Oceania - Smashing Pumpkins
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 93
  2. Negative: 8 out of 93

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  1. Jun 19, 2012
    4
    Don't believe the hype Billy Corgan has built up around this record. It's not at all the mix of classic old Pumpkins and new, more finely produced and clean Pumpkins. Opener Quasar sounds great. However, upon closer examination (of the album as a whole as well), riffs are stolen and recreated from classic Pumpkins songs. That really rubs me the wrong way, but if you can stand it, cheers to you. What follows are many mainstream rock moments (almost every song is tinged by cliche or immature lyrics: "And I'll kiss anyone tonight," "You don't deserve me and I don't deserve you," etc...). I expected top-notch lyricism, but Corgan apparently cares not for anything original. Despite its inability to choose between rehashing old songs again and again and again and exploring areas already traversed by many, many others, the record does have its moments (the borrowed riffs can still be enjoyable, depending on the degree of banality). The first two tracks and Pale Horse are the few stand-outs, trying to level out a very uneven listen. (This was meant to be a '4' rating, my bad for the '0') Expand
  2. Jul 1, 2012
    3
    I found this album had two major draw-backs. First is a very lack lustre vocal performance by Corgan, and second is a lack of dynamics within and between songs. In terms of the vocals there a few problems which all stem from a total lack of range. Corgan's vocals on this album lack range in pitch, length and tone. Say what you will about his voice, but Billy has shown us in the past that he has a good vocal range from subdued falsetto, to angry screams and soaring sustained notes. But in this album there are no catchy vocal hooks, Corgan seems to sit in the same octave and never stray from it, and there is no impact emotional or otherwise that cuts through. It's all very banal.
    The song dynamics are also very disappointing. There's no real range in terms of tempo, meter or intensity between or within the songs in this album. It all has a very large focus on an over-produced guitar and effects driven sound with no particular stand out riffs or melodies that cut through to make any particular song stand out. The bottom line is this - The music in this album is samey and banal, nothing stands out. No song in particular is bad as such, but all together as an album it sounds like elevator music.
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  3. Jun 28, 2012
    2
    Was very excited to hear Billy was going to come back to Smashing Pumpkins and was excited to hear the album was finally coming. Didn't know what to expect as I know their sound from the 90's couldn't be recreated. But, listening to it, I thought it was rubbish. The melodies found in their previous sound as all but disappeared. Most songs I didn't even completely listen to and only really liked two or so. Very guitar oriented, which is OK but almost every track has the same, guitar-heavy sound. Was expecting a bit more I guess. Expand
  4. Jun 19, 2012
    0
    Finally a new Smashing Pumpkins album, I wonder which direction it will go this time. Before listening to this album, I decided I would read up on other's thoughts. This album has been harolded as a return to form, on par with their greatest work, Siamese Dream. However, SD, this is not. Later Pumpkins albums seem to be more dreamy then agressive, or somethings only the former. What made the early albums so great was the mixture of angry ninties grundge and gloomy phycodelics. Without the heaviness however, the Pumpkins lack substance. All in all, fans will probably listen, if only a couple times. Non-fans will have a hard time connecting the this work. Collapse
  5. Jun 21, 2012
    0
    Amazing. not since Siamese Dream has a Billy Corgan album sound so intense. It is a beautiful, exciting, rocking album from a band that has, at best, released mediocre material over the last 19 years. So Good!
  6. Jul 17, 2012
    0
    It really pains me to say this. SP was THE definitive band of my youth. This album is hot garbage. It's no better than any of the other horrible albums that have come out by SP in the past 10 years (not to mention an absolutely dreadful solo album by Corgan). Sadly, I'm done with SP and will no longer hope for them to produce good music.
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. 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]
  3. 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.