The Smashing Pumpkins
Machina/The Machines of God

by Joe Sarrach
March 6, 2000

File Under: Melodic Rock
rating: 4.7 out of 5

1. The Everlasting Gaze

2. Raindrops And Sunshowers

3. Stand Inside Your Love

4. I Of The Morning

5. The Sacred And Profane

6. Try Try Try

7. Heavy Metal Machine

8. This Time

9. The Imploding Voice

10. Glass & The Ghost Children

11. Wound 

12. The Crying Tree Of Mercury

13. With Every Light

14. Blue Skies Bring Tears

15. Age Of Innocence

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  • Numerous long time fans have been patiently awaiting the release of Machina/The Machines of God for a number of reasons. One being that there has been much hype around the band supposedly "getting back to the basics" style of rock nostalgic of their 1994 release Siamese Dream. (The best melodic rock album of all time). I was a bit incredulous of this because Billy Corgan, the Pumpkin's front man, has never been known to look back and do what's already been done. He is one to always attack the limits of rock, and explore instrumentation.

    The Everlasting Gaze, the leading radio single emancipated from Machina/The Machines of God is in no way reflective to the rest of this album. It is a very good hard rock song, bordering on sonorous metal, but the rest of the album is melodic rock on a more sedate level, with the exception being the aptly titled Heavy Metal Machine . Heavy Metal Machine closely follows the structure of The Everlasting Gaze in the fact that the verse is driven, and the chorus features a beautifully flowing, Corgan patented "semi-whisper". Almost euphoric. Moreover, that brings me to their succeeding radio single release, Stand Inside Your Love. Why they released two radio singles, and two videos, before the record even came out is beyond me, but this was an obvious next choice, and for good reason. Stand Inside Your Love is one of those songs you can close your eyes to and catch the chills. This is the epitome of pop-rock love songs, bar 80's hair bands of course.

    One conspicuous contrariety on this album is the lyric structure. There is a theme of repetition. Being used to entire songs where Billy would not repeat a single word, this was a bit odd to me, but it only added to the catchiness of the songs. My only real quirk with this release is the use (or over use) of effects and synth. It seems they just barely crossed the line of dispassionateness in this area. I also wished for at least one acoustic song, which was halfway granted with Wound . It is an amazingly written song that goes from acoustic to electric in a mid paced pop sense. You can almost dance to it. I think lyrics such as, "if you run, I will run... to my last breath", call for a slower paced acoustic song. Lets hope for a recorded acoustic set with that song, it would be grand.

    So, did they get back to the Siamese Dream era style that we all have come to know and love? In three words... Yes and No. It is definiatly more intense than Adore , the Pumpkins' last major release that had a lot of the old school fans wondering where the "rock" went. One reason for this is the reappearance of Jimmy Chamberlin, the Pumpkin's original drummer, who was absent during the Adore era. He definitely helped pick up the pace with his magical style. However, I cannot help but think that this record is simply Billy giving a piece of himself to his fans. One second I see hints of Adore, the next of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness as well as Siamese Dream. (Sorry, but Gish is no where to be found.) Nevertheless, there is definitely something on Machina/The Machines of God for everyone... and it was pulled off with a terrific pop appeal. Look for a minimum of four radio singles to do well, because this album has at least eight candidates. This very well may be the Pumpkin's biggest commercial success yet. Lets not hope it's their last.

    P.S. - If you haven't heard yet, Melissa Auf Der Maur (ex Hole) is now the Pumpkins' new bassist… and she's got Rock and Roll eyes.

    Joe Sarrach is a sexy (single) staff writer. Contact him at .

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