Waking Up From The Siamese Dream
Following The Smashing Pumpkinsâ€šÃ„Ã´ 2000 breakup Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin each took up several solo projects and quasi-reunion band Zwan, but nothing ever compared to their work together in one of the greatest alternative rock groups of the 1990s. Zeitgeist delivers that which Smashing Pumpkins fans expect from the band on certain levels but it falls short on others.Billy Corganâ€šÃ„Ã´s guitar still sounds larger than life. He thankfully did not forego his finely-tuned process of recording a veritable orchestra of guitar tracks for just one song. Jimmy Chamberlin hasnâ€šÃ„Ã´t lost his touch either. His tom-heavy drum work sounds more like a drum line than just one man, although stylistically his fills are becoming somewhat homogenous. This technical mastery on Zeitgeist should come as no surprise, however itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the songwriting ability that has faded over time.
ame The 1990s were a fairly mellow time for world affairs. Instead of war there was peace and prosperity, so a lot of music of that time was introspective and personal to the musicians who wrote it. Now, it seems a lot of artists feel as though they should take on the worldâ€šÃ„Ã´s problems instead of their own. Billy Corgan is one of those artists.
ame People could get behind him when he cried â€šÃ„ÃºIntoxicated / With the madness / Iâ€šÃ„Ã´m in love with / My sadnessâ€šÃ„Ã¹ on â€šÃ„ÃºZero,â€šÃ„Ã¹ or â€šÃ„ÃºI still believe that I cannot be savedâ€šÃ„Ã¹ on â€šÃ„ÃºBullet with Butterfly Wings.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Not as many people might similarly identify with another version of Green Dayâ€šÃ„Ã´s American Idiot, which is what Zeitgeist pretends to be.
ame Even given that punk-rock opera blueprint, Corganâ€šÃ„Ã´s lyrics are ambiguous, thin, and sometimes close to contradictory. On â€šÃ„ÃºUnited Statesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ he first asks â€šÃ„ÃºI donâ€šÃ„Ã´t know what I believe / But if I feel safe what do I need?â€šÃ„Ã¹ followed closely by â€šÃ„ÃºRevolution, revolution, revolution blues / What will they do to me?â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºFor God and Countryâ€šÃ„Ã¹ finds him preaching: â€šÃ„ÃºIt’s too late for song, it’s too late for everyone / I can’t help what I destroy in you / For God and country, I’ll fight / For God and country, I’ll die.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Corgan should have risen above this, stuck to his own feelings, and left the worldâ€šÃ„Ã´s problems to all the other war-protesting rockers.
ame Original Smashing Pumpkins bassist Dâ€šÃ„Ã´arcy Wretzky and guitarist James Iha opted out of the reunion for one reason or another. Perhaps they knew the inevitable truth: The Smashing Pumpkins will never regain the glory that burned so bright in the last decade. For some people, Zeitgeist may be worth getting just because Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin wrote and recorded it together. No one should buy Zeitgeist expecting another Siamese Dream.