Wednesday, November 26, 2008
After hearing news of a new release from an act like ’80s goth-rock legends The Cure, most fans’ response is, “Right, so when’s the tour?”
Cure fans have reason for caution following 2004’s poorly timed, self-titled aggro makeover, which came on the heels of a tour with Interpol and a newfound interest from a generation of goth teens. With The Cure’s 13th studio album in 30 years, 4:13 Dream, Robert Smith and co. are back to form – but unfortunately, Smith runs out of ideas halfway through filling out that form.
4:13 Dream’s first track, “Underneath the Stars,” mirrors “Plainsong,” the dramatic opener to 1989’s masterpiece Disintegration; then the album dives head-first into bouncy pop, pulling heartstrings with the euphoric “The Only One.” The tune wraps Cure favorites “Friday I’m in Love,” “In Between Days” and “Just Like Heaven” into a package tailor-made for a Valentine’s mix CD.
Recorded mostly live in the studio, 4:13 shines with the simplicity of Smith’s hopeful mourning on “This. Here and Now. With You,” “The Hungry Ghost” and “The Perfect Boy.” Elsewhere, uninspired placeholding lyrics such as “I won’t try to bring you down about my suicide” kill the mood. 4:13’s greatest sin comes in the form of the noisy filler cuts, all with incessant Hendrix-lite wah-wah guitar.