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Music Review: Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist

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The Pumpkins are back! The Pumpkins are back! After nearly a decade apart, the Smashing Pumpkins have reunited to bring us Zeitgeist, arguably their best album since 1995's double-disc masterpiece Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

It was hard to get too excited over Zeitgeist. I loved the Pumpkins' earlier discs, but couldn't get into Adore or Machina. But Zeitgeist is a return to the melodic rock n' roll of Siamese Dream. The songs here are energetic, yet not exhausting. Billy isn't trying too hard on his vocals (or, as my husband describes it, "He isn't fucking up the vocals on purpose"). Harmonies are also abound, both vocally and musically.

"Doomsday Clock," the opening track to the disc, gives a good representation of what to expect from this CD. Billy's vocals are especially sophisticated and restrained on this track. Other stand-outs include: "Bring the Light," one of the softer songs on a disc with nary a ballad in earshot; "Pomp and Circumstances," which is reminiscent of some of Melon Collie's more ethereal tracks; "Tarantula," the disc's first single with its strong guitar riffs and energetic drums; and the straight-forward rock of "Starz."

Zeitgeist is everything you want in a Smashing Pumpkins CD: great melodies, great harmonies, great vocals. It's rockin' enough to keep a party lively, but not grating or headache-inducing. Zeitgeist proves that reunited bands are not a necessarily a bad thing.

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