Oceania - Smashing Pumpkins
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Oceania lacks the emotional force that it needed to transcend what it is: a former rock star trying to sound vital again.
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    Conceptual conceits aside, these are some of the most memorable and rousing songs Corgan has delivered since 1993's Siamese Dream.
  3. 70
    Oceania sounds louder, better, and altogether more revelatory than any Pumpkins album in years.
  4. Jul 19, 2012
    78
    Forget that it's probably the middle part of some overblown epic song set and enjoy it for what it is: 13 songs that try to break new ground, and generally succeed, while managing to sound like the Pumpkins we know rather than plastic studio production.
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    Straddling the line between art and commerce, between arena rock and cult devotion, for the first time in quite a while Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins sound energised and alive.
  6. Oceania isn't a great record, but it's a strong enough one, filled with songs that sound like the Smashing Pumpkins you remember.
  7. Jun 20, 2012
    80
    Corgan rebuilt the band with new members and finally marshals them through a solid hour of grandiose guitar rock.
  8. Jun 18, 2012
    88
    Several of those tracks anchor Oceania, which adds up to Corgan's best work since the '90s.
  9. 80
    He's carved out an agreeable adventure with Oceania, and one that any casual or die-hard fan can embrace with true vigor.
  10. Jun 26, 2012
    60
    The songcraft is back, but the romance is still missing.
  11. 50
    {The music] never breaks out of a gauzy prison of pleasantness. [22 Jun 2012, p.64]
  12. Jun 26, 2012
    80
    With crisp, concise songwriting, slick production and subverted historical rock references, Oceania is more the addition of a new tower to the alternative palace Corgan helped build than the foundations for something strange and new.
  13. Jul 9, 2012
    80
    On Oceania, Smashing Pumpkins finally sound like a band with an idea of where they're going. [10 Jun 2012, p.52]
  14. Jun 19, 2012
    70
    At various times uplifting, rocking, refreshing, and sweet, Oceania makes a return to the live arena a suddenly desirable prospect.
  15. 60
    It's compelling, and finds new territory.... But it doesn't do a huge amount to lodge itself in your memory
  16. Jun 19, 2012
    70
    While Corgan feels reinvigorated, utterly convinced that's he's finally nailed it this time, the final product doesn't hold up as an entirely ingenious one.
  17. Jul 12, 2012
    60
    Sure, it's bloated and loaded with overreaching, pretentious lyrics, but it wouldn't be the Pumpkins otherwise.
  18. Jun 19, 2012
    83
    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.
  19. Jun 19, 2012
    63
    His new band might not question him very much, and they may play better or more professionally, than his old crew. But Oceania suffers a kind of rock-star-dictator airlessness.
  20. Jun 18, 2012
    40
    Billy Corgan can't ever quite muster up the magic of the Pumpkins' early years because, to be honest, the songs just aren't good enough.
  21. Jun 18, 2012
    70
    Oceania is definitely not without its faults, but with repeated listens and an honest approach to the metrics and themes Corgan's hitting, this rhizomed Pumpkins reboot will dispel your notions that the Pumpkins can't exist without its other three founding members.
  22. Jun 19, 2012
    60
    [Oceania] is a good stand-alone record, a bong-prog take on the alt-rock grandeur of Gish and Siamese Dream.
  23. Jun 18, 2012
    70
    Oceania benefits from Corgan's new sense of freedom, resulting in the Pumpkins' best album since the gothic Adore.
  24. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    Instead of relying upon the old classics, touring the same old stuff, he and SP have forged ahead to create a record that could well be the catalyst of a stellar second era for one of rock's more interesting groups.
  25. Jun 19, 2012
    75
    With Oceania he's finally delivered the Smashing Pumpkins album that everybody wanted the first time he decided to revive the name.
  26. Jun 19, 2012
    100
    The year's most outstanding rock album.
  27. Jul 6, 2012
    50
    For a Tarot-themed rock album made by an immortal megalomaniac, it's actually OK. Especially the loud bits.
  28. Jun 21, 2012
    40
    When it finds focus, as it does on the lean, certain The Celestials and The Chimera, it's a clear, timely reminder that Corgan can be a fine songwriter. But elsewhere, and too often, tracks chug and puff along a bloated path to nowhere.
  29. Oceania is best listened to in bits.
  30. 60
    The collision of sludgy guitars, thunderous drums and Billy Corgan's frantic yelp on opener Quasar makes for a bracing reacquaintance with overwrought stadium grunge. But it loses its way when Corgan shows signs of mellowing.
  31. Jul 5, 2012
    70
    It's a strange album on the whole, though there's no doubting Corgan has his mojo back, and if you can stomach a 45-year-old man still whining on about isolation and stuff then this may well be up your proverbial alley.
  32. Aug 2, 2012
    70
    The loss of drummer Jimmy Chamberlain smarts, but "Quasar" and the :The Celestials" recall the Pumpkins' '90s heyday with out coming over as retread. [Sep 2012, p.86]
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 6 out of 38
  1. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    First of all let the arguments about band line-up go. D'arcy and Iha did make the Pumpkins look cool in the 90's, but I'm sure if they wereFirst of all let the arguments about band line-up go. D'arcy and Iha did make the Pumpkins look cool in the 90's, but I'm sure if they were still with the band now in their mid to late forties they would no longer be seen as the cool kids (seen the mug shot?) or have grown musically. Oceania, is easily the best thing the Pumpkins have recorded since Adore. The Machina albums were bloated, overlong and watered down the bands unique sound, and don't get me started with the train wreck of Zeitgeist which must have one of the worst album productions in music history. What makes Oceania a refreshing listen is Corgan's resolve to no longer address, react or attempt to revisit the past. On songs such as 'Pale Horse' or 'Panopticon' there is a sense of familiarity but this is overshadowed by interesting structure and an underlying sense of authenticity. The genuine feeling of the album is perhaps best summarised in the the track 'Pinwheels' which should stand proud and tall among their classic anthems of the mid 90's. A melodic, moody and contemplative array of tracks make this a very cohesive and tight listen which has not perhaps happened since Siamese Dream. So why not a 10? Oceania is far from perfect, and a couple of filler songs (One Diamond, One Heart and Glissandra) though in keeping with the tone of the album should perhaps have been cut, but overall this is the finest and best thing we could have hoped for after 14 years of mediocrity (Machina) or downright trash (Zeitgeist). Oceania never outstays its welcome, and the consistency here is remarkably good, but most of all the album hints at what is to come, and optimism and hope for another classic from the band can be renewed once again. The Smashing Pumpkins live! Full Review »
  2. Jun 20, 2012
    9
    This album deserves a solid 9. I'm a bit suspicious to talk about Smashing Pumpkins (probably because it's my favorite band of all time) but IThis album deserves a solid 9. I'm a bit suspicious to talk about Smashing Pumpkins (probably because it's my favorite band of all time) but I will tell why this 9.

    I was very excited to hear this new SP's album, and I must say that I'm impressed on what I've heard so far. If you're looking for another Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, probably you will get upset. But this album's great, the most ambitious and amazing album since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

    Some songs, like 'Quasar' 'Panopticon' 'Pale Horse' and 'The Chimera' may look familiar to the Smashing Pumpkin's fans. But they're pretty different, Corgan said that the new lineup band made him a better song writer, and I partially agree with that. Those songs look way happier than it used to (He worked about 16 hours per day in SD and Mellon Collie to forget about his depression, some songs like Zero and Hummer express the way he felt during those years) I miss the lack of sad songs here, but they feel GREAT, although 'One heart, One Diamond' seems a bit akward.

    I believe that Smashing Pumpkins cannot overcome the awesomeness of Gish/Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, as I said I'm a bit suspicious to talk about (Along with Nevermind - Superunkown and Ten, Siamese Dream's to me one of the greatest albums of the 90's), but Oceania has the power to erase some mistakes as Zeitgeist and both Machina.

    TL;DR - Best 'new era' SP's album, a must to the Pumpkins fans.

    Sorry for this poor english. By the way, this's my first review :D
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 1, 2012
    10
    This is an amazing record that needs to be listened with your hearth and without preconceptions... You will be rewarded if you listen to whatThis is an amazing record that needs to be listened with your hearth and without preconceptions... You will be rewarded if you listen to what is truly in there .... and not what the critics or a deluded mind says... ; ) Full Review »