Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

June 29, 2004

The Cure

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.

4 Comments

ah, the Cure... what would you do without them, and what would I do without U2?

It's inspiring to see how moved you are by their music... let's see, my favorites of theirs would be... Fascination Street, Lovesong, Never Enough (the guitar-heavy version), Just Like Heaven, and their cover of Purple Haze (do you still have that tape?)

Tape with Purple Haze? I do have it on CD. Two versions in fact—the one that got radio play and was on the Hendrix tribute album, and another one that sounds more like the original. Both equally good. They are on the second or third disc of the B-sides collection Join the Dots, which came out last year and is phenomonal.

All the songs you chose are from 1987 and on. I need to get some good older stuff to you sometime. Of course Staring at the Sea is a good sampler from that period, covers all the singles. But it might not be the collection I would put together.

FYI, for any Cure lurkers out there, in the next few years they will supposedly be coming out with remastered versions of all the older albums. We'll just have to wait and see on that one though.

I'm listening to it at the moment and the way it segues from "The Promise" to "Going Nowhere" reminds me of the way "Disintegration" segues into "Homesick."

But yeah -- I think it's much more a Cure album than "Bloodflowers," which was *supposed* to be a Cure-in-the-classic-mode Cure album.

I've also been listening to the "Trilogy" performances qute a bit -- I think they really have influenced this album. I almost can't listen to the 1983 version of "Pornography" any more -- simply because the live version of the title song is soooo much better on "Trilogy." (With that bass line, it's actually a SONG now.)

Yeah, Trilogy definitely kicks but. Pornography becomes a whole new album in this context, and definitely steals the show. Do you think you could record the audio onto your Archos?