Oceania is a full length album within an album to make up a chunk of the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, 44 tracks released online for free. Except Oceania of course, that breaks out into the world of physical music, something Billy Corgan was against just a few years back. How times change when your band is fizzing away into nothingness.
Oceania is a comeback. It dips into a mixture of past sounds, from Siamese Dream to Machina, but it doesn’t rely on past glories. It is the natural development of the bands sound and when you get Billy’s poetry mixed with the dream like synth and guitar solos, everything is in its right place. You can almost picture the turquoise sky and rounded tower on the cover as you take it all in. It’s all rather soft and mellow, never dipping into the raw adrenaline soaked tracks such as ‘Zero’ and ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ and it is disappointing when the music soars high then falls back down just when you think things are going to get livelier. But this isn’t a humdrum selection of tired soulless music as seen in Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way, everything here leaves an impression. And you can’t do that without heart and soul. The likes of ‘Pale Horse’, Panopticon’, ‘Oceania’ and ‘Inkless’ drive the album, a gathering of classic sounds, melancholy lyrics and the fresh feeling of the present. An album within an album which is better than the album which contains this album. My poor brain.
Oceania doesn’t break new ground, but it affirms that The Smashing Pumpkins aren’t ready to go away just yet. They are no longer that person you’ve stopped inviting to your parties but they still turn up anyway.
An album to listen to when you’ve made a list of all your good points and are preparing to apply them for the future.