/soulful songs, such as Neverlost and Pomp and Circumstances, though I found these relatively weak when compared against other Pumpkin classics.
I was looking forward to For God and Country after hearing it live on YouTube. Instead of hearing the gentle acoustic tune, I heard a spacey/techy type tune that reminded me a lot of The Future Embrace
. It isn't a bad song by any means, but I do miss the live tune.
The only song that I didn't really care for is That's the Way (My Love is). The guitar work is cool in the song, but the tune just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason.
The best song on the record is clearly United States. Jimmy is in the top of his form on the drums, and the intensity of the song is just overwhelming. The only thing missing on the song is the trademark Corgan growl, but at least he does that live. Either way, this song gives multiple music orgasms across the board.
All in all, I give Zeitgeist a 4.3 out of 5 stars. And while it's not the best Pumpkins record I've ever heard by far, it is certainly the best cd I've heard all year. I hope this marks a whole new beginning for the band as the anemic Rock music scene desperately needs some creative infusion.