Mary Star of the Sea Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Summary: The new group led by Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins features a lineup including fellow Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlin on drums and guitarists Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Skunk) and David Pajo (Slint, Tortoise).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 100
    Even the geeky ballads will put a smile on your face and a Bic lighter in your hand.
  2. Zwan is Billy Corgan's triumph, an unrepentant glam-rock/prog-pop bacchanalia, an album of stadium happy singles and up-with-people wonder anthems.
  3. It's an album that is filled with plenty of big hooks, ample rock crunch and a loving attention to detail.
  4. 80
    [Corgan's] the closest thing our generation has to John Fogerty--a control freak who actually knows what the fuck he's doing. [March 2003, p.118]
  5. Zwan are more straightforward (and much less histrionic) than the Smashing Pumpkins, so a few of the songs in the middle are pretty but not very dramatic.
  6. 70
    Neither miraculous nor wholly divine, but it does mark Corgan's return to form. [Mar 2003, p.102]
  7. The candied pop that characterized much of the Pumpkins later work is still out in full force.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. HeCtiCB
    Jan 16, 2007
    Splendid album, the variety from HeartSong to Honestly display a Pumpkinesque ability to shower us with unbridled melodies layered with lyrics that have that feel-good quality we need. Expand
  2. BrianB
    Feb 8, 2003
    Absolute classic album. Every song is beautifully crafted with some of the best guitar sounds i have ever heard.
  3. KatieH
    Feb 22, 2003
    This album is amazing- unlike most, it actually gets better and better the more you listen to it. I've been trying to cut back on listening to it, because I'm afraid I'll get sick of it; my attempts at restraint have been unsuccessful, and I still love it! It is light but strong, upbeat but deep. Corgan hasn't lost his knack for insightful lyrics, but he's wrapped them around good old rocknroll sounds with electric guitar fury and, for the most part, fast, catchy, and major-keyed tempos. This is the anchor for what I'm sure will be a long chain of albums. Expand
  4. VitorZ.
    Feb 9, 2003
    It's nothing really new, one has to admit that. But what Mary does, it does so, so well. It's rock, it's serious, it's touching, it's silly, and most of all, it's relaxed. Not an album that will axpand your horizon (well, it may do that if you never listened to Pumpkins stuff before), but if rock doesn't have to be evil and depressing for you, it's one that you will hear again and again. Expand
  5. Joris
    Sep 18, 2006
    Happy Pumpkins would be the best description for this good and solid album within its style. Takes catchiness to a higher level, however can't meet up to any of his Pumpkins' albums.. Standout songs are Endless Summer, Declarations of Faith (with those very Pumpkinesque feedback guitars), Ride A Black Swan and Yeah! Expand
  6. AliC
    Jul 14, 2005
    At last, Billy Corgan returns from the creative desert that was the Smashing Pumpkins after Siamese Dream. This really is a great record, with barely a duff song, that gets right under your skin. But whilst it's consistently good, hitting the spot time and again, it's hardly revolutionary. Siamese Dream threatened to change the world, this just wants to entertain it. Expand
  7. TomH
    Oct 26, 2003
    This album is almost comical. The fact that such a mediocre compilation of throwaway pop music has been so well received is baffling. Only one good song in the whole mess, which drags on for entirely too long. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews