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Mary Star of the Sea

204 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Billy is back and he smashes all rock hype into understatment with Zwan. Arena-folk-metal-punk, a rampaging triple-guitar attack and pop melodies, glam grandeur and sophisticated twists. [Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand]

Having dramatically misjudged their audience's loyalty to skewed, art-damaged heavy metal, the Smashing Pumpkins called it a day shortly after the release of 2000's low-grossing Machina/The Machines of God. Three years later, frontman Billy Corgan returns with an all-star team of mostly Chicago indie rockers at his side, including Slint/Tortoise guitarist Dave Pajo, Skunk guitarist Matt Sweeney, A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin, and fellow Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlain on drums. But Zwan has not blunted the singer's flamboyant edge. His bonkers vocal gymnastics and whisper-to-a-scream choruses remain at the black heart of Mary Star of the Sea, as the group works its way through the rich melodies of new classics like "Honestly" and "Endless Summer," and pleasingly shifts into downtempo mood on the gorgeous "Of a Broken Heart" and gripping "Desire." And while Corgan's tendency toward self-indulgence results in the tedious 14-minute "Jesus, I/Mary Star of the Sea," it is just a minor lapse considering the rest of the big, glamorous rock on display here. --Aidin Vaziri

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Lyric
  2. Settle Down
  3. Declarations Of Faith
  4. Honestly
  5. El Sol
  6. Of A Broken Heart
  7. Ride A Black Swan
  8. Heartsong
  9. Endless Summer
  10. Baby Let's Rock!
  11. Yeah!
  12. Desire
  13. Jesus,I / Mary Star Of The Sea
  14. Come With Me

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 28, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw
  • ASIN: B00007M84Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,715 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By John on March 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I am really annoyed at all the reviewers who have complained at how different this is from the Smashing Pumpkins. Why are they so surprised? Why do they feel Billy Corgan cheated them? I think it was made loud and clear that this is ZWAN, not the Smashing Pumpkins continued. People who are disappointed at the changes in the music and mood are only kidding themselves. Billy has even said that Zwan does not play Pumpkin songs at shows, so I think it is clear that the Pumpkins are over.
Zwan's debut features something probably no one thought they'd see - a very, VERY happy Billy Corgan. It is quite obvious by listening to Mary Star of the Sea that the old rat in a cage has found God (on "Declarations of Faith" Billy makes it clear in the chorus `I declare myself of faith'). He has found joy in life, and it radiates throughout the CD. There is no doom-and-gloom here.
The first single, "Honestly", will give you a good idea of what to expect. It's not the best song on the album, but it was a good idea for the first single because it has all the Zwan elements you find throughout every song. A very happy, carefree, fun attitude; an infectious, rocking riff; and Zwan's loud three guitar attack. Another standout on the album is "Jesus I/Mary Star of the Sea". "Jesus I" is a 14 minute masterpiece (on par with the longer Pumpkins songs, such as "X.Y.U." but certainly not sounding anything the same)in which all the musicians get a chance to shine. I've listened to this song over and over and in my opinion, this track alone is nearly worth the entire cost of the album. Other songs that grab you right away are "Yeah!", "Lyric", "Endless Summer", and "Heartsong". However, there is not one misstep in the whole CD. You won't need to hit the skip button on `Mary'.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on February 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Zwan is not a supergroup, or even really a distinct new group of its own. Instead it's a new extension of Smashing Pumpkins, with Billy Corgan still solidly in control of the songwriting. This album presents a logical progression from the final proper Pumpkins album, the underrated Machina. The other similarities between the two bands are ridiculously predictable. Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has come over wholesale. Bassist Paz Lenchantin (from A Perfect Circle) is now the female counterpoint, utilized liberally on backing vocals, although she's better at both bass and vocals than D'Arcy of the Pumpkins. Guitarists Matt Sweeney and David Pajo have hip indie credentials, but here they make few distinct musical statements of their own and are merely two more cogs in the Corgan machine. Corgan has made no major changes in his songwriting style, besides some natural development, so Zwan are just some new Pumpkins.
Lyrically, Corgan has thankfully dropped most of his self-righteous woe-is-me schtick and has become much more spiritual, with his usual helping of romantic musings. Musically, this album still contains some of the Pumpkins' old problems, such as the hokey sing-along "Come With Me;" while this time the gigantic sprawling epic is the 14-minute "Jesus I/Mary Star of the Sea" which can't quite justify its entire length. But this album also shows the long-time strengths in Corgan's songwriting that he rarely receives credit for. This includes pent-up, dramatic ballads like "Heartsong" and the energetic, groove-worthy rockers like "Declarations of Faith" and "Ride a Black Swan." So this Zwan album has little new to offer, but it is a good buy for Smashing Pumpkins fans who wish to see how Corgan has continued to improve his approach.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By liannai on January 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As a big fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, I had to look into the band Zwan. At first, I really wasn't into the single, "Honestly" but it grew on me in time. After getting Zwan's "Mary Star of the Sea" I was really blown away by the first track, just the guitar sounds, the arrangement, everything. As I listened to the rest of the album, Ive come to find that the Smashing Pumpkins arent dead at all, Jimmy's incomparable drumming is still as present on Zwan's album as it was with the Pumpkins, hes still the best. And Billy has seemingly worked through some of the demons of pumpkin-ness and released an amazing post pumpkins post rock album. And the song "So I died of a broken heart" is eerie yet sad, almost reminiscent of "Disarm", accompanied by keyboard strings, while Baby Lets Rock is just a damn happy, sort of bluesy kind of song. This album was far above my expectations and it just proves that Billy does it again... he may have left the Pumpkins, but the Pumpkins havent left him. He still can write a damn good song. Billy indeed has talent, unlike a lot of todays "hit" artists, I look at them and even if they do make a satsifying song, most of them do lack talent. No matter what you say about Billy, he has talent, and there is no denying that if you listen to any Pumpkins album, and Mary Star of the Sea. Pure talent.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By danny on April 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
On first listen, i thought that all of these songs sounded the same. on the second listen, i found a few songs that i liked, but thought that this album was nothing compared to an SP album.
however, after having owned this album for over four months... i have gotten use to the music, and have recognized it as one of the greatest albums of all time. you m ay think that that is an overstatement, but i honestly mean it. this album IS one of the top 100 albums i'd say ever made.
the music is happy, yes, so what? are old, burnt out SP fans so depressed that they can't stand music that's actually a bit upbeat and optimistic? why are people so afraid of somewhat religious music? who cares. it's music... and darn good music at that.
1. LYRIC - 10/10 - this is easily the best song off of the album. This is the only song that i know in the whole entire world that can lift me up no matter how down i am. It is much better to listen to happy, beautiful, uplifting songs like this whenever you're down than to listen to ones that reflect your misery
2. SETTLE DOWN - 10/10 - Once again, another hard rocking, yet touching and beautiful track. There really isn't a basic outline to the song as there are with most songs... where it's always verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, solo, chorus.
this song has more like three choruses... and i'm not sure which one is the main one, but they're amazingly powerful and blend so well...
3. DECLARATIONS OF FAITH - 9/10 - of all the songs on the album, this is probably the song that most reminds me of Billy's older work with the smashing pumpkins. the verses tend to bore you a bit, but the chorus is easy to headbang to. it's always good to have a nice pure rock n roll track on the album like this one
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