Don't Kill The Magic
Isolate and Medicate
Everybody can say what they want about this not being a true reunion of The Pumpkins because it’s just Billy and Jimmy here, but as far as I’m concerned Billy and Jimmy have always been the band’s strengths. Obviously Billy is The Smashing Pumpkins in every sense; he writes the songs and fronts the band. It’s always been his thing. As for Jimmy Chamberlain, Jimmy is the Yin to Billy’s Yang, he can pound the hell out of a drum and is one of the best drummers of the past two decades. So Billy and Jimmy dropped the Zwan charade and are back as The Smashing Pumpkins with a new album and a new approach. Billy’s gotten into politics a little bit and that’s not a bad thing, it never is. I’ll take importance/relevance over self wallow any day. The general reaction I’ve gotten from people is that the first 9 tracks on this album rock a little too hard for The Pumpkins and with their new sound they really don’t fit in with the rest of the band’s songs. To me, it’s actually a welcomed change. Where the older Pumpkins stuff was grunge delivered with lots of rock, “Zeitgeist” is straight rock delivered with a little bit of grunge. Out of the first 10 everything is pretty solid here except for “7 Shades of Black” (too short) and “United States” (too long)- but even those tracks are still good. The highlights of the first 10 tracks- “Doomsday Clock” and “Starz”, the single “Tarantula”, but the track that definitely steals the show is track 4- “That’s The Way (My Love Is)”, it’s got the new sound to it, but it’s also highly reminiscent of the really poppy songs the Pumpkins have done like “Today” and “1979”, it’s the best track on the album. While the first 10 tracks rock for The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zeitgeist”, it’s the experimental stuff at the end that has to get fans excited. “For God and Country” and “Pomp and Circumstances” are only slightly similar to stuff they’ve done in the past. Both songs have interesting drum parts, and Corgan’s voice is thinner and more fragile. Both songs are excellent. Is this something that’s just going to be a one and out thing or is Billy going to make more music with the name in the future; he’s probably the only person in the world that knows the answer to the question. One thing’s for sure, it’s just great to have one of the best band’s ever making music and making music that matters.