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I desperately wanted to love this album... But...
on 3 October 2007
DISCLAIMER: I am a huge Cult fan, so you can take this review with a grain of salt.
Virtually everytime the Cult has come out with a new album, even as a fan, the first 3 or 4 times I listen, my head is full of question marks as to whether I like the album or not... "Born Into This" is no exception. The first time thru, I felt my skin crawling during the opening line of "Holy Mountain" where Ian starts off sounding like a washed up Elvis. Yet once I got past that, I found myself sort of getting into it. Nonsensical lyrics are nothing new with the Cult - its part of what makes them so endearing.
On to the album;
Two albums in a row now, the Cult has left off a demo from the album and either a) put it on the import version (like 'Libertine' from BG&E - available on the Australian) and b) "Stand Alone" - from Born Into This. In both cases (just my opinion) these two songs are not only the most Cult like but the best songs from each period.
Interestingly, the special edition of this album is selling much better than the standard version. That said, the majority are getting - my opinion - the best song on the album.
I find myself asking about the production as it sounds like it was recorded in a garage, perhaps that was on purpose after the bands own admission that BG&E was way over produced. The raw sound brings us back to Love and Dreamtime.
1. Born into this - Good riff - Missing the classic main verse that makes a Cult Song a Cult Song - 2 Stars
2. Citizens - Don't like it, missing too much of the main verse and Ian sounds tired - 1 star
3. Diamonds - Just average - like the beginning, but I find myself thinking about other things before the songs over - 1 Star
4. Dirt(y little rockstar) - This is where the album turns the corner - that said, I didn't get into this one until about the 10th listen, now it just soars to me - 4 Stars
5. Holy Mountain - I want to like it, but if you have Spirit/Light/Speed (Ian's dud 2000 solo album) - this sounds way too much like "Wild Like a Horse" - I swear its the same song with different lyrics - not bad, but Ian sounds better slow when he's rocking out to "Ciao Baby." This one belongs in the lounge - 2 Stars
6. I Assassin - Love the riff! I get more into this one with each listen - 3.5 Stars
7. Illuminated - I hear a little "Hollow Man" in this one - 3 Stars
8. Tiger In The Sun - One of the two gems on the album - reminds me of Creeds "Higher" in that its not a fast paced song, but Ian delivers a great main verse with a lot of passion. 4 Stars
9. Savages - a Rocker - reminds me of "Shake The Sky" (one of the more underated songs from BG&E - along with "American Gothic") - Billy sort of goes off the deep end with this one - 3 Stars
10. Sound of Destruction - Solid, solid - like the guitar work, the non sensical lyrics - catchy. 3.5 Stars
11. Stand Alone - The lone GEM on the album that you can really hang your Cult hat on. 5 stars
12. War Pony Destroyer - bad title, bad lyrics, good guitar, only Ian could make a main verse out of the words "War Pony Destroyer..." - 2.5 Stars
13. I Assassin (DEMO) - Can't tell which is better, the album version or the demo - like 'em both about the same, love the rawness of the demo. 3.5 Stars
14. Sound of Destruction (demo) - Cleaner sounding than the album version - 3.5 Stars
15. Savages (Extended) - Don't know that we need an extended version of this song... But even as I write this, I'm hearing it for about the fifth time, and frankly, it gets considerably better with successive re-plays... 4 Stars
All and all, I'm thrilled they're back, wish there were more Sanctuaries or Rains mixed in, but this is the Cult afterall, every album is a bit of a departure from the previous, with the only real distinguishing characteristic being Ian's voice. Like the new sound, and as I've mentioned, with each successive listen, I'm finding more to like about the album... See you in Tampa on October 30th...