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Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist - 7/7/07

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Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist - 7/7/07

Old 07-09-07, 11:47 AM
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NME disagrees

Review

"Let there be no doubt, without guitarist James Iha and either bassists D'Arcy Wretzky or Melissa Auf Der Maur this is a Smashing Pumpkins record in name alone. More realistically, this is a Billy Corgan record, and that's never a great idea.

Granted, in the Pumpkins, he was The Decider. Ever the little studio Hitler, during their golden period in the mid-'90s when he rivalled Kurt Cobain as the king of slackerdom, there were rumours he'd push band members from their stools to record tracks himself were they ever to so much as hiccup a chord. But however the chemistry was mixed, however the dynamic was achieved - be it through in-fighting over drug use and direction, or simply the irritation Corgan felt when D'Arcy ate the last yoghurt in the studio canteen - there's scant evidence here of the full magic the Pumpkins once wrought."
Old 07-09-07, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TripWire
NME disagrees

Review

"Let there be no doubt, without guitarist James Iha and either bassists D'Arcy Wretzky or Melissa Auf Der Maur this is a Smashing Pumpkins record in name alone. More realistically, this is a Billy Corgan record, and that's never a great idea.

Granted, in the Pumpkins, he was The Decider. Ever the little studio Hitler, during their golden period in the mid-'90s when he rivalled Kurt Cobain as the king of slackerdom, there were rumours he'd push band members from their stools to record tracks himself were they ever to so much as hiccup a chord. But however the chemistry was mixed, however the dynamic was achieved - be it through in-fighting over drug use and direction, or simply the irritation Corgan felt when D'Arcy ate the last yoghurt in the studio canteen - there's scant evidence here of the full magic the Pumpkins once wrought."
So NME's rationale is that they somehow influenced Corgan into writing the seminal SD and MCIS. Considering that many of SD's songs were written while Billy was dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide, I find that hard to believe.

To be sure, Zeitgeist is no SD or MCIS. But it's a good record in the vein of SP, much more so that Billy's solo record or Zwan was.
Old 07-09-07, 12:13 PM
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4.9 on Pitchfork (doesn't surprise me)

"Of course, nobody wants progression from the Smashing Pumpkins, that's the whole point of manufacturing this reunion in the first place. In that sense, Zeitgeist is interesting as a demonstration that the artist himself is usually not be the best person to play historian for his own career. Given the chance to revisit the good old days, Corgan has unearthed only a portion of the Pumpkins character-- and while that portion is meticulously revived, all the parts left behind remain sorely missed. In the end, it's the one-dimensional approach, not the lack of half the original members, that leaves Smashing Pumpkins Mk. II a cardboard cutout of the real thing-- not the empty ATM-reunion it could have been, but still a ghost of the old band."


I'm rather enjoying the record, it's a hell of a lot better than Machina was...
as far as Darcy or James influencing Corgan, you can't totally deny it. Having those people around you all the time giving you some kind of creative input..I am sure they communicated with Corgan more about songs than the current replacements. I'm not saying Darcy or James helped write the songs or recorded them, but maybe they did help bring a better songwriter out of Corgan somehow. I'm sure some of his frustration was with his personal relationships with the band itself, now there are really no personal relations except with Jimmy of course.

I do not think that they make or break Smashing Pumpkins though, and this album proves that.

Last edited by TripWire; 07-09-07 at 01:06 PM.
Old 07-09-07, 01:23 PM
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A 4.9, from a review that sounds like its around a 6.8

From pitchfork, who is not suprised by that crap site
Old 07-09-07, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by superdeluxe
From pitchfork, who is not suprised by that crap site
Whether or not I agree with them aside, objectively, I think they have some of the best thought-out music criticism around, which I guess isn't saying much, but still.
Old 07-09-07, 02:04 PM
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The Washington Post' Sunday Source gave it a letter rating of: D

but they always rate CD/DVD's really low, they rarely rave about anything... (snobs).
Old 07-09-07, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Here's this ridiculous opinion again.

Guess what, SP is Billy Corgan. It's not even debatable. He wrote every song pre-Gish, Gish, SD. There is ONE non-BC song on MCIS, and that disc has 30 songs. Every song on Adore, every song on Machina. He recorded practically every guitar and bass track on all the albums. Wrote and sang all the lyrics. If he could play drums, he probably would have done it.

I don't give two squirts of piss whether you buy the album or not, but to think that James and D'arcy are anything more than hired stage hands is an uninformed, wrong opinion. Feel free to miss out on a great Pumpkins record, because I really doubt you ever a true fan in the first place.

Then why tag along the name Smashing Pumpkins instead of just releasing another Zwan album? Because clearly there is a bunch of idiots out there that only care about having SP slapped across the CD anyways. He's complained and whined enough about getting his band back together and in the long run doesn't.. yeah, that's not a reunion billy.

I don't give two piss of squirt if you care if I buy it or not. Then again, you're the one taking the time to respond with such message to my opinion. Feel free to miss out on a great pumpkin's record? Which one is the greatest? The best buy version? the Target version? The slightly more exclusive than the other but not so much more exclusive secret uber rare ikea exclusive? This marketing ploy is total shit and it only encourages piracy in albums if you want to get the full thing. So perhaps I will get the full album by simply downloading it. Hell, Corgan in the past was all for that. I'm sure his record label may not enjoy such activities by the masses but hell, what options have they given? It's just begging to be pirated.

Anyway, before the last song they played at Live Earth, Corgan made some awkward comments about not downloading their music. It was weird because he sounded serious but then he was just like "hehe just kidding" but...it wasn't funny. So I suppose I'll just get the ENTIRE tracks from downloading them illegally and making my own CD which will be a complete copy of what the album should be.

This is equal to having Stephen King write a book but you could only read chapter 7 in the boarders exclusive version and chapter 9 in the Barnes and Noble version. If you think that is ok then I really would like to question your sanity.

In the long run, without the two members of the band I believe the technical term for this action is "Pulling an Axl"
Old 07-09-07, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
This is equal to having Stephen King write a book but you could only read chapter 7 in the boarders exclusive version and chapter 9 in the Barnes and Noble version. If you think that is ok then I really would like to question your sanity.
This is a horrible analogy. There are 3 b-sides to this album. If you buy it at certain stores you are getting these b-sides for free. You could also buy the CD singles and get them.

It's not a case of taking things off the album to spite you, it's a case of adding bonus material. To not buy 1 copy of the album because you aren't getting every possible song for free is ridiculous. If you want to grab the other 2 off the internet, I can see that, but to say you are going to steal the whole thing because you want more freebies is an illogical argument.
Old 07-09-07, 03:09 PM
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yeah I think for the most part...buying the album and just downloading the extras is legitimate enough for me

You also gotta remember this is Pumpkins on a different label now (Reprise) instead of Virgin, maybe a trade off of complete creative control for the sake of the label selling the album however the hell they want to. I doubt Corgan has the same clout with labels as he once had.

Last edited by TripWire; 07-09-07 at 03:13 PM.
Old 07-09-07, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
This is equal to having Stephen King write a book but you could only read chapter 7 in the boarders exclusive version and chapter 9 in the Barnes and Noble version. If you think that is ok then I really would like to question your sanity.
Your incorrect analogy is giving me cancer.

If I gave a class in analogies, yours would get an F+.
Old 07-09-07, 04:00 PM
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I take pride in having terrible analogies.
Old 07-09-07, 04:14 PM
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But 2 of the 3 bonus tracks aren't even placed at the end of the album where bonus tracks belong. Sticking them smack dab in the middle of the tracklisting in a way suggests that the songs were intended to be there. To me, this is pretty disrespectful to the artists who created a specific product that the record company has taken and turned into a huge gimmick. The album, at 12 tracks as it was intended, is only left in tact if you buy it at smaller music stores. The Target version maintains the proper tracklisting with the bonus track put after. This version still doesn't have the original cover art but that's a different story.

Bands generally only put out a handful of albums in their career but these few albums are what defines the band. It would be nice if the record company could at least make this chapter of the Pumpkins career available as the band wanted it to be instead of simultaneously screwing the fans and the artists intentions.
Old 07-09-07, 04:29 PM
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So gone are the days when you can say "Hey, put on track 9, that song is rocking!" and have it actually not be followed by "Track 9 on the best buy exclusive or track 9 on the CVS exclusive CD?"

The chapter analogy does fit to some degree there. It effects the CD from being a universal standard among all CDs. Shit, the title track zietgeist can only be attained by buying one of the exclusives. Yeah, so was the case for Siamese Dream but still seems rather silly to change up the track listings based on which exclusive store you buy.
Old 07-09-07, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
Shit, the title track zietgeist can only be attained by buying one of the exclusives. Yeah, so was the case for Siamese Dream but still seems rather silly to change up the track listings based on which exclusive store you buy.
That's a bad example. Hardly any of SP's song titles are actually in the songs themselves. There's no "Gish". Infinite Sadness was a b-side. There's no "Adore", nor "Machina".

Also, I didn't hear any "story" to the album like on SD or MCIS. I think this is more a collection of songs than an album, so the order is irrelevant.
Old 07-09-07, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Also, I didn't hear any "story" to the album like on SD or MCIS. I think this is more a collection of songs than an album, so the order is irrelevant.
Now that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Tracklisting plays a significant part in how an album is heard and appreciated.
Old 07-09-07, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by auto
Now that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Tracklisting plays a significant part in how an album is heard and appreciated.
You misread my quote. I agree with you 100%. But this album does not seem to have any rhyme or reason to the track order, save for perhaps the last track. I could be wrong, I've only listened to the album 4-5 times so far. Feel free to post why you think the order makes sense.
Old 07-09-07, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Feel free to post why you think the order makes sense.
Because that's the order the artist intended them to be in. This isn't some studio made greatest hits album where the artist has little to no input. It's the new Smashing Pumpkins record and Billy Corgan is obviously involved heavily in all aspects of it including the order of the songs and which songs should and shouldn't be included. In an era when many people just pick a few of their favorite songs and put their iPod on shuffle, I can understand why it's not important to everyone. To some of us, it is though.
Old 07-09-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
You misread my quote. I agree with you 100%. But this album does not seem to have any rhyme or reason to the track order, save for perhaps the last track. I could be wrong, I've only listened to the album 4-5 times so far. Feel free to post why you think the order makes sense.
I have not heard the album yet so I can't post to that. My point is that tracklisting almost always makes a difference in the flow of an album. For instance, you wouldn't have four ballads in a row and then 8 straight rock songs. You may be right about this album but hopefully there was some thought behind the sequencing.
Old 07-09-07, 11:10 PM
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so wait, have you actually listened to the album in full?
Old 07-09-07, 11:43 PM
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Josh,

Ya gotta stop bashing people's opinions about this, man. What relevance a band's music, name, or just existence is to each his or her own.

I'm with ya in fully realizing this band has pretty much ALWAYS been Corgan, but to me, a SP reunion, reclamation or whatever is irrelevant & laughable with 1/2 of the original band even being interested. Dude, D'arcy & James sang on previous records. James Iha made a decent solo album (not my cup of tea, though), so to dismiss them as an irrelevant part of SP and ridicule those who disagree is way too harsh. I'd take D'arcy's replacement even.

It's obvious to me that Corgan realized he was becoming irrelevant and decided to call himself The Smashing Pumpkins again and try to make music that was so muscular he would become relevant again. I think this sludge will only alienate those who appreciated SP's music rather than the internet fanboy hysteria. SP is long gone.

You're entitled to your opinion, as we all are. Let's discuss the why's and why not's.

Finally, and totally objectively, I think this album is incredibly boring. I like "Doomsday Clock" and "Tarantula" but overall, it's totally desperate sounding & nowhere near as fun, dramatic or imaginative as any previous SP release.

2/5 in my opinion

Last edited by Hollowgen; 07-09-07 at 11:45 PM.
Old 07-10-07, 05:27 PM
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ok as the proud owner of 4 copies (limited edtion, best buy, target, itunes)... I have to admit I love it...

the reason I'm posting now... did anyone that ordered theirs from Itunes actually get the presale password as promised yet?! the tickets go on sale this thursday!!!
Old 07-10-07, 07:15 PM
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Damn!
Old 07-10-07, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bearkiss
ok as the proud owner of 4 copies (limited edtion, best buy, target, itunes)... I have to admit I love it...
Much like my friend I don't think there's anyway you would dislike it. If you already convinced yourself that the SP are so great that you have to go out and buy 4 copies of the album, then I think you're predisposed to "love" the album. Similarly, if I forwarded any of the negative comments from here on they would likely be rebuked with criticism.

I've only heard a few tracks off it and I've really only like Tarantula. However, it also feels like two songs slapped together, so it's certainly not the best SP song I've heard.

I was going to grab a copy myself, but I won't support a band (or record label. Whoever is to blame really...) that promotes 4 different copies of a album that is fundamentaly different from the others. It's one thing to add in a bonus poster or instert to get people to buy, but here they have gone too far in my opinion. It'd be like selling a dvd with different special features on the packaged discs (not some bonus disc).
Old 07-10-07, 08:07 PM
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Here are my opinions after listening to the album (Target version) a couple times:

I really like the sound of it - the heaviness, with the piercing over-driven guitars and the way they stay consistent to that sound while still mixing it up within each song makes it a fun listen. However, the songwriting just isn't there - these are probably the weakest batch of songs on a Pumpkin's record. They're not bad songs, there's just nothing special or even interesting about them.
Old 07-10-07, 08:37 PM
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The first song is good, but then songs 2, 3, and 4 just drag it down. I picks up again with song 5 and it good from there on out.

I bought the BB version and the bonus song, Death From Above, sucks.

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