Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea

If the name of the band on this album was Smashing Pumpkins instead of Zwan, this would be the greatest Smashing Pumpkins album since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. When Zwan popped up in 2003, I think people were a little upset that Billy Corgan didn't bring Smashing Pumpkins back together. The thing about it is that with the benefit of hindsight, Zwan is every bit as Smashing Pumpkins as the band Billy Corgan is trotting out now under the name Smashing Pumpkins. At least Jimmy Chamberlain was in Zwan.

Anyway, the best part about Mary Star of the Sea is that it sounds fresh and exciting. The last couple Pumpkins albums sounded tired and you could practically hear the band falling apart in them. For some reason the name change and the addition of some very competent friends (David Pajo of Slint, Paz Lenchantin of A Perfect Circle, and Matt Sweeney of  Chavez) breathed new life into Billy Corgan. Mary Star of the Sea has some of his best songs and best performances. Zwan has become underrated since its release, which is a shame. It's a really great album that should not be forgotten or underestimated. If you ever liked Smashing Pumpkins at all, you should dig up this album.

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