The SMASHING PUMPKINS’ new album OCEANIA–released June 19 via Martha’s Music/EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution–has entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart at #4 and earns the #1 spot on the Independent Albums Chart; it is the second highest debuting independently released album this year. OCEANIA now marks the group’s seventh Top Ten album.
Intended to recapture the album experience, all 13 songs on OCEANIA were premiered simultaneously to fans, radio, press and the online world for one week before its release exclusively via the iTunes Store. Forgoing the standard industry launch, the group purposely planned no single or video to be released prior to the full album. Thus, the album’s set-up fulfilled the PUMPKINS’ creative approach to the album.
Before the week of release of OCEANIA, group founder BILLY CORGAN hosted the album’s official release party on a boat on Lake Michigan in his Chicago hometown, where he played the album for friends and family and performed an acoustic mini-set. For the week of release, the band performed a contest-winners-only show for iHEART RADIO in New York City where CORGAN also sat down for much-talked-about interviews with Howard Stern and “Piers Morgan Tonight.” In Los Angeles, CORGAN performed two songs acoustically on KROQ’s “Kevin and Bean” show, had brunch with fans from radio station 98.7 and was interviewed by NPR’s “All Things Considered” for an in-depth chat about OCEANIA. Listen: here.
OCEANIA was recorded at singer/guitarist BILLY CORGAN’s private studio in Chicago with his bandmates: guitarist JEFF SCHROEDER, drummer MIKE BYRNE and bassist/vocalist NICOLE FIORENTINO. The powerful 13-song collection (see track listing below) was produced by Corgan and Bjorn Thorsrud and mixed by David Bottrill. Marking THE SMASHING PUMPKINS’ 7th studio record, it is “an album within an album,” part of their 44-song work-in-progress TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE.
Meanwhile, here are various critical soundbites for OCEANIA:
“…Billy Corgan, the enigmatic visionary whose creative engines are roaring with an intensity and creative pluck unmatched since his mid-’90s classics. On this 13-track continuation of his 44-song ‘Teargarden by Kaleidyscope’ series, Corgan and crew unveil a battering rock assault on ‘Quasar’ and a glorious electro-acoustic glide in ‘Pinwheels’ before settling into the title track’s nine-minute triptych of layered bliss.”
–Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY, June 19, 2012
“…one of the band’s best records in years. Anchored by a ferocious, two-guitar assault, the album unearths Mr. Corgan’s alt-rock roots and replants them in the 1970s, where they take on a psychedelic edge. The songs morph and evolve…”
— Andrew Leahey, WASHINGTON POST, June 19, 2012
“Corgan’s best work since the ‘90s…paints on a big canvas, from the heavy metal churn of ‘The Chimera’ to the keyboard pop of ‘One Diamond, One Heart.’ The guitars crash in mighty waves on the opening one-two of ‘Quasar’ and ‘Popticon.’”
–Greg Kot, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, June 15, 2012
“..easily one of the best albums of the band’s entire career…the current quartet truly gels on ‘Oceania,’ emerging as a solid, collective force…‘Oceania’ revives Corgan’s gutter-epic vision with a clarity and ferocity not seen since ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.’”
–Thomas Conner, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, June 19, 2012
“…the best thing the Pumpkins have done since the ‘90s.”
–August Brown, LOS ANGELES TIMES, June 19, 2012
“…a solid hour of grandiose guitar rock. “Oceania” has a beatific glow with recurring spiritual themes and appeals to higher love….The washes of guitar buzz, the mood-setting deployments of strings and acoustic strums, and colorful bursts of keyboard noodling that the Pumpkins sprinkle throughout the album all gather together in the epic title track.”
— Scott McLennan, BOSTON GLOBE, June 19, 2012
“It’s compelling, and finds new territory…‘Oceania’ can be considered a victory.”
— Dan Martin, NME.COM, June 19, 2012
“…it’s rock music at its finest hour in over a decade. Each minute of the album warrants a deep listen and, once you reach the end, there’s only one choice but to play it again.”
–Rick Florino, ARTISTDIRECT.COM, June 4, 2012
The PUMPKINS’ confirmed tour dates are below, with North American dates expected to be announced for the fall.
July 26 Perth, AUS Challenge Stadium
July 27 Byron Bay NSW, AUS Splendour In The Grass
July 31 Darling Harbor NSW, AUS Sydney Entertainment Centre
Aug 2 Melbourne Vic, AUS Hisense Arena
Aug 4 Auckland Central, NZ Vector Arena
Aug 7 Quezon City, PHL Araneta Coliseum
Aug 14 Seoul, S. Korea Super!Sonic Music In The City