CD Review: Smashing Pumpkins Page 2
The centerpiece is the epic 10-minute riff-fest "United States," which is allegedly culled from a jam that clocks in at a half-hour. Corgan puts on a guitar clinic during this musing about the push/pull of active vs. passive freedom, adding slabs of Tony Iommi, The Edge, Jimi Hendrix, and Alex Lifeson to his own caustic cauldron during the breakdown. (This one oughta be a killer live highlight.)
Production duties are split among Corgan and Chamberlin (five tracks), Terry Date (four), and Roy Thomas Baker (three). Corgan's love for Baker and Queen is quite evident during the Brian May-ariffic solo on "Bring the Light." It's too bad that the album stumbles toward the finish line with the off-kilter bent of the last two tracks, the electronic meanderer "For God and Country" and the plodding plinker "Pomp and Circumstances." Even so, the balance of the album is a fine intersection of past-glory revisiting with vibrant new-century touchpoints. Overall, this Zeitgeist ain't exactly that bad a place to be.