Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. Overall, Corgan's captivating effort to mine both the spirit of these turbulent times and the soul of his defining band is a smashing success.
  2. The sort of vocal layering Freddy Mercury would be proud of, chord progressions that convey triumph as often as they do disenchantment, and the use of marimbas and orchestras (and is that a gong in “Pomp and Circumstance”?) all indicate a willingness to go beyond the formula even as they spend most of their time sticking to it like glue.
  3. Thanks in part to the presence of Pantera producer Terry Date, this is the Pumpkins' hardest-rocking record ever.
  4. 80
    Zeitgeist comes on with a vicious energy, a jugular-grabbing intensity.
  5. The best thing about Zeitgeist is that Corgan is back to what he does best: hard-rock architecture.
  6. If you're nostalgic for the '90s, Zeitgeist is like curling up with a warm Marshall stack.
  7. While not enough to stand among the best the Pumpkins have to offer, Zeigeist nonetheless stands fairly well on it's own
  8. The album is surprisingly effective in musical terms: drone-laden and distortion-jacked, it sounds about as tough as anything this band has produced.
  9. 70
    In the end, this is a loud, almost triumphant statement .
  10. 60
    Zeitgeist’s orgy of avalanche rhythms, cascading riffs and sky-licking guitar is as grandiose as ever (the solo on "Tarantula" sounds like a nuke hitting a Guitar Center), but the bombast is softened as Corgan reaches out for shame-sharing community.
  11. Zeitgeist may not boast any platinum-plated singles of the kind that typified their peak, but it's mercifully far less flatulent than latter-day Pumpkins.
  12. Zeitgeist ends up sounding like a Corgan career retrospective in B-side form.
  13. Zeitgeist isn't a good record, but it is good work.
  14. It's best treated as a curio in the Smashing Pumpkins' legacy; and for those who grew up on 'Today', '1979' and 'Ava Adore', you're better left with your memories.
  15. Zeitgeist sounds like a watered-down version of the best bits from Mellon Collie…, meaning it just ends up being too similar to Machina… for its own good.
  16. It's still a mess, though an ambitious and grandiose one.
  17. The best you can offer is that it’s not a disaster – now do you want to tell Billy or should I?
  18. Under The Radar
    50
    Zeitgeist fails to capture not just the spirit of the cultural times, but of the true Smashing Pumpkins. [Summer 2007, p.84]
  19. A record which stares back at you with the appeal of an ex you'd rather not have bumped into.
  20. Far more aggressive than any other record in their catalog - perhaps a preemptive response to charges of getting old and mellow. Unfortunately, that leaves the record rather homogenous.
  21. 44
    Zeitgeist is mostly a grinding, straightforward affair that demonstrates none of the innovation and vision of the band’s previous efforts.
  22. If you remember the unconsciously naff hilarity of late-period Suede, you will recognise that there's some fun to be had from Zeitgeist, albeit in small quantities.
  23. Corgan repeatedly buries his threadbare melodies beneath squeals of guitar that are too processed to either soar or sear. More than anything, it's this digitally dulled sound that saps Zeitgeist from any impact it may have.
  24. Zeitgeist is the Pumpkins' most aggressively metal album to date. But heaps of guitars, vocal overdubs, and ridiculous effects don't mask a lack of inventiveness or even plain ol' quality songwriting.
  25. This is no-frills rawk that's been dumbed down for mass consumption.
  26. It’s all just too "over-" - overcooked, overheated, whatever you want to call it.
  27. And the mixing problems extend far beyond Corgan’s voice. The Band of a Hundred Murderous Guitars has turned into a modern-radio-rock band.
  28. The title of the Smashing Pumpkins' new album seems like wishful thinking. So does the music, for that matter
  29. This record is easily on par with Corgan's solo record as one of the worst things he has ever done.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 300 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 300
  1. robg.
    Jul 16, 2007
    9
    As a fan since 1994, i'm thoroughly happy. The band is growing and evolving unlike the majority of their peers. Still able to create As a fan since 1994, i'm thoroughly happy. The band is growing and evolving unlike the majority of their peers. Still able to create albums unique from the others that are prevalent and relevant Full Review »
  2. May 15, 2012
    8
    The first post Smashing Pumpkins, Smashing Pumpkins album. This got a very lukewarm reaction from both critics and fans but I think it's aThe first post Smashing Pumpkins, Smashing Pumpkins album. This got a very lukewarm reaction from both critics and fans but I think it's a really strong album. For me it's the 5th most enjoyable SP record but I would class the 4 I rate above it as some of the greatest rock albums of all time. Yes it's self-indulgent in parts and the production definitely leaves something to be desired. There are a few ordinary (Neverlost and Pomp and Circumstances spring to mind immediately) tracks on here that fail to add any value to the album but when you get down to it, more than half of the songs on the record are excellent. The musicianmanship from Corgan and Chamberlain is outstanding. There are a couple of tracks that came out as after Zeitgeist but around the same time that could have replaced the weaker tracks and pushed this record up a notch. Will be interesting to see what it's follow up Oceania will be like due out this year. Especially without the drum sound of Jimmy Chamberlain. Full Review »
  3. Jun 6, 2011
    5
    good enough album... doesnt reach the levels of smashing pumpkins... not even the same ball park... it sounds like a better zwan album...good enough album... doesnt reach the levels of smashing pumpkins... not even the same ball park... it sounds like a better zwan album... where is all the shoegazing? the loads of guitars? the sweet innocent lyrics? the whispering lulluby voice? or for that matter - the screeching voice (rat tat tat.... kaaaabooom!)
    this is not the smashing pumpkins... it's a good band.. but not as good as the smashing pumpkins.
    after all that is said... i like it.. it's nice.. but ill take any other smashing album any time
    Full Review »