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Title:  Machina / The Machines Of God

Artist: Smashing Pumpkins

Genre:  Rock/ Alt. Rock/ Art-Rock

Record Label: Virgin Records

File Under: You Know They're Not Dead

Best Cuts:  The Everlasting Gaze, Raindrops + Sunshowers, Stand Inside Your Love, Try Try Try, The Sacred And The Profane, Heavy Metal Machine, Wound, Age Of Innocence

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                  The Smashing Pumpkins have returned to their glory days of rock and roll with the release of Machina, their latest album.  Ever since they disappointed hard-core fans with the most mellowest pumpkin album ever, 1998's Adore, they have re-hired their drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, and they've designed a record that could compete with their classic 1995 album, Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness."  

                  Machina starts off with Billy Corgan screaming out, "You know I'm not dead", and that's proof enough that the pumpkins are back. The blazing title track was one of the most abrasive sounds that I've ever heard, but pumpkin magic makes the track actually catchy!  "Raindrops and Sunshowers" is a beautiful piece of music, which can actually be danced to.  And the band's second single of Machina, "Stand Inside Your Love", is a whisper-to-scream track...one that brings back memories of "Tonight, Tonight", and "Try Try Try", with it's catchy hook, reminiscent of "1979", is all set to be the next hit.

                   The album is perfectly sequenced so that it starts out hard and ends up really soft and mellow.  The tracks flow along smoothly.  The one track that's placed as a bridge between the harder tracks and the softer ones called "Heavy Metal Machine", can be rated as one of the Pumpkins' best works ever.  It's a perfect blend of hard rock, with melodic lyrics and soft choruses.  The album kinda starts dragging towards the end, but it's okay.

                  In all, this is one of the best pumpkins albums in years, and their last too, because the band has announced their breakup at the end of the year.  Goodbye, Pumpkins, we'll be missing you.               

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