“Oceania” by The Smashing Pumpkins
I’ve never been a huge Pumpkins fan. There’s just something about Billy Corgan’s voice that I find too abrasive, and I’ve tended to scoff at his over-inflated sense of grandeur. But I was pleasantly surprised by this album. It’s not that a lot has changed—the album sort of flows through a history of Smashing Pumpkins sounds at random intervals, with plenty of big distorted guitar, busy drum work, grunge a la “Siamese Dream,” and pop a la “Adore.” This album has something for all Pumpkins fans, but—and perhaps Corgan has mellowed with age—it just feels more comfortable in itself and less forced than a lot of their earlier work. A very solid release.