Entertainment review: “ATUM Act 1”


  Rock band The Smashing Pumpkins are coming out with a three-part rock opera album, releasing 11 songs every 11 weeks. Act one of “ATUM” was released on November 15th, Corgan designed this release schedule to help listeners pace themselves in digesting this large work.

  Being a guitar player myself, I was excited to hear that this album was more guitar-driven in its sound. Sadly, though, when I listened to the first act of ATUM it was not the guitar-driven album I was expecting. 

  All of the songs feature futuristic-sounding synthesizers, with the guitar only being spotlighted in certain parts, which is very different from the Smashing Pumpkins music that I had previously listened to. Their recent music isn’t the type of rock that I’m into, but the songs on this album aren’t bad if you’re into futuristic rock. 

  The most popular song out of the 11 released in act 1 is “Beyond The Vale,” where the guitar is predominately heard and the futuristic tone is tuned down; making it more similar to their older music. My personal favorite song from this set is “Steps In Time.” It has the closest sound to “Disarm” from their album “Siamese Dream” and is the only song, besides the first track, with a guitar solo. 

  The rest of the songs are more alternative synth-pop driven rather than the hard rock that is heard in their 90’s albums. My least favorite track is “Butterfly Suite” as it reminds me of something Shinedown or the Imagine Dragons would produce. 

  I would recommend giving ATUM a listen if you are a Smashing Pumpkins fan, but keep in mind, it’s not like their old hard rock albums. Going into this album with expectations like I did will just end up leaving you disappointed.