A legendary band returns

The Smashing Pumpkins release eight songs ahead of their next studio record


Artwork by TNSN DVSN

“Cyr” will be The Smashing Pumpkins’ first studio production since 2018’s “Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1/ LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.” The cover art of that LP and “Cyr” are similar in style.

Jonathan Jimenez, Staff Reporter

Since the 90s, The Smashing Pumpkins have been a powerhouse in the rock genre. On November 27, their new album, “Cyr,” will release. Ahead of the release, they’ve unveiled eight tracks from the album.

The Smashing Pumpkins first revealed the tracks “The Colour of Love” and “Cyr” on August 28. Since then, they’ve released “Anno Satana,” “Birch Grove,” “Confessions of a Dopamine Addict,” “Wrath,” and recently on October 30, “Wyttch” and “Ramona.” The full album will be released as a double album because there are too many tracks to fit on one record.

The first song, “Ramona,” has an old-timey, mystical tone. In the beginning, lead singer Billy Corgan sings “I should wander, Yet I shan’t gander far, Beyond her spells enchant,” and “I know I’m ruthless, Ain’t the kind to see, I know I’m ruthless sigh.” I had to take a few minutes to dissect the lyrics, and it sounds like a love song to me. The chorus goes “Ramona, Ramona, Ramona, Storms with thee, Ramona, ain’t it just like our dreams,” which I interpret as a man who got with the woman of his dreams. The catchy beat and lyrics make this an adequate song.

The lyrics of “Wyttch” are even more cryptic than “Ramona.” Corgan said “Samhain, Samhain, Thru this harvest, tred nigh, all hallow’s eve, Samhain, Samhain, under mask, I am stars, love, lie with thee, all hallow’s eve.” Samhain is a gaelic festival celebrating the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter. I had to Google the meaning of Samhain, which exposed me to a culture I was unfamiliar with. It was interesting to read about a culture not popular in the U.S. On the contrary, I’m not a fan of the harmony. It sounds too high-pitched at some points in my opinion. However, the idea behind “Wyttch” is intriguing.

The next song I listened to was “Anno Satana.” Right away, the sound of the instruments was exceptional. The bassy, distorted synths sound excellent throughout the whole song. After some research, I found that anno satanas is a system of time based on the foundation of the Church of Satan in 1966, with 1966 being year zero. This has to be my favorite song out of all the others. The drumbeat, guitar and synths make for an enjoyable, catchy track. 

“Birch Grove” is next up, bringing a calm beat. The synth that plays throughout the whole song gives an ethereal tone. When Corgan sings “shading life inside the falling rain all alone, in love with age and someone, someone else, Sundays come and Sundays flee, sundays, wed, won’t you stand with me,” I interpret the lyrics as meaning that someone is trying their best for the people around them, but doesn’t get the same effort reciprocated back. The artistic writing of “Birch Grove” was somewhat gruelling to decipher, but I think that’s the intention. I enjoy the calmer tone of this song; it makes it stand out from the others.

“Confessions of a Dopamine Addict” played next in the tracklist. It has a more hip-hop influenced beat, which I don’t particularly like. The strumming of the guitar’s fretboard doesn’t sit right with me, and the synthwave influenced synths don’t appeal to me. Along with this, the lyrics make it out to be just another love track in my opinion. Overall, I don’t like the song because of its hip-hop beat and meaning. 

“Wrath” came next with a calmer rock tone and appears to be yet another love song. The lyrics are artsy, like the majority of the tracklist. I interpret the words as someone describing how they’d protect their lover. I wish the song had different lyrics so it wasn’t a love song, but it still resonates well with me.

The second to last song is “Cyr.” Right away, the song is energetic, and this energy is carried throughout. In my opinion, the synths go too hard at times, making the song sound too electronic, but it only lasts for a few seconds at a time. Despite this, the instruments sound really good and catchy. Additionally, Corgan’s singing and the harmony used is great. The lyrics “fragments form the minds, shadows hold the mist, fractured as this wish” tell of someone who’s been hurt by a person or people. After that, the chorus goes “say, I done told you (ah), say how I tried, too, where you’ve wrought from creation’s crown,” which is the hurt person no longer taking people’s pain.

The last pre-released song, “The Colour of Love,” is the fastest song out of all the others, with a BPM (beats per minute) of 151. The lighter, distorted guitars give off a positive vibe, despite the slightly grim lyrics. The verses tell of a person who gave all of their love in a relationship, but it eventually fell apart. They aren’t sure of how to love someone as much as they did again. I was kind of upset at this being another love song at first, but the instruments are superb, so I’m giving it a pass.

Overall, the songs off “Cyr” are all satisfactory except for “Confessions of a Dopamine Addict.” I’d say the best track has to be “Anno Satana.” The beat is really catchy and the singing is fantastic. I’m rating the album a 4 out of 5 stars. I’m excited for the full album’s release, so much so that I plan on pre-ordering the 2 disc vinyl off the The Smashing Pumpkins’ website.