Smashing Pumpkins fans can't help but be giddy about the band's first release since 2000. Let's just hope they don't blow it with Bush, Bush and more Bush.
The new album's first single, "Tarantula," builds a bridge between new and old Pumpkins material, combining the psychedelic shred of Siamese Dream with sinister overtones prevalent in Machina. But the single's cover art, although relevant, is a bit disconcerting. Paris Hilton dominates the foreground while a nuclear weapon explodes in the background. Billy Corgan has never been one to be too didactic, but clearly things have changed.
Musicians and celebrities who vote Republican are about as common as pigs with wings. If you want automatic publicity for your movie/album today, you slap "America" on the cover and WHAM! â someone's listening. Widespread Panic's 2006 release, Earth to America (the actual content offers no commentary on the country), Green Day's 2004 American Idiot and Bad Religion's 2000 The New America, for example, cloak their music with political agendas. We already know these guys hate Bush. Who doesn't?
The new album Zeitgeist (German for "the spirit of the time") features songs titled "United States" and "For God and Country" complete with hit-you-between-the-eyes Statue of Liberty cover art. I wonder if Billy's trying to tell us something....
Hopefully the music on Zeitgeist (after all, music is what musicians create, right?) and not political packaging puts the Pumpkins back on the charts. Paris isn't all that hot, anyway.
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