I can't possibly compare these songs to the masterpieces on MCIS/SD/GISH otherwise I don't think I could even give ANY ratings. So these are just based on the album as a whole.
Initial reaction (day 1): very disapointed. could have been better.
end of the week: an okay album, not nearly as brilliant as MCIS/SD, but I wasn't expecing ANOTHER MCIS/SD. Overall it sounds like a heavier Machina, but less band and more Billy. Not that its a terrible album at all, but in terms of their earlier work its not as good imo. I also would have liked to have heard more of the bass (its drowning), guitars and jimmy's drumming.
Using Ognetty's scale:
(1 = don't listen to it; 2 = okay, not on regular play; 3 = good, but not a song that inspires great feeling; 4 = enjoyable, like to hear; 5 = love it, want to hear it again and again.)
Though, songs i may rate with a 2 i still may listen to, and songs with a 3 don't always inspire a great feeling for me. A lot of these songs don't really 'touch' me the way SP used to. So here goes..
Doomsday Clock: 3.5/5 - A definite rocker, captures some of the earlier SP sound which I like a lot. The prechorus is good, the chorus itself is ok but I can't stand the lyrics "please don't stop/its lonely at the top/these lonely days will they ever stop". I do love the breakdown when he says "my heart not broken" though.
7 Shades of Black 2/5 - I can't get into this song. Its very pop oriented underneath the layers of guitar. I especially don't care for the start-stop chorus or the end of the song at all. Though I do like the "cause you don't want me no more" section of the song.
Bleeding the Orchid 4/5 - Definitely one of the best songs on the album, has an older pumpkin feel as well. I just dislike the overuse of Billy's voice on the pre-chorus and feel that the ahh's could have either been left out, or done by a female (i think someone else mentioned this). The guitar is great in this song, and Billy doesn't sound as overbearing as some of the other songs. This is definitely a song I keep going back to. THe part around 2:05-2:10 is my favorite. But I highly preferred the live version.
That's The Way 4/5- catchy as hell. sounds very much like a zwan song, or TFE song. I think the lyrics are a little too lovey-dovey (hence the zwan-ism) but not a bad song at all. i quite like this song.
Tarantula - 3.5/5 - Another rocker. It just sounds very pop-rock, very radiofriendly (obviously), and reminds me alot of something off Green Day's American Idiot (which I wasn't a huge fan of). I do like the chorus breakdown, and Billy's backing vocals sound good. I don't care for the "I wanna be there when you're happy/I wanna love you when you're sad" part at all. I really like the breakdown part where the song slows down near the end, very reminiscent of Geek USA. I wish the part was longer and earlier in the song.
Starz 3.5/5 - OK this song.. I liked it live.. it was heavier on the keyboards and didn't have Billy going "oh..dundundund oh". The chorus ruins it for me here, "WE.. ARE.. STARZ....". Please. I do like the part around :46-:50 where the guitars kick in again. I think if the song had a different sort of arrangement it would have been better. Also the backing guitar around 1:10 sounds cool, I wish it louder, along with the backing line around 1:30. WE.. ARE.. STARZ....? And Billy's voice is so loud in this song.. the mixing needed some help I think.
United States 2.5/5 - This song WANTS to rock hard. It WANTS to be Silverfuck and XYU. It isn't terrible but I think its a bit bloated. I like the guitar sections, but the whole 'revolution' thing is a bit overused i think. Also, I really don't like the little solo section of ambient weird guitar noises (around 6:00). At about 8:19 its trying to be SF/XYU some more, which I don't mind. Its actually nice to not hear Billy's voice for awhile (did i seriously just say that?) and just have the band ROCK OUT here. I skip this song more often than not though..
Neverlost 4/5 - I like this song, I actually do. Its very moody, and at least they didn't go crazy with overdubbing Billy here. Steve and I agree that the verses are reminiscent of Blissed and Gone. I wish this song would have been left more 'pure'sounding, with an acoustic guitar or less effects in the song.
Bring the Light 3/5 - Hmm.. well this song does get stuck in my head. But I can't get into it. I think its the lyrics or namely, the chrous. BRING THE LIGHT! BRING THE LIGHT! I just don't care for that.
Come On (Let's Go!) 2.5/5 - Catchy again, but I just don't care for it. Billy seems to like singing along with the guitar part in this song (or guitar going with his melody whatever). It just sounds overdone, overproduced. It could have been better slower or acoustically as well. Maybe some better lyrics too.
For God & Country 3.5/5 - Love the opening with the piano, I wish this would have continued throughout the song, instead of the song becoming more 'electronic' sounding, and Billy's voice (again) singing "for god... country" in the opening fading from Left to Right. This song was brilliant at the Rock Am Ring, and acoustically. It sounds like a totally different song that way. I think this is more of a typical Pumpkins song, but I just don't like the production or overall sound of the studio version. Less Billy, Less electronic feel, strip it down.. it had more heart that way. This song just sounds forced. I really miss when SP was able to convey feeling through their music and lyrics.. I don't feel that way about this song, when it really could have. (I think the live version would definitely get a 4/5 from me)
Pomp and Circumstances 3/5 - I really hated this song my first listen. After listening repeated times I don't mind it. I think acoustic this song would have been great; a perfect closing like "Farewell & Goodnight" was to MCIS. I like the backing sounds "the bwong" noise, and the way the song ends (the last few notes played sound cool), i also like the ending guitar parts. If the song had a little more guitar and less computer-y effects i'd like it better. Again acoustic, or just on a clean tone guitar. I don't like the lalalalala's thrown in there, those could be easily omitted. I think this song is actualy the most emotional song on the album very reminiscent of Adore.
Rankings (if i had to compare all albums to eachother)
#1 MCIS (5/5)
#2 SD (and PI) (both 5/5)
#3 Adore (4.5/5)
#4 Gish (4.5/5)
#5 Machina II (3.8/5)
#6 Machina (3.7/5)
#7 Zeitgeist (3.5/5)
Death From Above 2.5/5 - very 80's sounding. Why do I keep picturing a "Neverending Story" with this? Its definitely Billy and TFE sounding. It does get stuck in my head and I do like it more than I did when I first heard it. But I don't think its anything spectacular. The guitar parts aren't bad but I think they should be louder and the song should have been acoustic or stripped down, slower, it could have been less happy-go-lucky-poppy sounding. Plus the line "death from above".. well i just can't picture chanting that at a concert at all. I do like this track, I do listen to it.. but its nothing amazing.
(i also keep picturing this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8951454803038857055&hl=en and LMAO!!)
Zeitgeist 4.5/5 - wow this is what the album needed. a stripped down simple song, no super bombastic production.. just Billy and a guitar (again, its a Billy solo thing but still sounds great). Should have been on the album (not just the itunes or whatever the hell version gets this song)
Stellar 5/5 - quite good too, again it sounds more like the pumpkins, it sounds more simple, i hear guitars, bass and drums. THANK GOD. lol. Why wasn't this on the actual cd either? I think its actually one of the best songs to not make the album. This IS the smashing pumpkins.. it made me realize how much I miss them on the album. What an amazing song, Im so sad to not see this on the main Zeitgeist album. What a song.. this is one i've kept on repeat.. just.. wow. So much depth and dimension.. reminds me of ruby or starla not so much in the song but the feeling.