Average User Score: 7.9Jun 19, 2012The 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.… Expand