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A classic Cure album,
This review is from: 4:13 Dream (Audio CD)
After 31 years, 10 lineups, and about 26 albums (including live and compilation releases), The Cure release their latest studio album. Originally planned as an expansive double, "4:13 Dream" is the first part of a whole : the first, and more upbeat, record. With 20 songs not used from the album sessions, the intention is to release a second album of more introspective material in the near future. In that respect then, "4:13 Dream" resembles a 'classic' Cure album of yore, made of upbeat pop songs alongside punctuations of light and shade.
There's songs here as positive as "Just Like Heaven" - singles "The Only One", "Freakshow", "Sleep When I'm Dead" and "The Perfect Boy" all roll along with that bittersweet brand of melancholy and optimisim that makes The Cure unique. And There's nothing as unstoppably bleak as "The Same Deep Water As You" or "The Funeral Party". On the other hand, some songs sound like Cure-by-numbers : the floating arpeggios of "This, Here And Now With You" sound like an out-take from the underappreciated early 90's "Wish", and "Underneath The Stars" is a large scope opener of the type that could have come from any Cure album of the past two decades. Not that this is in any way a bad thing, as it demonstrates the consistency of the band - utilising drama and tempo to evoke and invoke.
Shorn of the keyboard sweeps that gave the band a distinctive epic sound, the four piece Cure have replaced these with the more than able Porl Thompson whose guitar skills see him replicating effortlessly the huge vistas of the bands previous vision. Many were skeptical that The Cure could maintain their sound when reduced to a four piece, but this transition is barely noticed through judicious use of Porl's large sonic palette. His guitar work, which is distinctive, shows that his role in the band is integral and that he is an unsung power in the band and live he manages to replicate guitar, keyboard parts, and other instrumentation through a breathtaking selection of effects pedals. Around Porl's work, the rhythms of Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper whip up a sonic storm. Unlike previous Cure records (with rare exceptions such as "Fascination Street"), Gallup has stepped to the fore with his work, and the basslines sound like a lead instrument instead of the supporting cast : "It's Over" moves on a remorseless bassline that underpins the rest of the song to a fierce, locked groove as Smith intones the platitudes of finality and Porl creates a wave of guitar sound that drowns subtlety. As an album closer, it's as effective as 1992's "End" though twice as fast and half as long.
The bands lineup now contains, as it has for a long time, a longstanding but evolving lineage of inception. And make no mistake, The Cure are no revolving door of salaried jobbers, but a cohesive artistic entity with their own individual identities. Lead by Robert Smith (and with no current member with less than 13 years in the band, and a total of 86 years in The Cure between them, a shocking figure), this new lineup have created an album the equal of almost any previous Cure album ; neither a definitive artistic statement nor an obvious clunker (as "The Top" was).
In many way, "4:13" reminds me of the "Wish" album more than anything else the band have done - an eclectic selection of guitar-heavy pop with a distinctly individual edge that presents both light and shade. If you are a fan of The Cure, then "4:13 Dream" is a fine addition to the canon, a snapshot of the band as they are, a reflection of the bands fiercer, more vital end-days phase and a worthy listen. Not back from the dead, but back on a new and interesting journey.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Oct 2008 21:31:36 BDT
Rev Q Sand says:
I think The Top was one of their better records and "The Caterpillar" is my second favourite Cure single (after A Forest).
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Oct 2008 21:51:04 BDT
Really? "The Top" is insane, to me, anyway. It sounds like someone with too many drugs and not enough sleep playing every instrument themselves.
The Glove reissue, that's brilliant...
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2008 15:59:47 BDT
I couldn't agree more: The Top contains the most creative and important work Robert Smith has ever produced. It is the only album in the canon that will stay the test of time.
Posted on 25 Oct 2008 08:58:26 BDT
I actually laughed this album was so bad , I cant believe how any one could think this album sounds anything like , " Wish "!!
The lyrics on that album at least had rhyme and melody i.e. , " Friday Im in love " , do you see any of the songs on this one having the same catchy appeal ??
I gurantee you in 10 yrs time when the Cure will be doing the festivals it wont be any song from this album that will be playing .
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2008 19:26:01 BDT
That sounds like The Cure, they rarely play any song under a decade old in most instances. I enjoyed it. It's not for everyone.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2009 14:08:40 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Apr 2009 14:11:21 BDT]
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2014 16:46:54 GMT
P. M. Stoddart says:
Last gig the Cure played - 14 Sept 2014
Plainsong , Prayers for Rain , Fascination Street, Push, In Between Days, Just Like Heaven, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, Pictures of You, Lullaby, High, Wrong Number, The Caterpillar, The Walk, Cut Here, Lovesong, Mint Car, Friday I'm in Love
Doing the Unstuck, Bananafishbones, Never Enough, One Hundred Years, Give Me It, Disintegration, The Lovecats, Hot Hot Hot!!! Close to Me, Why Can't I Be You?, Boys Don't Cry
So just the 29 songs over a decade old, and most of them 20+.
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