Billy Corgan’s first post-Pumpkins endeavor, Zwan, recently released their debut effort, Mary Star of the Sea, an album brilliant in concept and execution. Vocally, Zwan sounds very similar to Smashing Pumpkins.
The similarity is not surprising, considering Corgan’s unmistakable voice is as much the defining sound of Zwan as it was Pumpkins’.
The disc features some vaguely familiar melodies that will undoubtedly draw comparisons between the two groups.
Despite possible comparisons, Zwan sets themselves apart from the Pumpkins by utilizing a positive outlook coupled with a less aggressive and more energetic sound.
The instrumental arrangements on Mary Star of the Sea are intricate and beautifully crafted.
The melodies are lush and the lyrics are well written. Every chord, drum interlude and bass-line is intrinsic to the album as a whole.
The songs themselves embrace love, friendship and religion, all of which come as a surprise from Corgan, whose previous lyrical works painted these subjects in a more cynical and darker light.
Corgan’s new optimism is only part of what makes Mary Star of the Sea so damn good.
– Chris Powell