Oceania - Smashing Pumpkins
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 95
  2. Negative: 8 out of 95

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  1. Feb 6, 2014
    10
    This is the best Smashing Pumpkins record since the 90's. It gets played as much or more than MCIS, SD, and Adore. In that respect it is a resounding success. Pumpkins are back ****

    I have listened to this album, in its entirety, at least 100 times. I have been an avid listener of The Smashing Pumpkins since 1991. My opinion should matter more than most reviews because I am reviewing
    this after owning Oceania for over a year, allowing a 'forest for the trees' type perspective.
    Quasar....................................7
    Panopticon..............................7
    The Celestials.........................7
    Violet Rays.............................10
    My Love Is Winter..................10
    One Diamond, One Heart.......4
    Pinwheels................................8
    Oceania...................................8
    Pale Horse..............................10
    The Chimera............................6
    Glissandra................................7
    Inkless......................................7
    Wildflower.................................6
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  2. Feb 22, 2013
    6
    I'm not sure how to feel about this album. I'm a HUGE Pumpkins fan. But this seemed a little too poppy. With the exception of "My Love is Winter", "The Celestials", "Quasar", "Panopticon" and "Violet Rays." Not my favorite. But, it's was a noble effort. The Smashing Pumpkins are as good as they were in the 90's. Maybe it'll grow on me.
  3. Feb 1, 2013
    8
    Oceania seems to have recaptured the interest of people who were underwhelmed by the band's other post-reunion material, and for good reason. It's simultaneously a great return to form as well as the beginning of a new chapter in the band's career. And despite Billy being the only original member left undeniably the bandleader, the rest of the band are by no means just there to back him up. There are impressive performances to be found in all instruments here. Quasar and Panopticon open the album very well with great driving guitar riffs vaguely spiritual lyrics. Next is The Celestials, which is the biggest "hit" off this album and probably my favorite song here. It's a modern Pumpkins classic, with a sparse acoustic first half backed by strings, one that might remind some of tracks like Disarm, that builds up in the 2nd half to a fantastic climax. Violet Rays begins with a beautiful intro that builds among the first minute with guitar distortion looping arpeggiated synths, and while the lyrics might occasionally get a little too "intellectual" for their own good, the vocal melodies are great enough to make you forget about that. The title track is a fantastic 9-minute epic that seamlessly combines multiple sections time signatures into an experience of a song. Honestly at this point I feel like I'll be repeating myself a little too much so I won't go over every track. The rest of Oceania is a great mix of catchy synths lines guitar riffs, very well-structured songs that appropriately either build over time or maintain a consistent groove emotional lyrics about love, whether toward a significant other or God. I read in an interview that Billy said he wanted this album to contrast his other work in that Oceania would have more positive themes/vibes, and you can definitely tell in that the overall mood of the album is much more compassionate than vengeful. New bassist Nicole Fiorentino is a good addition to the band in particular, providing memorable basslines as well as some nice backing vocals, most notably on Pinwheels. On this album the Pumpkins also really know how to create an atmosphere. The heavier moments hook you in and the more somber moments maintain a sense of beauty. If there's any flaws to be found it's that the lyrics can be a little overly vague an occasional vocal melody won't stick. Plus the album's kinda front-loaded, despite there not being any "filler" tracks. Overall this is a welcome comeback for the Pumpkins, and I'm waiting eagerly to find out what they do next. Top 5 tracks: The Celestials, Oceania, Pale Horse, Quasar, Pinwheels. 81/100 Expand
  4. Sep 27, 2012
    10
    I'm not interested in giving an in-depth review... However I am enjoying this delicate and thoughtful take on a unique and romantic style that delivers as it wanders through the land of the lost. I presume the fall from grace experienced by Billy Corgan is just another example of faith's real cost.
  5. Aug 13, 2012
    10
    Oceania has both that classic sound we love and something completely new at the same time. A very mature album and maybe the their best work yet. Amazing on the first listen, but commands multiple listens and grows more each time.
  6. Jul 28, 2012
    9
    Really enjoyed this album. Billy has still got it, that's for sure.
    Not typical Pumpkins, but I guess this band really isn't the Pumpkins anyway. Still a great listen with a few tracks which I just get carried away listening to.
  7. Jul 25, 2012
    9
    Ive loved the Smashing Pumpkins since Gish and have watch the band lack something over the line up changes as the years have gone by...... Billy has struck gold with this album..... when I lessened to the album for the first time I had to keep picking my iPod to see what song was playing so I could hear the track again. My love is winter and violet rays are strong stand out tracks but on the whole the album is fantastic. The Pumpkings best album since MC and the IS :) Expand
  8. 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.
  9. Jul 13, 2012
    9
    In 1994 I was a sophomore in high school and my favorite band on the face of the earth was The Smashing Pumpkins. I had spun Siamese Dream endlessly in my bedroom the summer prior, and it continues to be one of my favorite albums of all time. I had just started understanding what it meant and felt like to see a band live, something that has captured my imagination and soul to this day, and I was going to get the chance to see my band up on stage. That year I lied to my parents and ended up sneaking off to Lollapalooza at Blossom Music Center in my home town of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and I found myself face to face with The Smashing Pumpkins. They were playing on the very stage that I would walk across 3 years later as I graduated from high school, and I was starstruck.

    There was something about The Smashing Pumpkins during that time period that captured everything about youth and rock n
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  10. Jul 6, 2012
    9
    SP are probably my favourite group of all time and I feel very few bands can rival their back catologue. I like almost everything Billy Corgan has put out. With Zeitgeist it seems to generally have been dismissed by fans but I think it's a good record. It's got some duds on it but it's got some great tracks aswell. The follow up tracks to Zeitgeist, FOL, GLOW, Rose March were all quality and the future was bright...then Jimmy Chamberlain jumped ship which wasn't a good sign. I followed the progress of the Teargarden project and have to say for the first time my reaction was lukewarm. There were some nice moments and some of the idea's were great but just weren't coming off for Billy. When I first heard about Oceania's planned release way back in April 2011, I couldn't wait for it but at the same time I asked myself was it going to be more of the hit and miss standard we've been getting with Teargarden and was the Smashing Pumpkins brand gradually going to become more and more diluted? I kept checking back for an Oceania release date and it kept getting pushed back and eventually I got fed up and gave up on it. When it did eventually get released over 9 months later than scheduled, my excitement had burned off a bit so I've been listening to it with an open mind and with no real expectations. I have to say I'm delighted with what the band have produced this time round. There is no 1979 or Today but every song on the record is good and the album has a consistency the whole way across. It's very solid. Musically it's close to flawless - really top stuff, the vocals are good, the guitar work is phenomenal and the drumming is very good (Jimmy Chamberlain as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time is irreplacable but Mike Byre does a good job here). The production is good, much better than Zeitgeist's. The things I would pick out are lyrically I don't think it's as good as some of Billy Corgan's previous work, on too many of the songs it seems like he's just singing random rhyming couplets, whereas before I always could relate to his lyrics as they were from the heart (or so it seemed). It's such a consistent record that it's hard to pick out standout tracks but if I had to I would say Panopticon, Pale Horse, The Chimera, Wildflower and the mammoth title track Oceania. If your a Pumpkins fan and you don't like this record your in trouble and you might has well give up on them. That 90's band are dead and gone but Billy is still producing the goods in his own way. Sit back and enjoy a genius at work. Expand
  11. Jul 4, 2012
    9
    During my many years listening to just about every type of music. I have to say, I have not been this crazy about "The Smashing Pumpkins" since I got a a demo disc of "Gish" in 1990. At that time I was 16, and loved it. This album really ties in awesome lyrics, great melodies, awesome changes and hooks in each of their songs. I am really glad they are still doing what that have done masterfully over all these years. They are true artists, not like so much music today. Expand
  12. Jul 4, 2012
    10
    This is an amazing record that needs to be listened with your heart 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... ; )
  13. 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 what is truly in there .... and not what the critics or a deluded mind says... ; )
  14. 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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  15. 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
  16. Jun 26, 2012
    8
    This new Smashing Pumpkins album shows Billy Corgan and his new bandmates coming up with some beautiful music - great melodies, lyrics & just coolness! It's no doubt that Corgan is an amazing frontman - the great pumpkin that some refer to him as - and a musical artist with lots of awesome ideas and realizations. He shines wonderfully on this album.
  17. Jun 24, 2012
    8
    Oceania is an album stuck inbetween times. Despite Corgan's protest to the opposite, the album is a homage to Gish and Siamese Dream in its riffs, its tone and its themes. This is both good and bad. Corgan has managed to avoid the straightforward political-protest approach that hindered Zeitgeist and return to his insular, personal level of writing. Yet he also risks becoming an echo of a time long gone - and this is true is some of the tracks. The heart-on-sleeve grunge-out beginning, which rattles through 'Quasar' and 'Panopticon' go past rather indifferently- the complete opposite of what such a genre should achieve. This is because, as a genre, it represents the 90s; a time long gone and one that did songs such as these to death. Corgan only really manages to show what he can still do when he reaches 'The Celestials'; an ethereal blend of the grunge of old and the mystical elements that this album is structured by through the keys of Corgan amongst other things. The track is a prelude to the second half of the album, which comes across much better on first listen. 'Inkless', 'Pale Horse' and 'Glissandra' all have a style distinctive of the Smashing Pumpkins, yet distinguishable within that identity. Corgan shows just what bands from the 90's CAN do, and how music today both owes a lot to and misses them. The saturation of a lot of rock in the present day makes Oceania a breath of fresh air for the genre - the fact that this comes from one of the most ascendant bands of the early 1990s shows that the genre needs to be kick started by something new once more, f it wants to survive alongside the dubsteps and rap of the 21st century. Expand
  18. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Smashing Pumpkins están de regreso, con Billy Corgan a la cabeza, sin James Iha sin D Expand
  19. Jun 22, 2012
    8
    Though i wouldnt go so far to say this album is a return to the best of what the pumpkins have to offer, i think its the most solid no **** album since adore. It focuses a lot more on the psychadelic, there is less heavy here than on zeitgeist but much more quality in the texture of noise and the build up of song. Corgans vocals are much better recorded than on zeitgeist, the new drummer does a great job with both providing the rhythmic spine to some of the tracks and with fills. Corgan shows some great loud solos on songs such as The Chimera. If you weren't a fan of any of the post mellon collie era songs you may not be a fan of this album, but i would still suggest giving it a go it is the best release since adore IMO and deserves all the praise heaped on by critics. now lets just hope that it gets some air time on radio (particularly in Australia radio never got behind the Pumpkins very much with new work). In conclusion, give the album a full listen. then again and again. The songs will grow on you and id be very surprised if you dont find yourself getting into this album as much as you did siamese dream or melon collie Expand
  20. Jun 21, 2012
    9
    This is one of the best smashing pumpkins record since the 90's. many songs are just fantastic. even though they don't sound like early smashing pumpkins they sound different in a good way. there are many good songs some are hard and have great guitar riffs like "Quasar" and then there are a few odd ones. the song "one diamond, one heart" sounds a bit pop-ish it has a really familiar beat but regardless its a fantastic song and one of my favorites. one of the years best rock albums! hurray for the smashing pumpkins finally releasing some good music. Expand
  21. Jun 21, 2012
    9
    Oceania is a true return-to-form for the Smashing Pumpkins. This album contains the emotional, powerfully written songs that singer-songwriter Billy Corgan was famous for in the
  22. 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!
  23. Jun 21, 2012
    9
    Oceania is an amazing record. I'm excited to see where the Pumpkins go from here. They are a tight group and they sound better than ever. Looking forward to the ride.

    My top songs ranked in order are: The Celestials, Violet Rays, My Love is WInter, The Chimera, Oceania, and Panopticon.

    Celestials and Violet Rays are in a class of their own and may prove to become two of the greatest
    SP songs of all time. I really believe that.

    I love the intricate guitar work in My Love is Winter and The Chimera.

    Part I of the title track invokes some of the strongest emotions on the record. I'm hoping when they play it live on the upcoming tour they mix it up a bit (would love if they expanded Part I with an epic outro built around that chillingly spooky riff, and maybe featured Part II separately in solo acoustic form).

    The transition from the verse to the chorus in Panopticon is unexpected and breathtaking.

    Buy Oceania and support the band on tour! Loved hearing you guys play in NYC on release day. See you next time you're in Florida Billy, Jeff, Nicole, and Mike!
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  24. 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 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
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  25. Jun 20, 2012
    10
    Another addition to what is the great Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins. Buy it even if your skeptical. Its well worth the purchase. Album starts off really Strong with Quasar and just keeps your interest from there the whole way threw.
  26. Jun 20, 2012
    10
    Most of the critics and people who dislike this amazing album, its basically because Billy Corgan is the only remaining member of the original band....but F** that...This album is amazing, easily the best since the 1995 masterpiece Mellon Collie, Oceania yells out loud what Smashing Pumpkins its all about, Billy Corgan and the new members at their best
  27. Jun 20, 2012
    10
    This truly is a return to form for The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan has shown with this album that he still has the magic touch, something many feared he had lost. Oceania stands proudly alongside some of the Pumpkins classic albums without ever tracing over what used to be successful. It sounds modern and relevant but it retains the classic Smashing Pumpkins emotional feel. Its not an aggressive album, more a lush landscape of soaring guitars, synth, bass and drums. The production is fantastic and gives the album tremendous depth while Billy's vocals blend seamlessly with the music. I'm really happy with the result and it bodes well for the future of the band. Stand out tracks include The Celestials, Violet Rays, Pale Horse and my favorite Pinwheels which embraces everything I love about the Smashing Pumpkins sound. Enjoy! Expand
  28. Jun 19, 2012
    9
    This is my favorite band. I wish the title track had been produced differently, based on how they've been playing it live (no fade in or out), and I'm slightly more partial to live versions of Pinwheels. Otherwise, this is a really solid contribution that I think points to new ways for SP to continue the legacy. Ride on!
  29. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    The Pumpkin's new album, on first listen, might seem a bit underwhelming but not to worry, just keep listening. As Corgan has stated, the album is meant to be listened to in sequence - think of it like a concept album. It requires some commitment by the listener; that is, a commitment kind of like slowly unwrapping a very nice gift. After two or three listens, it becomes poignantly clear that there is some mystery to the album. Ostensibly it seems quite simple, but with some dedication it proves to be a great record. Mike Byrne's drum work is refreshing and powerful, especially on tracks like "Quasar". "Don't make me suffer," whines Corgan as the crunchy guitar tones elevate him on "Panopticon." The ballad-esque "The Celestials" begins with an acoustic performance, and is amped up by the sudden punch of electric distortion. Violet Rays is certainly one of the most notable songs on the album with its beautifully crafted hook littered with a wonderful synth track, bassline, and drums. There is too much great about this album to be described in a mere review. I would suggest that you just listen to it. But beware: there are a few downsides to the album.

    1) the sometimes questionable taste level of lyrics and style of Corgan's vocals. Although Corgan's tone definitely suits the atmosphere of the music, the poppy and sometimes cheesy style can prove grating at times - especially while he chants "I'll love you 101%" during The Celestials. 2) At times it can feel like more diversity in terms of the texture and effects used for the guitars would elevate parts of some of the songs to new heights. Perhaps make them a little rougher around the edges, throw in a delay pedal here...However, these are merely minor technical features that affect the aesthetic quality of the songs. Simply put: a purely subjective comment. In all, the album proves to stand up strong within the Pumpkin's corpus of work.
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  30. Jun 19, 2012
    7
    As brilliant as Kurt Cobain (and, let's face it, his timing) was, the true artist from that era is Billy Corgan. As talented as Billy will be happy to tell you he is, he's equally as humble, as evidenced in his recent comments about Radiohead where he doesn't understand why Ritchie Blackmore is denounced as less of a musician as Radiohead's guitarist is just because he was in a band that didn't see the kind of critical success as Radiohead has had. He's right. Musical greatness, to me, doesn't come from how critically important you are at a snapshot in time, but your influence, your consistency and your talent in the music you choose to play. I appreciated Billy's comments as I can see just as much brilliance in Barry Gibb's songwriting as I can in Ryan Adams'. And while Kurt was no doubt one of the best of his era, I'm appreciative that Billy Corgan continued his path. To that end, Oceania is a wonderful album. In an era bombarded by the endless "single" approach to music exposure, Billy has moved through this digital era on his own terms, releasing his own music online and via a free listening period for Oceania on iTunes. I know he considers the success, or at the very least, appreciation of Oceania, and the larger concept of which it is a part, "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope," as his "do or die" moment," my hope is that he sees his latest effort as a reason he has to keep going. The first two songs, "Quasar" and "Panopticon," sound like vintage Pumpkins with dual hints of classic Gish and mature MACHINA. Jimmy Chamberlain's trademark pounding is replaced almost flawlessly, a negative with "Adore," even as Billy was growing as an artist. It just wasn't the Pumpkins sound. MACHINA was such a great album that, honestly, if the Pumpkins were going to leave, that was the perfect high. Billy's songs and the band's sound have never been better. Yet, with "Oceania," the maturity displayed on MACHINA is taken a step further, even if the songs aren't as good. After the first two songs remind us all of the band we've loved for 2 decades, the rest of the album introduces us to the latest incarnation of the Pumpkins with gems like, "Violet Rays" and "One Diamond, One Heart." Peppered amongst synths, acoustic guitars and the clearest vocals I've ever heard from Billy, the mood is well-set and pleasant to experience.

    "Pinwheels," which seems to be a favorite among others, didn't excite me. Musically it is certainly unusual, but for some reason it came across as unusual for the sake of being unusual, a rare less-than-authentic moment for Billy, at least in my opinion. Still, it fit well within the context of the album, even with its Billy Duffy-sounding crunch. There is something about 2:30 musically schizophrenic opening to a 5:30 song that lost me.

    Halfway through, there are 9 minutes of perfectly-produced concept rock that merged the first and second halves of "Oceania," reminding me a bit of Pink Floyd. This carries the listener through symphonically-structured, rhythm-driven, fret-sliding anthems like "The Chimera," "Glissandra," and "Inkless," typical of the Pumpkins, before wrapping up with a slower, New Order-vibe synth track, "Wildflower." While not as overall satisfying as "MACHINA," "Oceania" is a breath of fresh air and a welcome return for the Pumpkins.
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  31. pdf
    Jun 19, 2012
    9
    Thematically and sonically alive album from the 'new' Pumpkins. I was on the fence about purchasing it, but I'm glad I did because it contains some of Corgan's best work in a long time. He's still a douchebag, but thank God he put something out as pretty and fairly dynamic as "Oceania" so at least we know he still has some creativity left.
  32. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    This album is very good when looking at it individually. The problem with the people giving this poor scores is they are comparing it to old Pumpkins. The album may not be incredible the first time, but after multiple listens it is better than most alt-rockish things that are put out today. It is the best thing Billy has done since Adore, which some people may not like because Adore wasn't "classic Pumpkins". The album is a solid mix of Siamese Dream and Mary Star of the Sea (when he did Zwan, once again another album that some people didn't like though it was very good in its own right). Long story short, if you don't compare it to the 90's, you will really enjoy it, well worth the time. Expand
  33. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    This album is pretty damn solid. It isn't "Siamese Dream 2", but that's not a bad thing. The Pumpkins have never been ones to cover the same ground twice. In Oceania, they mix some of the old flavor into new areas. "Inkless" probably does it best. "The Chimera" is a fusion of old Pumpkins rock and a bit of Zwan. "One Diamond, One Heart" is a song you never would have heard on another Pumpkins album, but it fits in well and is actually really good listen. It's a lot more solid than "Zeitgeist" and deserves a place in the Pumpkins catalog. Expand
  34. 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. Expand
  35. 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
  36. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    I was nervous about this album. Prior to this, we had The Future Embrace, Zeitgeist, and a handful of some of SP's least likable songs to date in the form of free digital singles. However, I'm proud to say that this album has exceeded my expectations and sits proudly amongst Billy's peak work. It seemingly combines all phases of the Pumpkins work - the grandiosity of Mellon Collie, the ambiance and mellow pop of Adore, the bombastic bliss of Siamese Dream - and condenses them into a fluid, consistent album. Unfortunately, I think it gets a little dull around the mid-way point (One Diamond One Heart is the only misstep here, while Pinwheels, Oceania and Pale Horse, nice songs as they are, are unfortunately sequenced). Aside from that, this album provides the diversity, musical prowess, and earnest songwriting of Billy at his best. Lots of people have given up hope on SP and won't pay attention to this release, which is too bad. It is easily his best since Adore. Expand
  37. 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 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! Expand
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.