June 29, 2004
The Cure is the name of The Cure's latest international mega-release. Debuting today and breaking all records (surely some record, maybe best opening day for a 25+ year old alternative college band from southern England?). Well, I suppose that all remains to be seen. Anyway, I am now happily in possession of this newest album from my favorite band in the whole wide world.
And it is good.
Lyrically, Robert doesn't seem to cover any new ground. But apart from singing about being over the hill, he's not been able to do much new in the last decade plus. And that's okay with me. Its not like he can riff on politics and stir up the fanbase. He writes poetry about love, and it still sounds good in my ears.
Now, there are plenty of reviews on the web, and I don't want to bore you by repeating what they have to say. Go read them if you're inclined. And let me add the following: it never lags. It never pulls away, drifting into pop oblivion. In fact it is extremely present thanks to the production style. The psychedelic guitars are in good use, the keyboards are subdued, and the percussion is front and center. My main complaint about Bloodflowers was that it never rocked, even the purposefully-bombastic Watching Me Fall was at pretty much the same pace as the rest of the album. Not to say this album has a fast beat, but it does rock.
It sounds live. Very reminiscient of the the Trilogy DVD, which performances I rate very highly. Yes, I'm a junkie, but my wife's not quite a Smith and company junkie, and she's pretty impressed by it too (Trilogy, that is). By the way, I just restarted the record after my first complete listen through.
This is going to get a lot of listening from me. Usually if I say that a new piece by an old band might actually broaden its audience, I don't necessarily mean that as a good thing. But there is nothing remotely shlocky or shmaltzy here. And despite sharing a producer, it doesn't sound like Limp Bizkit. And I think it will attract a few new souls.
This review is more worthy of Wild Mood Swings than The Cure. But I'm trying to have a conversation here, so I'm okay with that. Its not like I'm writing up policies and procedures at work or getting paid by Rolling Stone. Overall I would say that old-school Cure fans who can get past 1983 should like this. It has elements of 1983 (Pornography, that is), and reminds me of certain tracks from Kiss Me and Wish most particularly, especially the b-sides from the latter. Somewhere in the middle was a track whose attitude, though not necessarily atmosphere, strongly evoked live recordings of Disintegration's Prayers for Rain. So go out and buy it already! $10 at Best Buy.