Good In Goodbye, Empires, Sojourner, Pacer, Intergalactic. All bangers, plus more. You can’t deny it any longer, this album is a feat of music in the 2020s.
By - StarlaDear9194
I honestly like it front to back, but act II & III are way stronger. I will say that the title track, Steps in Time and The Good in Goodbye from act I are nothing short of amazing.
I started off being really disappointed after the 3rd track on act I when it was rolling out. But once I was able to digest it as a whole album it won me over. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s a damned good album. A band their age, with their wealth of material has no business putting out a triple album even remotely this good, but here we are.
You said it. I’m so glad I stopped listening to the songs week but week. To each their own but for me it really hit when I took it all in at once.
exactly. summarizing this album’s impact perfectly.
Atum is 1000x better than “no album”, and though it took me a while, I’ve come to really like it. I love some songs on it, and like most of the rest. I think I’d have loved it if I was at that special age of 14-18 when music hits so much harder.
I’m glad Billy is still making music, and just as important: he is making music he wants to make, regardless of what people will say about it.
The title track is like a crossroads, and it could have lead in any direction. I’m surprised at the direction the album took as I expected more of a rock opera and less of a synth wave. But this is what we have, and it is unique
Can we please, please find some different words to describe music besides “banger” and “slaps?”
Sure you can. Every individual is entitled to their own personal vocabulary.
im so sorry, i was high out of my mind and i wanted to say how much i loved this album, and i couldn’t think of the right words lol
It's solid. In my personal opinion though it could have been 2 acts.. with more instrumentals in between.. I really dig the synths and the Pink Floyd / David Bowie vibes
For sure. The synths are killer. Except for Moss, I hate the cat piano lol. And I think sometimes the track listing could’ve been done better, but some of the songs hit really hard where they’ve been placed.
Aw man Moss is one of my faves
I think that’s literally just Katie Cole saying “meow”.
you’re kidding! oh god…
Moss reminds me of the old Pumpkins, blue skies bring tears rock version
i would like to know how it reminds you of that. im so curious lol
I agree completely. As far as new music goes I think it stands alone, Pumpkins fandom aside. There's some really good songs on it.
It probably would've went over alot better as a single record with the very best songs, but releasing it all is what the Pumpkins are about. I appreciate them staying true & giving us more to dive into.
I think it could’ve been a double album. I liked about 24 of the songs, and the mid songs drag the record down for sure.
I really tried with this album I can't tell you how much I wanted this to be a great record and return to form as Billy said it would be but no not really. I loved Shiny, and I think WPC's solo stuff is awesome, Cyr was a dud for me but I was hoping they'd go back to some rock or maybe even some somber stuff. But no there are a handful of songs I like but its bloated, directionless, and the lyrics are fucking bizarre.
Absolutely with regards to it being bloated and the lyrics being so ridiculous to the point of cringe.
If you look at the singles released, Beguiled, Empires and Spellbinding- these songs have lyrics that are more stand alone.
That is less than a quarter of the album. Billy Corgan is one of the greatest song writers ever, been so relatable to so many people, and now this is what he's up to. This is the same guy who wrote fucking Disarm.
Your point? Those three songs I mentioned were in response to the previous poster stating the lyrics don’t make sense. I was pointing out that the songs that have been released as singles so far have lyrics that are easier to understand. I’d say 90% of Atum is amazing.
The point is that it should be the majority, not the minority. It should be a given that lyrics on a Smashing Pumpkins album are well written. It shouldn't be a handful of songs.
They are well written from the standpoint of the larger story being told. Buy the CD and read the booklet as it explains what’s happening in each song. If you don’t like it listen to the 11 other SP records 🤩
Sure, you can say "oh its apart of a story" but the story makes no sense. It's like Billy took a bunch of mushrooms and tried to piece together a crazy story.
You obviously haven’t listed to the podcast or read even the liner notes.
It should have been one 12 track record with all the rest released as decent b-sides, similar to what he's done in the past. There is a great interview with Billy from this week with an Australian interviewer where he is clearly in two minds about the 'release everything method'.
Since CYR flopped Billy seems fixated on the band finding commercial success and relevance and at the same time maintains writing music on his own terms (a good thing). I think to achieve both goals he needs an editor. There is some ok stuff on Atum that is pulled down by wading through a lot of filler. Obviously super fans can do the editing themselves but the younger audience SP are desperately going after on TikTok will hear Beguiled, listen to half of Act 1 and think... This is so mid..Byeee.
Hearing Billy talk about the record being universally well received was painful. It must be frustrating knowing that if you make a loud guitar record u will get the success u crave but your heart won't be in it. I'm glad he seems happy at the moment and I'm stoked people are buzzing over Atum even if to me it was bloated and the filler outweighed the gold.
i don’t think much of it is gold at all, but i do think a majority of it was silver. the smashing pumpkins sound isn’t just guitar heavy rock stuff, it’s the fact that they don’t sound exactly like anybody else, which means they can change a lot. i think more people just need to accept that billy’s writing style in this more universal album (that describes more worldly issues) is going to be different from a more intimate and personal album. plus, as a smashing pumpkins concept album, you’d have to know by now that it’s not going to make sense until you hear it from WPC.
I will take Atum fans seriously when they stop leaning on the ‘anyone who criticises Atum just wants SD/MCIS rock Pumpkins’ crutch. It’s not the case. Sure there are some of those fans, just as there is a contingent of Radiohead fans who bailed after OK Computer. The point is, I love Kid A and Amnesiac, and Four Tet, Olafur Arnalds, Clarke, etc etc. Atum and Cyr are just not good synth albums because the songs just aren’t there. Hence the streaming numbers.
There’s definitely a symmetry between some of Billy’s comfort contradictions and the posts of fans who love Atum. He always said he wouldn’t be a legacy band. Look at the setlists, it’s all the old hits. It’s legacy setlists. That is why the tours are selling, not because Atum is good. Look at the streaming numbers on Atum. It’s not that people aren’t capable of enjoying synth music, they’re just getting it from bands who are good at it. The inferences that Pumpkins fans that don’t like Atum are just not ready, capable, eclectic or open enough to it…just as deluded as Billy claiming Monuments was better than a 7/10 when actually it’s lucky to get that.
You are right however about fans needing to accept this new standard level. It’s been a decade and I’ve accepted it. The lack of an editor, a producer, a label that requires quality and more importantly someone to say no to him like D’arcy did..to me it has robbed Billy of a string of potentially good records. It started on Machina and has snowballed on every ensuing record. He could have achieved the same output with all the same material available just segmented into albums and b-sides. I think he would have got more of the acclaim and numbers he desires.
To be clear, it’s subjective. I am stoked some people are enjoying Atum. Thinking the songs are absolutely mid is a valid position and feeling that doesn’t mean I want SD2 or another rock album. I would love for Billy’s synth albums to have had the quality of songs at their core that Kid A and Amnesiac did. They just didn’t.
Agreed though I love CYR so much I bought the tshirt. He said a little bit of everything like Mellon Collie. MC did have a little bit of everything but it went beyond genre of music. He also did different things with his voice and different production styles and a lot of different instrumentation. Atum feels super narrow in comparison in regards to these things. Hell is there even a straight up all acoustic or piano song on there? I don’t recall hearing one but I made it halfway through the third disc and just gave up at that point. I was very hopeful that he would deliver on the “something for everybody” concept knowing the songs wouldn’t sound like Mellon collie or Machina but damn he failed to deliver on that. If I may go back to the no acoustic piano stuff, why does he keep separating it from Sp albums or in this case having the 4th record being where it’s all at? Part of what made great pumpkin records in the 90s was there was always a few of these types of tracks to break things up. Finally why cant he stop with the god/Jesus stuff already? Like Mary Star was great but it should’ve ended there.
Spirituality is a huge part of Billy Corgan's self now, HUGE. No mention to JC (not the drummer) in ATUM, though.
There is one, kind of, Springtimes which I really enjoyed. But yeah I just can't get around to the post 2012 stuff. Not a fan of the synths, at least the way Billy uses them. I wish there was just something on this album that actually sounds like The Smashing Pumpkins. The albums should've ended on Adore or Machina. All the other stuff Billy has done should've been apart of his solo projects.
Springtimes. Of Wings. Cenotaph. Space Age. Beautiful songs with acoustic/piano/strings. Space Age sounds a lot like Luna. It practically makes me cry from how sentimental it sounds. and God has always been a theme in SP. I Am One is literally about God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Then there’s Jesus Is The Sun and Jesus Loves His Babies. The song God is also about God. Shocker. lots of Mellon Collie is about God.
You'll like it one day. I was indifferent to Oceania even after seeing them on the tour supporting the album. But 10 years later I really love it. Probably could have been sooner if I had just proactively listened to the album. I made a single "disc" playlist of my favorites from ATUM and that has been a great way to appreciate the entire project. Start small with like 6 or 8 songs and see if over time you add more to your own personal playlist. After all, Monuments and Shiny #1 were only 9 and 8 songs, respectively.
No, I won't, but that's okay. I listened to this album in its entirety 3 times, gave each song time, and I still don't like it. Sure, there are songs I do like, but that is bound to happen when there's 3 albums there to pick out songs from. Every Pumpkins album hit on the first listen for me, except for Monuments, Cyr, and obviously Atum. I've given monuments almost 10 years and given Cyr 2. I gave them thorough listens. Some albums are just duds. It happens. I'm just not a fan of this new direction Billy Corgan is heading.
hahaha, I'm glad I gave my wife of 10 years and mother of 2 children more than 3 chances.
You do not understand how many songs ATUM actually has. 3 listens thoroughly diving into each song is more than enough. It's 2 HOURS LONG! After those 3 listens, I knew that I needed to stop trying to love something I couldn't.
Some albums just aren't for everybody. I'm glad so many are loving this record, bringing love to this band that has saved my life. But it isn't for me. I don't like this type of music.
I also don't really understand your relationship example. What would be more appropriate in this case is the comparison of a breakup. If you had been with and broken up with this person 3 times, that would be enough to know that you were not meant to be.
what you really have to do is identify the nuances. without nuance, SP's music would be nothing. ATUM as a whole (not much in individual songs) has nuance.
Sorry, are we expected to marry and have children with this terrible album?
Cool you love it, but would people please stop it with this "if you listen enough you'll get stockholm syndrome and love it AND DON'T FORGET THE PODCAST TO HELP IT ALL MAKE SENSE" nonsense. Who are (any of) you to tell me what's an important use of my time? It's not a 30 minute album, it's 2.5 hours. Those of us who don't like it have had plenty of time to give it a chance and make a decision.
Have you listened to the podcast 33? It breaks down each song, and what each song is about, yes the lyrics taken by themselves, they make no sense, but as part of a whole story consisting of 33 acts, the lyrics tie together perfectly and quite beautiful really. For instance take the lyrics to avalanche -
By this time, Osirah and Nighthawk have left the Dream Dream amusement park with Ruby the robot and are in a field of sunflowers. They're preparing to do a live broadcast of whatever message from Shiny is stored on the hard drive that's plugged into Ruby, hoping it will eventually go viral. As dawn breaks, Nighthawk is setting up the background for the live stream, as Osirah stares out over the field of sunflowers singing "Avalanche." Ruby (who is now in part Shiny's consciousness) notices Osirah and joins in on the song as a duet, singing of their "mutual circumstance." For the first time, Osirah feels an emotional connection to Shiny, only it is through Ruby the robot.
Don't get me wrong
This a'int so hard
Youth arms my shield
As wish does charge
Don't get me wrong
I aim desires
I aim these qualms
As if they'd journey where you are
We'll set 'em on fire
We'll set 'em on trial, for laughs
To arc right back where you are
Gee, love kids strange
As odd as achin' on
This cybernaut in chains
It looks like a dream
But feels like a fright
To lay on his beams
To sail on the night
We'll prey on his authors
And stamp out their kind, but slowly
Don't get me wrong
This dirge subsides
As fate augers us
By hint, and by slight
I aim these zeroes
I aim their mark
To fear these angels on the march
We'll set 'em on fire
We'll set 'em on trial, for lark
To reach right back where you are
But you don't feel
Where real meets real
Where souls stand rich enough
To challenge what's revealed
It looks like a dream
But feels like a fright
To lay on his beams
And sail on the night
We'll beg on assassins
To rub out their kind, but slowly
Don't get me wrong
I kinda like the story, but I think it's not good if a record can't stand on its own and for it to be understood one must listen to 33 episodes of a podcast. I'd never pick that story from the lyrics alone.
Ok, I like the opportunity to do a deeper dive into the songs. Adds depth and a fun way to interact with the music. Much more imaginative and interesting than 90% of what’s out there now.
the reason billy made the podcast is because people didnt understand the story of the previous concept records, and i bet you couldn't tell me what the story of MCIS and Machina were if you didnt find out for yourself. many people inferred their own stories from those records, and it works just as well.
I can’t believe that people buy his nonsense about MCIS being a concept album related to the Machina story.
The sunflower head is actually an inflorescence made of hundreds or thousands of tiny flowers called florets. The central florets look like the centre of a normal flower, apseudanthium. The benefit to the plant is that it is very easily seen by the insects and birds which pollinate it, and it produces thousands of seeds.
This post honestly reads as satire. Like you’re taking the piss out of Billy and Atum. But you’re not. Make of that what you will.
I agree, I absolutely love it, even more than Cyr.
I listen to the album in full daily at least once lol. Such a good album!!
I mean, I like The Wheels on The Bus more than Cyr. It's not a very high bar.
Can’t deny it? Yea I can.
Can I join the denial team? Think I will.
Got room for one more?
Sure, come in. Beer?
must suck to have billy call you a siamese zombie :P
Act 1 really drags it down because I do think acts 2 and 3 are some the best stuff they’ve since Oceania or even Machina
It's ok. Better after a few listens but I'm glad I didn't buy the vinyl as I haven't gone back to it for weeks. I played it every day but there're so many tracks and only a few are really worthy of having on a physical format. Could of been a double album with less hype about it being a successor to Machina.
Probably would of bought it if the fat was cut and it was a single album on 2 discs.
and the vinyl is really freakin expensive. i went to italy and saw it on a shelf for 70 euros, which is pretty good for a triple record, but 500 bucks for a box set is insane. i just made a playlist of the songs i liked lol
I literally did the same thing....record stores here do alot of social media plugs for pre-orders and usually they upload videos of them arriving and going to customers but with ATUM I know my friend had zero interest...and the other stores have done no videos. Give it 6 months and the FOMO will decrease and those boxsets with drop in price.
and i am quite excited to buy ATUM when it’s an actually fair price. but you know, all vinyl these days is far too expensive anyway, right?
It doesn't. There's a somewhat decent 13-track album in there, but honestly, it's too forgettable in how generic it sounds, even when attempting to make a 'sprawling rock opera'. At least Zodeon and a half was a bit more interesting.
I really like ATUM.
For a long time, I ignored the newer stuff. SP was a huge influence on my teenage years and I have an extremely deep, emotional connection to Siamese Dream and Adore. I couldn't move on and enjoy anything new. It felt different and wrong to me back then. I know it's dumb, but young me felt abandoned and angry when they broke up.
My own teenager brought me around to the post Machina stuff a few years ago and I was finally able to listen objectively instead of emotionally. I love it all. Not every song lands for me, but the majority of every album does.
ATUM feels very authentic smashing pumpkins to me.
yeah, i was stuff in the past too lol. and ATUM is the most SP smashing pumpkins has been in years. love that shit.
I think enough time has past where I can come in and not sound overtly negative but I think ATUM is really horrible. I would go as to say, a drastic step backwards for the band in many ways even from CYR.
You're crazy. Atum is way better than Cyr. And I like Cyr. No comparison
I firmly despise Cyr and don't particularly like Atum (I think there's a decent single album nestled among three acts of mediocre/shit songs), but even I'd agree that Atum is way better than Cyr.
I dig it, but I wish it had more ambiance. When I think rock opera I imagine tracks that flow into each other and some extraneous shit going on between as well.
For me the weak points are Hooray, Neophyte, and the combo of Space Age/To the Grays/Every Morning which all sound the same to me. Springtimes and Cenotaph rip my goddamn heart out and the rock tracks on this album press the buttons I need.
Every Morning is the best on the album. Top 3 at worst for me. To the Grays is like a 1979 feel to me.
I think Space Age, night Waves and With Ado I Do are the only songs i dont care much about. The other 30 songs are marvelous.
Every morning is simply beautiful. Love it!
Centopath is awesome btw. I like that they went for a sprawling album. You get fun poppiness on Spellbinding, classic riffy rock with songs like Harmageddon, and something more soulful with songs like Centopath, Every Morning, exc.
yeah, this album is way more diverse than people give it credit for.
I love it. Hooligans is one of the most interesting songs they've ever done. So cool!
I love the Metallica-esque Harmageddon 🤘
It definitely is an achievement even if I didn't love all of the results. I give him credit for being ambitious.
Same, love it BUT can’t get into Sojourner, like at all. Cool to see how different stuff resonates with different people, eh?
really? im obsessed with sojourner. like, its my third favorite SP song of the past 10 years. so strange to see so many opinions!
I Soujourner I.... it's different and solid
Hooray as on sarcasm, that Billy muchacho
Yeah I’m liking it better than anything else since, ahhh… maybe even Machina. There are some good tracks over that period (one and all, silvery sometimes, song for a son, etc.) but this is the best overall album in 23 years from SP, I reckon.
Machina has some amazing songs but also some that don’t hit as well. I think Atum is 90 % gold. Amazing feat and incredibly prolific!
Which song on Atum is better than SIYL, Everlasting Gaze, This Time, Wound, LMGTWTY, Home, If There Is a God, or Age of Innocence?
Space Age, maybe. or Intergalatic. or Spellbinding. that one really reminded me of Machina.
Agreed. I love this album!!
each act improves on the previous, and with such great ambition for a project, that seems insane to me
wpc and co. are as good as ever IMO, it's just that content changes and attitudes change and evolve
i also think about how lucky we are as SP fans to have such a rich catalog that is being nearly continuously expanded. so many of SP's contemporaries are gone; it makes me so happy to still have the band in my life
i agree with all of that!
🙌🏼 💯 %
I agree 100%
Can and will keep denying it. I guess it must be different if you actually like the direction the band has gone, but for a lot of us it's a rough (and needlessly bloated) experience.
sounds like you’re a bit gripped to the past. that’s alright, i was too.
The past is where the Pumpkins' good music is.
the past is where the pumpkins' music that YOU LIKE is.
No kidding? Sorry I don't share your taste, cope harder
I mean, it is a feat of music in that there are songs, if you can call them that, and they were recorded into an album.
Listened to it once and never again.
Easily the worst SP has ever released, and I couldn't stand Cyr.
CYR is better than Mellon Collie tho
This is all I need to know to never listen to a thing you say.
True. Peace Through War et al
Lol CYR slaps and was way better. Also that silly story just ruins most of the album for me.
No others 90s bands are being so innovative, brave and prolific as SP since 2018. Didn't enjoy Shiny 1 very much, but loved CYR and ATUM.
man i’m so confused how you got a downvote. it’s true! they are so innovative. have you seen mudhoney’s new stuff? it’s boring!
In general I am enjoying the new releases by 90s bands. Didn't listen to Mudhoney, can't give an opinion. The last STP album was very good tho, and also liked Gigaton and the new Vedder solo work. But let's be honest, it is good music, but very conservative, kinda fan service. SP are always trying something new.
It would have made an amazing album.
It did not need to be three.
It definitely does not measure up to MCIS or Machina.
There is a CLASSIC record mixed in there. But you have to find it yourself.
Which is kinda cool too! But it's absolutely absurd to be like "You should totally check out that old band Smashing Pumpkins' new record! It's TWO AND A HALF HOURS LONG."
Nah, man. Trim the fat. Find an editor. Nobody fucking has time for that shit.
Problem is the same as *Cyr*: we won’t all agree on what the “fat” is.
My must-keep could be your get-rid-of.
I dunno. I think for the most part there's a general consensus on the good stuff. I might not agree with everyone about certain tracks, but at the same time I can pick 7 or 8 songs that are definitely worse.
And I also think most forgive the occasional stinker on a record if it still fits in the idea of a complete album.
Agree that taste is subjective but good is almost always universal.
I’ll test you on this…
I unironically love *Hooray*
But would it fit in cohesion with the rest of the songs? Depends on the songs! I dunno man. It's irritating cause you can literally debate it in a circular fashion till the end of time.
For instance, I'd say that scarcity adds value inherently. Like, and this example is due to your username and I love the record, but can you imagine replacing Nude with Bangers and Mash? It wouldn't work. I love both songs intensely, but for real, having an editor and only choosing the best for an album isn't a bad thing.
What’s great is that as independent artists they can release what they want how they want and they are not beholden to marketing tricks or studio criticism. They don’t need Atum to be a HIT. They have “ F U Money” and can do as they please.
I have lots of time. As do many others who love the album.
I love the album. Beginning to end it is spectacular. Billy Corgan is the most prolific musician in the last few generation.
I agree and even though I mostly listen to it on vinyl, skipping through on streaming, I was struck by how all the motifs really tie together. So cool
It’s true. Corgan proves he’s the real thing, finally.
I love it front to back now. Have it on vinyl and I just love having three acts to choose between while I’m making art or something.
It is a masterpiece - and I listen to it almost every day, I love gold mask, avalanche every morning pacer to the greys, hooligan, neophyte, moss, empires, beguiled, spellbinding, space age, Fireflies, embracer, good in goodbye, and more! So many great songs and compositions. If you throw it on and just let the thing play it will get into your soul and infect your mind in a good way! You’ll be humming a Melodie then think, wait what song is that from? Then you’ll be back for a listen. It’s simply Great! I love that they use the title instrumental track as their opening song to the tour.
lots of catchy and experimental tracks. hard to put those two things together
>this album is a feat of music in the 2020s.
It is very difficult to assess in a ranking format. How do you compare a triple album to a regular 40-62 minutes effort? And, given this is a concept album, are going to pass on the mediocrity of Hooligan, Woth Ado I Do or Where Rain Must Fall because they serve an accurate storrytelling purpose?
For all of that, I just couldn't rank in a Best of kind of list. But, for me, it is an awesome work, and the one I have listened to the most since Oceania.
i freakin love with ado i do and hooligan. they have interesting melodies that get stuck in your head in the best way possible!
but yeah, it’s kind of hard to compare a triple album with a normal album