Machina/The Machines of God Songs Ranked

Machina/The Machines of God is the fifth studio album by the American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, released on February 29, 2000, by Virgin Records. A concept album, it marked the return of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and was intended to be the band’s final official LP release prior to their first break up in 2000. A sequel album—Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music—was later released independently via the Internet and limited quantities for the physical version. As with its predecessor, Adore, Machina represented a drastic image and sound change for the band that failed to reconnect them with chart-topping success. However, after the relatively brief Adore tour, the new line-up with Chamberlin and the former Hole bass guitarist Melissa Auf der Maur mounted longer international tours that returned the live incarnation of the band to a guitar-driven hard rock style. Here are all of Machina/The Machines of God songs ranked.

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15. Heavy Metal Machine

“Heavy Metal Machine, easily one of the most polarizing songs the Pumpkins ever released. You either love it or hate it. Personally, I feel that there is a great song in here somewhere, but it’s hidden by the mountains of processed synthesizers and the overbearing production (seeing a theme here?) robs the main riff of much of its crushing power. Seriously, this is a great riff, and could’ve been a Pumpkins classic if the production were crisper. The lyrics don’t help either – it’s a bunch of ridiculous, rock-god messiah bullshit that apparently ties into the album’s “narrative”. A potentially great song that just falls short”

14. The Sacred and Profane

“Another mellow track with a great chorus but here’s where the obnoxious production comes in and hides the great guitars and drums under its murk. The song also gets a little repetitive and could’ve been a minute shorter to be really great. Still one of the better tracks on the album though”

13. Glass and the Ghost Children

“And here, my friends, is Exhibit A for why so many people hate Billy Corgan. This song is a colossal mistake, a overlong, grating monstrosity with some of Billy’s worst tendencies as a songwriter – meandering prog-ish noodling, spoken-word sections that are cringeworthy instead of profound, and no memorable melody or hooks or even a sense of atmosphere whatsoever. There are a couple of instances of cool riffing here and there but by and large this song is just bad”

Machina / The Machines Of God - Album by The Smashing Pumpkins | Spotify

12. The Imploding Voice

“Not a fan of this song – it has some nice punk-ish guitars but it’s a hookless, meandering track without a memorable melody and the production is honestly one of the worst on the album on this track. Instead of sounding fast and intense, it just sounds hazy and unformed. Easily skippable”

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11. Blue Skies Bring Tears

“This song to me encapsulates Machina as a whole: some great moments, but it goes on for too long and it’s too processed for its own good. I don’t love it, but it does create a swirling, dense atmosphere and Billy sounds great. It just feels a little unnecessary and it doesn’t help that it’s goddamn 6 minutes long”

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10. Age of Innocence

“This seems to be a pretty well-liked track among SP fans but I’ve never been a fan of it. It’s yet another overproduced track that’s too long and doesn’t really leave much of an impression. This song could’ve been left out altogether without missing anything and it’s a weak ending to the album”

9. The Crying Tree of Mercury

“After an awful 3-song stretch, this track is a welcome respite. The main riff is really cool, psychedelic, haunting and searching and the song has a nice doomy ambiance throughout, sounding almost stoner rock-ish. From what I understand, this is not a well-liked track among SP fans but I personally found it engaging. It’s fun in a dark, bleak kind of way”

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8. I of the Mourning

“The album continues on a strong note. This is one of the more upbeat songs on the album with some nice riffs and drumming. The lyrics are a little ridiculous, but it’s a nice tune nonetheless with some of Billy’s better vocal harmonies on the album”

7. Raindrops + Sunshowers

“This song seems like a natural outgrowth of the tracks on Adore, with a looping beat and a nice, low-key melody. Some strong drumming on this one and although not very memorable, it’s a decent tune”

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6. The Everlasting Gaze

“A solid start to the album, this is a ripping, pile-driving rocker with what I believe is one of the Pumpkin’s best riffs. The weird, cringeworthy acapella section halfway through aside, this is one of their best latter-day rockers, catchy and powerful at the same time”

5. Stand Inside Your Love

“nd here we arrive, early on in the album’s running, to what is easily its best track. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is one of the best songs period. The brooding, melancholy guitars, Billy’s lyrics, which are as straightforward romantic as they’ve ever been, and a soaring chorus make this an instant Pumpkins classic and one of the best love songs I’ve ever heard”

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4. Try, Try, Try

“I consider this 1979 pt. II. Although it’s definitely not as good as that classic, it’s a gorgeous slice of electro-pop with an ear-catching main melody, poetic lyrics and a strong sense of melancholy and nostalgia. Second best song on the album”

3. This Time

“The albums slips back into a mellower groove with this track, and it brings to mind psychedelic, quiet-loud songs of the past like Rhinoceros and Mayonaise. The chorus is great but the song goes on for too long and gets repetitive at the 3 and a half minute mark. Once again, the production makes it sound kind of half-buried in the murk”

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2. Wound

“By this point, the album seriously starts to drag and Wound doesn’t help. It’s another overprocessed, overly synthesized track with a melody that SOUNDS good as you’re listening to it, but doesn’t really stick in the memory, and the lyrics are pretty awful”

1. With Every Light

“Another highlight of the album, this upbeat tune (hey, yet another pattern emerging) glides along on a bouncy guitar, some gently beautiful vocals from Billy and a sense of optimism that’s welcome after the occasionally forced pessimism and put-on gravitas of the last few tracks. The chorus is simply wonderful”