THE VINYL WORD: BILLY CORGAN RETURNS WITH THE BEST SMASHING PUMPKINS ALBUM SINCE THE 90s

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There’s a long-running joke about seeing a beloved band, maybe one you’ve followed since your childhood, and hearing the worst phrase that the frontman could utter: “We’re going to play a few songs from our new album.”

The feeling is familiar, whether you were hoping to hear a choice cut from The Beach Boys’ SMiLE during the band’s current tour and instead got their new single, “That’s Why God Made the Radio.” Maybe you walked away relieved when Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum didn’t pull out any new cuts in recent live appearances. The point is, it’s almost more comforting to toss a new disc into the never-to-be-listened-to-again pile than to remember that your 13-year-old self wasn’t in love with The Wall or didn’t care for the deeper cuts on Siamese Dream until a year after its release.

This must be Billy Corgan’s frustration—that in a musical landscape that’s littered every day with countless singles and rough YouTube performances of new songs, whole albums aren’t getting the attention, the repeat listens, the second chances they deserve.

And now, after a dormant phase in the Pumpkins’ steady flow of releases, audiences have their first extended listen to the band since 2007’s Zeitgeist, a respectable effort that, while not the most concise or hard-hitting, did see Corgan getting his vision of the Pumpkins back on its feet. Oceania … is the group’s most focused, and solid effort since 2000’s Machina/The Machines of God.  And although the band has put an emphasis on slowly releasing single songs, the album feels like its own focused piece, and not just 13 different studio tracks, and Oceania very much sees Corgan and company settling into album, not single, territory. And that’s probably where long-term fans have wanted to see them for a long time.Paste

OTHER NEW VINYL RELEASES:

Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals The Lion, The Beast, The Beat
Glen Hansard Rhythm and Repose
Brandi Carlile Bear Creek
Dying Fetus Reign Supreme
Walk the Moon Walk the Moon
Terror No Regrets, No Shame: The Bridge Nine Days
The Black Angels Directions to See a Ghost
The Small Faces Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake
Richard Thompson Live From Austin TX

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