Music: Machina/The Machines of God

The Smashing Pumpkins

When your album title is this pretentious, you had better back it up. The Smashing Pumpkins has pulled off the feat in the past--the group's ridiculously titled 1995 album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, featured some of the most accomplished rock music of the '90s. The new CD, while not as bold or brilliant, does contain a fair number of standout tracks. Machina is unreconstructed alternative rock, with screeching guitars and obscure lyrics. The best songs (the incantatory The Everlasting Gaze, the thunderously tuneful Stand Inside Your Love) make the less-compelling numbers worth slogging through.

--By Christopher John Farley

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