Album Review: The Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 (Napalm Records)

After years of hinting at a reunion The Smashing Pumpkins are back in full force with a brand new album titled Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. The band, led by Billy Corgan also sees original member, James Iha return on guitars with Jimmy Chamberlin on drums and Jeff Schroeder on keys.

The new album is out now via Napalm Records.

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It’s hard to get really excited about The Smashing Pumpkins in 2018. It seems as though they’ve tried and failed to capture the magic of 1995’s million-selling opus Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness time and time again. For example, the less said about Adore, the better.

Still, it is 2018 and we have a new record. The question is does it fit? Does it capture any of the old Pumpkins spirit? The answer is both yes and no. Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol 1 is a decent record, a decent Smashing Pumpkins record albeit one with flaws that are hard to ignore.

It’s begins well enough with the infectious pop melodies and string use of Knights of Malta. It’s not the Pumpkins of old but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. As does Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts) which has all the indie-rock vibes of classic Pumpkins alongside a big chorus. As an opening pair, fans will be fairly satisfied from the start but that will be short-lived.

Travels is extremely bland radio rock while both Alienation and With Sympathy really fails to spark any kind of deeper feeling then ‘meh’. Both are extremely forgettable and even though Seek and You Shall Destroy is a worthy finale, chances are many will have checked out before it even gets going.

Remove the decent Solara with its hefty groove, Marchin’ On’s tight riffs and this album would be in real trouble. Thankfully on this eight track album, at least half of it holds up well enough to make it a worthy listen.

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The Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun Full Track Listing:

1. Knights of Malta
2. Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)
3. Travels
4. Solara
5. Alienation
6. Marchin’ On
7. With Sympathy
8. Seek and You Shall Destroy

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The Smashing Pumpkins - Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1 (Napalm Records)
  • 5.5/10
    The Final Score - 5.5/10
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