ZWAN – Mary Star Of The Sea

ZWAN - Mary Star Of The Sea


Warner Music
Released: January 28, 2003

User Review
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For those hoping that former Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan would use his latest outfit as a vehicle for exploring new musical territory, Zwan’s debut album must be somewhat of a disappointment at first glance. Instead of pointing out a new direction for his already legendary songwriting skills, Corgan has decided to take a look in his rear view-mirror and bring us back to those glorious days of the early nineties when Smashing Pumpkins ruled the world of independent music. The only real problem with this is that Mr. Corgan fails to reproduce his golden touch of that particular era, and instead ends up presenting us to a bunch of songs that doesn’t quite shine when compared – inevitably, however unfair to the rest of the band – to their predecessors on various classic Pumpkins releases.

Luckily, Corgan is too much of a genius to miss out totally, and consequently there are some real quality material here, most notably opening track Lyric, alongside catchy first single Honestly, the brilliantly melodic El Sol and the beautiful dark ballad Of a Broken Heart. Cosy closer Come with me, featuring harmonica, is also among the highlights. Apart from these standout tracks, however, the album generally lacks momentum and quickly slips into indifference, failing to engage the listener beyond a superficial level. “It sounds great from the next room” to quote an assessment of Bob Dylan’s much debated Under the Red Sky album which is also fitting to Mary Star of the Sea. The remaining songs thus pass by without making too much of a commotion; Baby Let’s Rock and Desire are the kind of trademark Corgan songs we’ve heard a dozen times before, only better. To sum up, Zwan have recorded a nice sounding, melodic album with some killer tracks and some more indifferent tunes. As a matter of fact, chances are that the average Smashing Pumpkins-fan for the most part will find this outing highly enjoyable. The rest of us might just think that Corgan is trying a bit too hard to rediscover former strengths. Maybe next time, though…

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