Smashing Pumpkins, The - Atum

Regular price $ 81.59

An ambitiously sprawling sequel to both 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and 2000's MACHINA: The Machines of God, 2023's Atum finds Billy Corgan dipping into the sound of pretty much every era of Smashing Pumpkins' career. For fans keeping track of the concept, the album (presented over three discs) continues the story of "Shiny," the main character first introduced on Mellon Collie, though you'd have to dig pretty deep to pull any strong narrative threads out of the material. Conceptual conceits aside, these are some of the strongest melodic and heartfelt anthems Corgan has written since at least 2012's Oceania. Aiding Corgan in striking this balance are reunited OG Pumpkins bandmates guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (having rejoined for 2018's Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. and 2020's Cyr), along with longtime Corgan collaborator guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Also contributing are backing vocalists Katie Cole and Sierra Swan, as well as pianist Mike Garson. The album starts in robust fashion with cuts like "Butterfly Suite," "The Good in Goodbye," "Hooligan," and "With Ado I Do" showcasing an almost perfect amalgam of the band's sonic palette, from shimmering sunburst synths and pummeling acid-rock guitar pyrotechnics to more introspective piano- and electronics-accented balladry. Yet more thrilling moments pop up elsewhere, such as the Gish-esque guitar riffage of "Empires," "Beguiled," and "Spellbinding." There's also the goth-accented Adore-style doom rock of "Moss" and synthy cuts like "Space Age" that nicely marry the sighing romanticism of the group's early work with Corgan's latter-career embrace of electronic pop. Over the course of the three discs, a pattern emerges as Corgan counterbalances the effusively over-the-top tracks with more diffuse, prog-influenced synthwave numbers, a vibe that certainly brings to mind the 1970s laser light show atmosphere of bands like Pink Floyd. Thankfully, there's a pleasing flow and emotional arc to the collection that draws you deeper in the further you go, in much the same way that Smashing Pumpkins' most beloved albums were such all-encompassing experiences. 

4xLP Limited Edition Independent Record Store Exclusive.

Act I
Butterfly Suite
The Good In Goodbye
With Ado I Do
Steps In Time
Where Rain Must Fall
Beyond The Vale
The Gold Mask
Act II
Night Waves
Space Age
Every Morning
To The Grays
The Culling
That Which Animates The Spirit
The Canary Trainer
In Lieu Of Failure
Of Wings