A great comeback by The Cure
There are few joys in life like buying a new CD from a band you've always loved and hearing their signature sound exploding into your ears. And so it goes that all '80s fans should thank their personal deities for The Cure's new disc 4:13 Dream.
Even if the album's name isn't easy to remember, its 13 tunes certainly are. Here are some highlights after a first listening:
THE ULTIMATE LOVE SONG: The first track -- Underneath the Stars -- has that patented dreamy, wind-washed sound fans adore. But I particularly enjoy Robert Smith's ghostly voice fading in and out as he delivers some of his best lyrics to date. "Floating here like this with you ... underneath the stars ... alight for 13 billion years. The view -- it's beautiful and ours alone tonight." The song delivers for six-plus minutes but like an hour spent with a lover, you wish the ecstasy would last all day. [Live performance]
JUST LIKE 'JUST LIKE HEAVEN': It's bliss hearing Smith's version of love, and songs like The Only One -- a sequel in sound and content to 1987's Just Like Heaven -- give you direct access to his heart-saturated head. "When you suck me inside and you blow me a kiss, oh I love what you do to my lips." [Live performance]
STILL A GOTH: Don't worry, the darkness lingers on for The Cure, one of the few bands that can still sing dreamily of death without seeming like posers or overly morbid. In The Reasons Why [video], Smith states unapologetically "I won't try to bring you down about my suicide if you promise not to sing about the reasons why." The black mood continues through Sirensong and Freakshow [video] where you feel your heart begin to harden and shrink in your chest. "She turns the lights up, says she is leaving. This is a freakshow, and I am beaten."
THE SUN RETURNS: Just when Smith drags your heart through every trash can in the alley, he brings you back with the playfully titled This Here And Now With You [video], a tune that swoops and dives through every emotion and musical note in the book. "There isn't any yesterday. Tomorrow starts a day away. This here and now with you is how always should always be."
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING: NME.com has a good review, aptly describing the sound as "a re-engagement with the popular music scene, if not an act of war." NME says the track The Real Snow White "comes across like The Cure taking back the sound The Killers borrowed from them and refilling Brandon Flowers' empty grandeur with smoke and fire." Brilliantly mean-spirited. And right on target. [video]
BUY OR NO BUY: Are you kidding me?