I've been a Smashing Pumpkins fan since I was a wee boy. My dad would always play me Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, and I really liked it. I like it even more now that I've had an introspective reniassance, and not one of those gay ones where I end up as an emo kid listening to My Chemical Romance. A good one, where I appreciate the higher value of a song. I really appreciate Smashing Pumpkins older stuff, but was completely put off by the trifling "Zeitgeist." Here we are again, with a new single, entitled G.L.O.W. I wasn't expecting much of anything but at the same time expecting them to blow me away. What I got was somewhere in the middle.
From the beginning of the song, I found the effects put on the bass to be muddy and filth-encrusted . . . and I got excited. It sounded more like Smashing Pumpkins than any of ZeitGeist. When Corgan comes on with the vocals, though, it starts to somewhat fade. It's not entirely the singing, which he still needs to fix (more on that in a second), but more an issue with the lyrics. The line "I'm so alone," is repeated over and over in this song. It's not a great line, but the fact that it's repeated makes me beat it to death. Back when the Punpkins were big, they sang all about being alone in their angsty woes, which was fine, since they were young. Their loneliness was more of being alienated from society than anything else. Here, at the old age of 40, it sounds more like pedophelia. Corgan is having a hard time growing up lyrically. Vocally, there are also some issues. The vocal line sounds alright, but Corgan has been having issues with his voice since SP reformed. I think it's something with the mix; back in the old days, the vocals were loud yet soft at the same time. Here, they seem less intense, but are more prominent. The mix has issues all around, really. The guitar and drums are too quiet, especially the guitar, and that's coming from someone who plays bass. He's gotta crank it up and really let it sing.
As far as the actual song goes, though . . . it's not bad. the drumming is awesome (as usual, really. Chamberlain never disappoints) and the guitar, while quiet, is very Pumpkins. The song would have done itself alot if it would have mixed up the lyrics more, as well as taking it in a less standard direction. I know I've compared their current sound to their old stuff a lot, but I'm not saying that they need be the same as they were. To give a great example of how I don't prefer this, look at the band Rush. Astronomically different from who they once were, they've always been fresh. The album they put out in 2003 is possibly my favorite album by them because of their successful redefinition of who they were. Geddy Lee lost his wailing ability, so he took a much more melodic route, and I'm one of the few people I know that like the direction he went in. The Pumpkins are having a slightly harder time of that. They don't sound bad, but they don't sound terribly unique., which is a damn shame, because Corgan is a unique singer if there ever was one. I think this song is a good start, and I'm excited to hear the album. If I'm disappointed, so be it, but there's potential in what I hear.
My score: 4/5. Check it out below, sorry for the poor quality.