September 05, 2000
Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Grunge, Indie Rock

Album Review

Having decided that the earlier Friends and Enemies effort at getting rare songs out to the Pumpkins' fan base surreptitiously was successful, Billy Corgan organized a more formal effort with Machina II, borrowing the original tape title while revamping the contents. Twenty-five copies were made on three 10" and two 12" vinyl discs. Instructions were given to distribute the material on the Web; artwork was also made available online, making this possibly the first full release of an album strictly as a free Web effort. The first 10" disc includes the heavy-yet-dreamy "Slow Down" and a "spacy" version of "Glass' Theme"; the second features one of the Pumpkins' most surprising covers, James Brown's "Soul Power," which turns out to be a great Pumpkins bash-and-thrash fest. It also includes the Adore outtake "Cash Car Star," a fantastic hyper-thrash assault with some insane guitar work, and a fantastic version of the "Stand Inside Your Love" B-side "Speed Kills." The final 10" contains a piano/vocals version of "If There Is a God," and a lighter take on "Try, Try, Try." The two 12" disc releases -- the "official" Friends and Enemies release -- features alternate takes of the original cassette's tracks, including "Dross," and a heavy rip through "Blue Skies Bring Tears," while "Le Deux Machina" and the loud, sparkling soar of "Real Love" remain unchanged. New songs include a fine James Iha number, "Go," the haunting "Innosense," and the official release of "Let Me Give the World to You," here given a triumphant total-band take. As a high-class artifact and a gift to a loyal fan base, Machina II is a winner.
Ned Raggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Slow Dawn
  2. Vanity
  3. Saturnine
  4. Glass' Theme [Spacey Dub]
  5. Soul Power
  6. Cash Car Star [Alternate Take]
  7. Lucky 13
  8. Speed Kills [Alternate Take]
  9. If There Is a God [Piano/Vox]
  10. Try, Try, Try [Alternate Take]
  11. Heavy Metal Machine [Alternate Take]
  12. Glass' Theme
  13. Cash Car Star
  14. Dross
  15. Real Love
  16. Go
  17. Let Me Give the World to You
  18. Innosense
  19. Home
  20. Blue Skies Bring Tears [Heavy]
  21. White Spider
  22. In My Body
  23. If There Is a God [Full Band]
  24. Le Deux Machina [Synth City Remix]
  25. Here's to the Atom Bomb [Alternate Take]