The Smashing Pumpkins' latest album, Zeitgeist, was released last week after a 6 year hiatus. I've had it for more than 2 weeks now and while it isn't vintage 1996 Smashing Pumpkins, it is a good album nonetheless. Having thought that Billy Corgan's The Future Embrace solo album was a real stinker, Zeitgeist has some tunes the ear can enjoy.
The popular singles, Doomsday Clock and Tarantula seem to be more in line with what most SP fans come to enjoy. The other tracks on the album take a couple of times of listening to catch, while at least one, Pomp and Circumstance seem to have leaked on from The Future Embrace. The biggest problem I have with that track is its extreme use of over-synthesized instrumental sounds. Of course I'm not the artist at the mic, but I think Pomp would have been so much better as a real orchestral piece instead of an overworked artificial sounding one.
I think my favorite track, Bring The Light, really seems to get the most energy and intent from Corgan on an album that at times seems a little contrived. (Come On) Let's Go is pretty catchy too.
While being somewhat politically charged, I don't think that the Smashing Pumpkins are taking a particular side that many Bush-Bashing Entertainers seem to be taking. In this offering Billy seems to be expressing frustration and concern over the political atmosphere, but there seems to be a great optimism in his outlook on the future.
The only real disappointment is the absence of the track Gossamer that seems to be quite popular on their current tour*. While weighing in at over 20 minutes, the song is quite mesmerizing in its chord progressions and would more than adequately fit on *Zeitgeist's paltry 52 minute length.
Overall Zeitgeist is an album worthy of every SP fan and has some tracks that could attract new followers to my all time favorite band. Despite some of its shortcomings, I would definitely pick this album up.