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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | SMASHING PUMPKINS - DEAL #2 DIGITAL

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Rock - Released July 27, 1993 | Virgin Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While Gish had placed the Smashing Pumpkins on the "most promising artist" list for many, troubles were threatening to break the band apart. Singer/guitarist/leader Billy Corgan was battling a severe case of writer's block and was in a deep state of depression brought on by a relationship in turmoil; drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was addicted to hard drugs; and bassist D'Arcy and guitarist James Iha severed their romantic relationship. The sessions for their sophomore effort, Siamese Dream, were wrought with friction -- Corgan eventually played almost all the instruments himself (except for percussion). Some say strife and tension produces the best music, and it certainly helped make Siamese Dream one of the finest alt-rock albums of all time. Instead of following Nirvana's punk rock route, Siamese Dream went in the opposite direction -- guitar solos galore, layered walls of sound courtesy of the album's producers (Butch Vig and Corgan), extended compositions that bordered on prog rock, plus often reflective and heartfelt lyrics. The four tracks that were selected as singles became alternative radio standards -- the anthems "Cherub Rock," "Today," and "Rocket," plus the symphonic ballad "Disarm" -- but as a whole, Siamese Dream proved to be an incredibly consistent album. Such compositions as the red-hot rockers "Quiet" and "Geek U.S.A." were standouts, as were the epics "Hummer," "Soma," and "Silverfuck," plus the soothing sounds of "Mayonaise," "Spaceboy," and "Luna." After the difficult recording sessions, Corgan stated publicly that if Siamese Dream didn't achieve breakthrough success, he would end the band. He didn't have to worry for long -- the album debuted in the Billboard Top Ten and sold more than four million copies in three years. Siamese Dream stands alongside Nevermind and Superunknown as one of the decade's finest (and most influential) rock albums. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Smashing Pumpkins didn't shy away from making the follow-up to the grand, intricate Siamese Dream. With Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the band turns in one of the most ambitious and indulgent albums in rock history. Lasting over two hours and featuring 28 songs, the album is certainly a challenging listen. To Billy Corgan's credit, it's a rewarding and compelling one as well. Although the artistic scope of the album is immense, the Smashing Pumpkins flourish in such an overblown setting. Corgan's songwriting has never been limited by conventional notions of what a rock band can do, even if it is clear that he draws inspiration from scores of '70s heavy metal and art rock bands. Instead of copying the sounds of his favorite records, he expands on their ideas, making the gentle piano of the title track and the sighing "1979" sit comfortably against the volcanic rush of "Jellybelly" and "Zero." In between those two extremes lies an array of musical styles, drawing from rock, pop, folk, and classical. Some of the songs don't work as well as others, but Mellon Collie never seems to drag. Occasionally they fall flat on their face, but over the entire album, the Smashing Pumpkins prove that they are one of the more creative and consistent bands of the '90s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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CYR

Rock - Released November 27, 2020 | Sumerian Records

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The Smashing Pumpkins waste no time. Billy Corgan and his reformed band are back together after releasing the very short Shiny & Oh So Bright Vol.1 in 2018, their first album in 18 years. Cyr is conceived as its follow-up and we notice from its sleeve that it is once again produced by the studio TNSN DVSN. Still, from the Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness era, only drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and guitarist James Iha are back, bassist D’arcy Wretzky is still yet to reconcile with the tyrannic Corgan. At it seems they never will. While the reformed band’s work produced by Rick Rubin revives their golden age of alternative rock, Cyr also embraces a fresher pop sound for one simple reason.“I got sick of making music that people kept telling me didn’t sound contemporary.”, explains the frontman. In this twenty track double album, Corgan accentuates the synths and feminine choirs. At the beginning, we are reminded of the Canadian band TR/ST with Sulk and its dark pop sound and hammered kick drums. This formula is repeated (which may weary some) but is switched up on Wyttch and its heavy guitars, the organ on Save Your Tears and the chiaroscuro Purple Blood. This unique double album, the opposite of the best-selling one sold in the 90s, proves (if it can continue) that Billy Corgan is best when surrounded by the Pumpkins. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Rock - Released September 23, 2014 | SMASHING PUMPKINS - DEAL #2 PHYSICAL

Left without a drummer after Jimmy Chamberlin's dismissal, the Smashing Pumpkins took the opportunity to revamp their sound slightly -- which is what Billy Corgan claimed they were going to do on their fourth album anyway. Adore, however, isn't a drastic departure. Using dream pop ballads and the synthetic pulse of "1979" as starting point, the Pumpkins have created a hushed, elegiac album that sounds curiously out of time -- it's certainly an outgrowth of their previous work, but the differences aren't entirely modern. Whenever synthesizers are added to the mix, the results make the band sound like a contemporary of the Cure or Depeche Mode, not Aphex Twin. That's not necessarily a problem, since Adore creates its own world with layered keyboards, acoustic guitars, and a rotating selection of drummers and machines. There's none of the distorted bluster that cluttered Mellon Collie and none of the grand sonic technicolor of Siamese Dream. Adore recasts the calmer moments of those albums in a sepia tone, in an attempt to be modest and intimate. Only Billy Corgan would consider a 74-minute, 16-track album a modest effort, but compared to its widescreen predecessors, it does feel a bit scaled down. Still, Corgan's ambitions reign supreme. This is no mere acoustic album, nor is it electronica -- it is quiet contemporary art rock, playing like a concept album without any real concept. Its very length and portentousness tend to obscure some lovely songs, since all the muted production tends to blend all the songs together. But even with its flaws, Adore is an admirable record that illustrates the depth of the Pumpkins' sound, even if it ultimately isn't a brave step forward. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet
The Smashing Pumpkins didn't shy away from making the follow-up to the grand, intricate Siamese Dream. With Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the band turns in one of the most ambitious and indulgent albums in rock history. Lasting over two hours and featuring 28 songs, the album is certainly a challenging listen. To Billy Corgan's credit, it's a rewarding and compelling one as well. Although the artistic scope of the album is immense, the Smashing Pumpkins flourish in such an overblown setting. Corgan's songwriting has never been limited by conventional notions of what a rock band can do, even if it is clear that he draws inspiration from scores of '70s heavy metal and art rock bands. Instead of copying the sounds of his favorite records, he expands on their ideas, making the gentle piano of the title track and the sighing "1979" sit comfortably against the volcanic rush of "Jellybelly" and "Zero." In between those two extremes lies an array of musical styles, drawing from rock, pop, folk, and classical. Some of the songs don't work as well as others, but Mellon Collie never seems to drag. Occasionally they fall flat on their face, but over the entire album, the Smashing Pumpkins prove that they are one of the more creative and consistent bands of the '90s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2001 | Virgin Records

Like many alt-rock bands, the Smashing Pumpkins sound better than expected as a singles band -- probably because their high points were singles, no matter how carefully created their albums were. The Smashing Pumpkins fit this bill particularly well for two reasons. For one, they rose up through the ranks in indie rock circles, where limited-edition singles on Sub Pop meant as much as a full-lengths on Caroline. Then, after they made it through the indie jungle, they had to fight their way onto MTV airwaves with songs and videos that sold their intricate albums. This was a good, even prosperous, situation when the Pumpkins (OK, when their leader, Billy Corgan) could balance their knack for great singles with their desire to make sweeping neo-concept albums like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. They did for a few years, conquering the alt-rock pack after Nirvana imploded, but the group itself eventually turned in on itself -- either because of Corgan's own hubris or the group's complacency. They had more than enough great material for a good compilation, and Greatest Hits almost fits the bill. Its main problem is that, like most even-handed compilations, it gives too much credence to the music made after the group's peak, at the expense of some of the group's better material. Essentially, anything that most listeners will want to hear wraps up 11 tracks into the 18-track album, when the collection dives into material from Adore and MACHINA -- two albums that aren't embarrassments, but really only of interest to the hardcore, particularly in how they desperately attempt to embrace the fleeting electronica fad of the '90s (something almost all alt-rock bands did, almost always to no avail). So, this collection bogs down more than it should, and because its final eight tracks are taken from the Pumpkins past their peak; consequently, it's hard to recommend this to anyone who just wants an album with all the hits. Yes, it does have many of the cuts that they'll want on one disc, including the non-LP "Drown" and "Landslide," but the desire to justify two albums nobody bought -- especially at the expense of "I Am One," "Rocket," "Geek USA," and "Here Is No Why," among others -- hurts a collection that should have showcased the Pumpkins at their peak. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | SMASHING PUMPKINS - DEAL #1 DIGITAL

The Aeroplane Flies High contains all five singles -- "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," "1979," "Zero," "Tonight, Tonight," "Thirty-Three" -- from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in a box set shaped like a 45 single carrying case from the '60s. Though the set contains all of the B-sides from the five singles, the running order isn't quite the same as the original releases; for example, in its original release, "Butterfly Wings" only had two B-sides, but it is augmented for covers of new wave artists like the Cars, Blondie, and Missing Persons. In total, the box set has more songs than Mellon Collie, and, by and large, the quality of the music is quite strong. Occasionally, Billy Corgan's prolificacy gets the better of him; there are a number of songs where his reach exceeds his grasp, and he doesn't quite come up with an engaging melody to match his detailed production. At other times, his musical experimentations catch hold, such as when he delves into jazz or orchestrated pop. Still, all of these pleasures are ones that are only of interest to dedicated Smashing Pumpkins fans who already know Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness inside and out. A casual fan will have a hard time sorting out the wheat from the chafe on The Aeroplane Flies High, but that work will be a pleasure for the diehards. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 29, 2000 | Virgin Records

Any record called MACHINA/The Machines of God couldn't be a pure rock album. The title suggests this is a concept album, which are at least a little progressive. As it happens, MACHINA is a lot progressive. Though it's damn near impossible to figure out the story line, the album plays like a concept album, with each track floating into the next, winding up with an album artier than Adore. That's not a liability, since the Smashing Pumpkins were always arty, yet Billy Corgan was very clever in camouflaging his artiness. "The Everlasting Gaze" rocks more overtly than anything on Adore, and the storybook-styled artwork deliberately evokes memories of Mellon Collie. Enthusiasts will find moments to admire throughout MACHINA, but ultimately, they might be disappointed with a record that crosses Mellon Collie with Adore without relying on the strengths of either. MACHINA appears to be ornately straightforward, yet as it progresses, it becomes increasingly insular. By the time it gets to "Heavy Metal Machine," designed as the record's crushing centerpiece, its weaknesses become apparent. "Heavy Metal Machine" should be a brutal, bruising experience, yet it's toothless, processed within an inch of its life. It becomes clear that the chief strength of the album is production. Not once does MACHINA ever feel like the work of a band; it feels as if it was painstakingly assembled by Corgan and Flood. The Smashing Pumpkins have always been Corgan's band, but they've never sounded like a solo vehicle the way that they do here. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin Records

Booklet
Arriving several months before Nirvana's Nevermind, the Smashing Pumpkins' debut album, Gish, which was also produced by Butch Vig, was the first shot of the alternative revolution that transformed the rock & roll landscape of the '90s. While Nirvana was a punk band, the Smashing Pumpkins and guitarist/vocalist Billy Corgan are arena rockers, co-opting their metallic riffs and epic art rock song structures with self-absorbed lyrical confessions. Though Corgan's lyrics fall apart upon close analysis, there's no denying his gift for arrangements. Like Brian May and Jimmy Page, he knows how to layer guitars for maximum effect, whether it's on the pounding, sub-Sabbath rush of "I Am One" or the shimmering, psychedelic dream pop surfaces of "Rhinoceros." Such musical moments like these, as well as the rushing "Siva" and the folky "Daydream," which features D'Arcy on lead vocals, demonstrate the Smashing Pumpkins' potential, but the rest of Gish falls prey to undistinguished songwriting and showy instrumentation. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet
Although the Smashing Pumpkins had only released two studio albums by 1994 (1991's Gish and 1993's Siamese Dream), they had an overflow of songs that were either relegated to B-sides on European singles or remained unreleased. Billy Corgan proved to be one of rock's most prolific songwriters of the 1990s alt rock movement -- as the quality of these early leftovers were often just as strong as the songs that were officially released. Since nearly all of these songs were never issued domestically, the B-side/rarity collection Pisces Iscariot was issued alongside their first long-form home video, Vieuphoria. The collection proved to be a feast for fans -- it's inexplicable why such exceptional rockers ("Plume," "Hello Kitty Kat," "Frail and Bedazzled," "Blue") and ballads ("Obscured," "La Dolly Vita") weren't featured on albums. Also included is the long and winding, 11-minute epic jam fest "Starla," which proves that Corgan was one of the finest (and most underrated) rock guitarists of the '90s, as well as a pair of unlikely covers -- Fleetwood Mac's gentle "Landslide" and the Animals' psychedelic "Girl Named Sandoz." Also included are insightful liner notes (strewn with typos) from Corgan. While it's not the definitive B-sides collection of pre-Mellon Collie Pumpkins (such tracks as "Bullet Train to Osaka," "Purr Snickety," "Apathy's Last Kiss," "My Dahlia," "Jackie Blue," "Glynis," and others are nowhere to be found), Pisces Iscariot contains some of Corgan and company's finest moments. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet
Although the Smashing Pumpkins had only released two studio albums by 1994 (1991's Gish and 1993's Siamese Dream), they had an overflow of songs that were either relegated to B-sides on European singles or remained unreleased. Billy Corgan proved to be one of rock's most prolific songwriters of the 1990s alt rock movement -- as the quality of these early leftovers were often just as strong as the songs that were officially released. Since nearly all of these songs were never issued domestically, the B-side/rarity collection Pisces Iscariot was issued alongside their first long-form home video, Vieuphoria. The collection proved to be a feast for fans -- it's inexplicable why such exceptional rockers ("Plume," "Hello Kitty Kat," "Frail and Bedazzled," "Blue") and ballads ("Obscured," "La Dolly Vita") weren't featured on albums. Also included is the long and winding, 11-minute epic jam fest "Starla," which proves that Corgan was one of the finest (and most underrated) rock guitarists of the '90s, as well as a pair of unlikely covers -- Fleetwood Mac's gentle "Landslide" and the Animals' psychedelic "Girl Named Sandoz." Also included are insightful liner notes (strewn with typos) from Corgan. While it's not the definitive B-sides collection of pre-Mellon Collie Pumpkins (such tracks as "Bullet Train to Osaka," "Purr Snickety," "Apathy's Last Kiss," "My Dahlia," "Jackie Blue," "Glynis," and others are nowhere to be found), Pisces Iscariot contains some of Corgan and company's finest moments. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 16, 2018 | Napalm Records Handels GmbH

The Smashing Pumpkins are "back together" (note the quotation marks). The four piece was born in Chicago in 1988 and led with an iron grip by the charismatic bald-headed Bill Corgan. Along the way they lost D'Arcy Wretzky, the platinum blonde bass player. She was the only one who didn't give in to the boss' request to regroup. Despite being in her fifties, the grudges have held. From the original Smashing Pumpkins line-up only Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) – the ever-faithful companion - and James Iha (guitar) – a more surprising appearance - gave in to Corgan. Jeff Schroeder was also added to the guitar and keyboards midway through. We haven’t seen Chamberlin, Iha and Corgan on stage or on a record together in 18 years, and that's probably why this strangely titled opus sounds so much like their best piece of work from the mid-90s: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. This time, the story is simple. "We just thought we'd get our heads down and play," Corgan explains. At first, the singer just wanted to release a track. They showed sixteen to Rick Rubin and the famous producer became so excited that he pushed for an album. Two weeks later, the whole thing was recorded in his Shangri La Studios in Malibu. Eight tracks, 31 minutes. It’s a dazzling mix of ‘90s grunge (Solara, Silvery Sometimes), heavy metal (with the blaring guitars of Marchin' On) and mystical and orchestral rock (the strings and choirs on Knights Of Malta or the keyboard on Alienation). All in all, a very nice Smashing Pumkins record. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 8, 2014 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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As he set to work on Monuments to an Elegy, the second "album within an album" within the larger Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, Billy Corgan slowly whittled down Smashing Pumpkins to himself and guitarist Jeff Schroeder. This narrowing of the group -- the duo is supported by the hired hand of Mötley Crüe's drummer Tommy Lee -- ultimately doesn't matter much because ever since the Pumpkins' 2007 comeback, the secret of Corgan's complete control of the group was out in the open. More than either Zeitgeist or Oceania, both of which traded in the surging six-strings of Siamese Dream, Monuments to an Elegy feels like a Corgan solo project and not just because this percolates with analog synthesizers straight out of The Future Embrace. Monuments stitches together all of Corgan's obsessions -- thick sheets of guitars, 4AD space rock, delicate acoustica, Commodore 64 synthesizers, a fondness for both noise and beauty -- but there is an ease to the album that not only feels self-reflective but also rather mature. Usually, when Corgan covers this much ground it was with the express intent to dazzle, but here his attitude is almost casual as he slides from the volcanic "One and All" to the exquisitely sculpted new wave of "Dorian," stopping for a respite of disco on "Anaise!" The breadth impresses and it resonates stronger because he's funneled all these sounds and textures into a tight nine-song album that lasts barely over a half-hour. For an artist who has fervently believed more is indeed more, this restraint is thoroughly appealing and helps showcase his craft in surprising -- and, yes, sometimes dazzling -- ways. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 18, 2012 | Martha’s Music, LLC

Following up on, and in many ways amending, much of the bombastic overcompensation of 2007's Zeitgeist, Smashing Pumpkins 2012 release Oceania is an exuberant, gloriously melodic, fluid return to form for Billy Corgan. While Zeitgeist certainly contained many of the elements that make for a classic Smashing Pumpkins release -- including slabs of distorted guitars, passionate vocals, and poetic lyrics, not to mention drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who was the sole remaining original member besides Corgan and who subsequently left the band -- there was something cold and perhaps a bit too calculated about the production. Ultimately, Zeitgeist didn't do much to dissuade audiences that Corgan, undeniably the mastermind behind the best Pumpkins work, was now overvaluing his abilities in an attempt to recapture fans disillusioned by his various side projects. Thankfully, none of these concerns are applicable to Oceania. Ostensibly an "album within an album" of the greater 44-track Teargarden by Kaleidyscope concept project, Oceania works as a stand-alone album. Conceptual conceits aside, these are some of the most memorable and rousing songs Corgan has delivered since 1993's Siamese Dream, the album that Oceania most closely mirrors in tone and aesthetic. Which isn't to say that Corgan is treading old ground; on the contrary, there is something fresh and inspired about the songs on Oceania. Admittedly, kicking the album off with the heavy psychedelic acid rock groove of "Quasar" -- in which Corgan croons several EST-era-style affirmations including, "God right on! Krishna right on! Mark right on!" -- is a move that almost begs comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins' euphoria-inducing 1991 single "Siva." A similar sentiment comes to mind with the latter album rocker "The Chimera," a classic rock-sounding groover that sparkles with crisscross laser-beam guitar lines recalling the jewel-toned guitar heroics of Queen's Brian May. But these are welcome comparisons, born out of Corgan finally delivering a gorgeous and cohesive set of songs that balance some his more arch, cerebral inclinations with his generously romantic and sweepingly cinematic gift for revelatory guitar rock. Elsewhere, we get the soaring "Panopticon" and the minor-key, prog rock-inflected drama of "Violet Rays." However, Oceania is perhaps best represented by the euphoric mid-album ballad "Pinwheels." Starting with a repeated keyboard line and building to swells of acoustic and electric guitar before settling into one of the most swoon-worthy melodic anthems Corgan has ever written, "Pinwheels," much like the rest of Oceania, is a masterpiece of pop songcraft and rock production. As Corgan croons on the song's chorus, "Sister soul, lovers of the tune, sing!/I got you/I got you." On Oceania, the Smashing Pumpkins definitely have us. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 9, 2016 | Doxy Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 19, 2021 | Cult Legends

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 16, 2018 | Napalm Records Handels GmbH

The Smashing Pumpkins are "back together" (note the quotation marks). The four piece was born in Chicago in 1988 and led with an iron grip by the charismatic bald-headed Bill Corgan. Along the way they lost D'Arcy Wretzky, the platinum blonde bass player. She was the only one who didn't give in to the boss' request to regroup. Despite being in her fifties, the grudges have held. From the original Smashing Pumpkins line-up only Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) – the ever-faithful companion - and James Iha (guitar) – a more surprising appearance - gave in to Corgan. Jeff Schroeder was also added to the guitar and keyboards midway through. We haven’t seen Chamberlin, Iha and Corgan on stage or on a record together in 18 years, and that's probably why this strangely titled opus sounds so much like their best piece of work from the mid-90s: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. This time, the story is simple. "We just thought we'd get our heads down and play," Corgan explains. At first, the singer just wanted to release a track. They showed sixteen to Rick Rubin and the famous producer became so excited that he pushed for an album. Two weeks later, the whole thing was recorded in his Shangri La Studios in Malibu. Eight tracks, 31 minutes. It’s a dazzling mix of ‘90s grunge (Solara, Silvery Sometimes), heavy metal (with the blaring guitars of Marchin' On) and mystical and orchestral rock (the strings and choirs on Knights Of Malta or the keyboard on Alienation). All in all, a very nice Smashing Pumkins record. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 11, 2019 | BBM

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The Smashing Pumpkins in the magazine