Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1: No Past. No Future. No Sun Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced by Rick Rubin, the 10th full-length release for the alternative rock band sees the return of original members Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha, joining remaining members Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Q Magazine
    Nov 9, 2018
    80
    There are moments of glorious burning distortion on Solara and Marchin' On, but its real riches are much more subtle. [Dec 2018, p.115]
  2. Nov 14, 2018
    80
    Corgan delivers something unexpected: music that's rich but settled, music that plays to his strengths, music where he seems happy in his own skin.
  3. 80
    The heavier moments refuse to act as a sledegehammer of alt-rock pastiche, which this record could so easily have been. Instead, it’s a showcase of songcraft that’s allowed to breathe and reveal itself. Bring on volume two. The dream lives on.
  4. Nov 16, 2018
    63
    At their best, Shiny matches the sheer majesty and emotional depth of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. At their worst, they sound like a third-tier Muse cover band (“Seek And You Shall Destroy” is a particularly low track).
  5. Kerrang!
    Nov 20, 2018
    60
    While what's here is good, there could have been more to get your teeth into. At eight songs in length, this collection feels a little slight. [17 Nov 2018, p.69]
  6. Nov 13, 2018
    60
    As revived as the classic Pumpkins sound is on Shiny and Oh So Bright, though, the album can’t quite shake the sense of superfluity endemic to reunion projects: There isn’t anything here that the band hasn’t already done before--and better.
  7. Nov 19, 2018
    34
    The songs here are absent of feeling or inspiration, but even creepier, they feel absent of intent.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Nov 16, 2018
    9
    More a collection of songs than an album, but still fantastic. How can you not love the first SP song with gospel backing vocals?

    Fingers
    More a collection of songs than an album, but still fantastic. How can you not love the first SP song with gospel backing vocals?

    Fingers crossed for a proper SP album with Rick Rubin.
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  2. Nov 16, 2018
    8
    I'll keep taking Smashing Pumpkins music as long as they continue making it. The world is much better for it.

    A few notes: 1. "Solara"
    I'll keep taking Smashing Pumpkins music as long as they continue making it. The world is much better for it.

    A few notes: 1. "Solara" sounds significantly better within the context of the album and after repeat listens. Elements like "Starz" without the chorus of Billies, a tighter structure, and a better melody. 2. "Silvery Sometimes" is a hyper-listenable improvement and blending of Try, Try, Try and 1979 that doesn't feel like a retread. I can't listen to 1979 anymore, but I've been listening to this song on repeat for days. 3. "Alienation" stood out the most from my first few listens of the album as a whole. Reminiscent of "Stellar" and "Ma Belle" from the Zeitgeist era, both of which I really enjoy. Nice contrast of dynamics and propulsive tempo.

    If you added these songs into the mix with MTAE and split them up into two parts, you might have two stronger albums than either are on their own. Or perhaps the top ten songs from both albums would make a greater one: Tiberius, One and All, Being Beige, Drum + Fife, Monuments, Anti-Hero, Silvery Sometimes, Solara, Travels, and Alienation, maybe?

    I would expect the next full album effort from the band would be an improvement and will be eagerly looking forward to it. I like the potential for Billy, James, and Jeff to develop their guitar interplay in a way that has the potential to be greater than the wall of guitar sound that was constructed primarily by Billy himself in SD.
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  3. Nov 16, 2018
    8
    The songs themselves feel unique and are well written. However listening to them in sequential order doesn't do the record any justice. TheThe songs themselves feel unique and are well written. However listening to them in sequential order doesn't do the record any justice. The bulk of the record turns out great work that will happily find its way into my playlists and weaves seamlessly into the bands massive catalog. Silvery ( Sometimes ), With Sympathy, Travels, and Seek & We Shall Destroy are really stand out songs. Each would make solid singles IMO. While songs like Knights, Alienation & Marchin' On don't do anything for me personally, they are not with out some great moments or hooks. As someone who has heard the majority of the recorded music for this band over the past couple decades, I am not really sure what to think of Rubin's contribution. I don't really hear him pushing them through any walls sonically or in terms of songwriting. The mixing of the record also feels just as varied as the songs themselves. Lets just call this what it is. Its a collection of songs written at different times with cohesive art direction and a classic bloated album title. It still doesn't feel like a Pumpkins album, but I am really enjoying the songs none the less. Expand
  4. Nov 16, 2018
    7
    As a long-time Smashing Pumpkins fan, I am pleasantly surprised by this album.
  5. Dec 20, 2018
    7
    Would be better if the lyrics weren’t created by a random word generator. The song “Marchin’ On,” for example, sounds amazing - or at least itWould be better if the lyrics weren’t created by a random word generator. The song “Marchin’ On,” for example, sounds amazing - or at least it would if you couldn’t hear the words - but the nonsense lyrics (She stabs the empty clock?) prevent it from landing with any emotional impact, so what could’ve been a powerful song ends up feeling like a trifle. Expand
  6. Nov 17, 2018
    6
    As a huge fan of the Pumpkins, I wanted to like this album a lot more than I did. And i'm not saying I wanted another Siamese Dream or MellonAs a huge fan of the Pumpkins, I wanted to like this album a lot more than I did. And i'm not saying I wanted another Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie, but I just wanted a solid album from the band. And what I got was just alright, not exactly terrible but I don't mind it too much. However for a band that was once ambitious it's hard not to see that once firey passion the band once had. Or more specifically, while Billy Corgan has been quite vocal about the direction of rock music has gone, he falls under the same trappings.

    The compositions and instrumentation are fine, they certainly sound like a Pumpkins song, there's no mistaking their signature sound, however the production guts it. It's too sanitized and polished. I'm kind of surprised Rick Rubin produced this album, because it doesn't have his infamous signatures when he produces a rock album. It feels more like the band wanted to go in a pop direction, and as a result what should sound big and anthemic comes off toothless. These songs beg for more crunch and grit! Like the percussion from Jimmy is pretty solid, but the mix does him no favors as the other instruments swallows the drums. Which ironically enough is typical for a Rick Rubin production!

    There really isn't much to talk about besides that for me really. It sounds like a Pumpkins album, and it kind of feels like Pumpkins on cruse control. Not exactly going fast, but just staying the same speed down a highway, but not in the passing lane. Most of the energy and passion just isn't there, even with returning members James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin. It feels very much like the band's last record, Monuments. Except honestly I think Monuments is a far stronger album IMO because I could recall the singles off that album. Outside of Silvery Sometimes, which I feel is a solid pop rocker, there isn't much memorability too this album, even with the band's sound that I am very much fond of. Maybe that fondness is what is saving me from being too harsh on this album, besides I can't say it's flat out terrible and it does feel like the band did put in effort in making the songs here, like I said the compositions and instrumentation is great, but it's one of the band's least memorable albums, and definitely not the return to form so many fans wanted. At least for me.
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  7. Nov 16, 2018
    2
    This is by far the Smashing Pumpkins' worst album. There is no knockout song on here. Every song is trying to sound either like a mainstreamThis is by far the Smashing Pumpkins' worst album. There is no knockout song on here. Every song is trying to sound either like a mainstream pop band or a previous Smashing Pumpkins song. Billy should go back to working random musicians.

    Best song: With Sympathy (7/10)
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See all 11 User Reviews