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4.5 out of 5 stars
Seventeen Seconds
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
After many years following the Cure I remain baffled by this record. Where does it fit in? Which Cure are we listening to? All questions I've asked myself...

My initial impressions were that this is at worst a patchy and difficult upward shift in gear by the Cure and that at best it's a clear signpost for subsequent greatness. As the years have drifted past my views have mellowed and the importance of this recording has steadily dawned. This is a significant record in the Cure canon.

If one ignores the (predominanty) intrumental tracks 'A reflection', 'Three' and 'The final sound' you are left with a collection of exceptional songs.

Favourites include; 'Play for today' even with its overly complex guitar parts. The whispered 'Secrets' remains a solid prototype for so many subsequent Cure songs - brilliant.

One can't help but mention 'A Forest', which along with 'Faith', is the Cure's signature live track. The studio original doesn't quite live up to it's live performance status. However, don't dispair as it's followed by the simply awesome 'M', which is possibly the Cure's most underrated track. I'd like to hope that 'M' is a homage to the Fritz Lang/ Peter Lorre film - who knows, it remains a high point on this album.

In short, if you are new to the Cure make sure you buy this album; it is so much more than simply the record with 'A forest'. Infact, it is the keynote to their quintet of golden greats - "Faith", "Pornography", "The top" and "Head on". With the very notable exception of "Disintegration" they've never bettered these recordings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Cures 17 Seconds album is a favourite of mine.Its brooding music and ethereal atmosphere is quite hypnotic and yet also relaxing.
The lyrics hardly matter unusually for me because of its dreamlike quality.
I read a long time ago that Robert Smith had dreamt the music and upon waking he and the band went on to make the album.Its an early album but one of their very best.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2008
This is the album that really marked the Cure out as a great act. Until this moment they could have been noted as merely an interesting cult band. This here is a fine, fine collection of recordings.

Clocking in at a mere 35 minutes the original release felt much longer because of it's deeply seductive power. Within it's beautiful simplicity lies an instinctive and thrilling songwriting talent. There are no bad tracks here at all. Even the short instrumental interludes (that originally marked the beginnings of side one and side two of the vinyl album & cassette) are just perfect.

This album was just one of the reasons why 'fans' took the Cure so much to heart. I'm not talking about the usual black clad, backcombed pale and poetic youths of the time or even the few Kensington Market types who dressed and wore their hair exactly like Robert Smith. This band crossed over to all sorts of people because they really were that good. And for that generation the Cure's music became something of a soundtrack to their lives.

When this album was first released it seemed obvious that this band were going to be special. But absolutely no-one could have guessed the twisty path they were going to take.

New to the Cure? Start here and work forward (and back). It's a strange and wonderful journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Adding a keyboard player to the trio on their original album, The Cure refined their sound a little, but 'Seventeen Seconds' is still a triumph for rock at its most basic level. Bleak, atmospheric soundscapes pervade this album. The instrumental, 'A Reflection,' sets up a funereal air, before the plaintive, uptempo jangle of 'Play For Today.' 'In Your House' features a guitar pattern that evokes the sinister, as does 'At Night' with its fuzzy bass notes. The stand-out track is the hit, 'A Forest,' with its almost twangy, spy theme-like opening over an eerie keyboard background. The title track closes the album with the same anguish as it opened with. Not the happiest listening this, but compelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2011
If anyone has any doubts about what are the Cure, just listen to this and Faith. I bought these one tape in 1981 in the States and still play (yes the tape) today. Although I am here as I think I need a CD! Faith and SS came out in the States as one two album sided long tape. I have played and played it over the years. A Forest will always be the Cure to me. This is a fab, deep melancholy ablum, it is not a dance album. It should also be played all at once in the correct order not as is done now with people downloading odd tracks a practice that I can't understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2011
This was the first Cure album I ever bought - in about 1988. I had never heard anything like it and was blown away from the first listen. 23 years later I have not changed my mind. I recently updated my old and very worn cassette version (yes really!) for the remastered CD and was worth every penny. The clarity of the sound - all those wonderful songs sounding like new.

It is short album but perfectly formed - each track earns its keep.
I still don't understand how such a low key set of songs can make my hair stand on end and still sound so fresh every time I listen.

If you have never listened to the Cure or just never listened to this album do yourself a huge favour and get it today.
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on 13 April 2010
This is a s generally a brooding, atmospheric, and somber album, although it does portray flashes of anger and frustration. Its almost progressive rock gone Indie. It is an internal affair with a sense of belief in something, ranging in scope from the confident to the utterly unassailable with supernatural undertones. Its easy to see why these were adopted as the ambassadors of the early Goth subculture. The cure have always been unconventional and as such attract an unconventional audience. Mainstream success was never their goal. when this Album was made it provided the prefect balance between the manufactured of the lipstick, gloss and mascara that had invaded the media. And I am so glad it did.

The music is creepily haunting and can easily be seen as the brother to the banshees, indeed Robert smith did tend to hop ship from time to time during this period. It's safe to say that the word "bleak" cannot easily be over applied to this record, and should be listened to side by side with Faith to get perspective, the chilling sounds of melancholy despair-and-destruction is resonated in excellently The cover of the album gives an indication of what lies within. A cold blurry confussed landscape creates the impression of the metomorphise between child and adult. Like a lot of Cure albums, it can difficult to listen to at times it is almost formless insofar as casual listening will blend all the tracks together into a shapeless mass of unhappiness and depression. It lacks instantly recognisable hooks or lyrical flashes which stick in your mind. Rather like wet charcoal it takes a lot of time to get going and when it does, it burns slowly with clouds of thick dense smoke. It does require what may be regarded as active listening to begin to appreciate the tracks as individual pieces.

The cure have always been about Robert Smith and perhaps there very strength is also their Achilles heel. Although he can succeed at conjuring corrosively dark atmospheres the compositions can be at times minimalist to truly have the effectiveness that one would desire. However the cure do have the knack of adorning their nightmares with vocals, that are powerful and gut-wrenching that sounds so hopeless and bleak it's as if any second you could be sucked in to those droning bass figures and baritone guitars. The music and texture is considered by many to be dark, depressing but scrape beneath the venire and you will find some beautiful and creative melodies and lamentations

When listen ti the cure one should forget the reconceptions and just liten and be carried away on a voyage deep within ones own subconscience.

The North had Bunnymen, Joy Division and the Chameleons

The south had The Cure and The Sound

Time has proved that the Cure were actually the most resillient.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2012
Great album but Amazon item photo suggests you are getting one of the recent remastered versions with extra CD etc.. But not so! You do get the full 17 seconds album which in itself is great if you want to replace your vinyl with CD as I am doing but don't expect all the fancy extra's! Think Amazon need to sort this out and make it very clear what you are actually getting and paying for! Would send back but cannot be bothered........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have just noticed that negative reviews have been posted by one individual. Curious don`t you think? Anyway ignore this person as they are clearly not intelligent enough to review such a deep and idiosyncratic band as ' THE CURE '. My advice,for what it`s worth,is that this, and indeed, most of ' THE CURE ' albums are worthy of, at the very least, a GOOD listen too, before you can really "get" them!!
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on 28 October 2014
The Cure's second album, and for me personally, just as good as their first.

Not as full of instantly hummable punky pop songs, but this is where Goth Rock really began.

Superb musicianship, songwriting, lyrics and it includes the instant classic The Forest - what more do you want?

A definitive, five star must buy.

Very, very highly rated, superb.
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