I am honoured. I have been badgering Darren for a while to get on and write down his thoughts on Billy and his gang’s latest offering, but with him being such a busy boy, he has asked me to do it.
I will be the first to admit that I have never been the Pumpkins’ biggest fan. Certain tracks from their past such as “Tonight, Tonight” from the Mellon Collie album and “Siva” from Gish have piqued my interest but it has never really led to a lasting relationship in the way it has with other bands.
But times they are a changing. Here on MTV in the US of A, in between constant re-runs of “My Super Sweet Sixteen” and “Pimp My Ride”, they find time to show an occasional video or two and there it was… the loudest and most brightly coloured offering I had seen in many a long day. I turned it up loud and it sounded even better. The track was “Tarantula”, the first single from “Zeitgeist”. Knowing Darren’s enjoyment of all things Pumpkins, and with a desire to hear more I blew an entire $10 (that’s five quid to you) on the CD. That was about a month ago and the album is rarely out of the CD player.
The opening track, “Doomsday Clock” sets the mood for much that follows. Both forceful and aggressive, it is a wall of noise that only Billy Corgan could produce. There are several stand out tracks, from the dark and moody “Bleeding the Orchid” through the single “Tarantula” to a track which Darren and I disagree about. “United States” lasts a full 9 minutes and 52 seconds. Darren says and I quote, “It is too long and self indulgent”. I on the other hand, am slightly older and was brought up on long and over indulgent stuff. “Stairway to Heaven” and “Freebird” spring immediately to mind. Thank you Billy for resurrecting an art form… the 10 minute album track. I also enjoy the surpisingly cheerful “(Come On) Let’s Go!”
My award for indulgent track goes to “Pomp and Circumstances” which feels slightly out of place. Listen to the album… you’ll see what I mean. The US version of the CD gets a title track, the acoustic “Zeitgeist” which for some reason is omitted from the UK version. Fret not, you didn’t miss much.
So, in conclusion, a splendid offering, best listened to either on your own in the car or on the iPod. The reason for this, for maximum listening pleasure, I recommend turning up the volume, very, very LOUD.