Smashing Pumpkins - Shiny And Oh So Bright - Vol. 1 (Vinyl)

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Formed in Chicago, IL in 1988, The Smashing Pumpkins released their heralded debut album Gish in 1991 and found mainstream success with 1993's 4x multi-platinum Siamese Dream and 1995's 10x multi-platinum Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Following the release of Adore, Machina/The Machines of God, and Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, the group's original lineup disbanded in 2000. Singer/guitarist Billy Corgan reformed the group in 2005, enlisting various collaborators for Zeitgeist, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, Oceania, and Monuments to an Elegy. In June of 2018, The Smashing Pumpkins released their new single "Solara" ahead of their monumental Shiny And Oh So Bright Tour. The track was the first song in over 18 years to feature founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin, alongside longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder and offered the first glimpse of music from the newly reformed lineup. In September of 2018, the band formally announced their forthcoming 10th studio album SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT, VOL.1: NO PAST. NO FUTURE. NO SUN. and shared its second single "Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)". Recorded at Shangri La Studios with legendary producer Rick Rubin, LP is due for release on November 16th, 2018 via Martha's Music under license to Napalm Records. With over 30 million albums sold to date, the GRAMMYR, MTV VMA, and American Music Award winning band remains one of the most influential bands in history.


This is a solid album throughout, and it feels like a bit of a return to form for Smashing Pumpkins. The songs are well-crafted and reminiscent of their '90s work. The music is grandiose without being too over-the-top. The strings and backing vocals on "Knights of Malta" are beautiful, and the build-up and guitar solo on "Alienation" are done just right. Those are definitely my two highlights off the album.

The harder tracks ("Solara", "Marchin' On", "Seek And You Shall Destroy") were a bit more difficult for me to get into, but all it took was time. I don't often focus on drums much (there's usually not a ton to focus on), but the drumming on this record really stands out to me. The brief drum solo on "Solara" (and the drumming throughout that song) really showcase Jimmy Chamberlin's technical skill; on the rest of the album, he does well to balance this with his expertise at knowing when to back off a bit. The lead-ins for the choruses on "Knights of Malta" serve as a perfect transition, adding so much to the rest of the song without overtaking it.

All in all, I'm pleased with this return from the band, with their almost-original lineup. What a shame that D'arcy couldn't be a part of this.

By: AlexDuncan

A1 Knights Of Malta
A2 Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts)
A3 Travels
A4 Solara
B1 Alienation
B2 Marchin' On
B3 With Sympathy
B4 Seek And You Shall Destroy


Gatefold sleeve
Lyric book
Code to download the digital album