Admittedly, the Cure haven’t gotten very much attention in the mainstream anymore. After all, they formed way back in the late 1970s. And their last really great album was “Wish” back in 1992.
But if the Cure is indeed not cool anymore, their new album, “4:13 Dream,” is a cool trip back to the 80s, with dreamy guitar strums and Robert Smith’s awesome voice.
Some of the Cure’s first songs bring back memories of previous albums. Jason Cooper plays the slow drum plodding and the guitarists play the incredible blurring guitars in the first track, “Underneath the Stars. “The Reasons Why” is a cool post-punk style song that is reminiscent of their “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” album. Simon Gallup adds in an awesome bass rhythm and Jason Cooper drums like Jimmy Chamberlain from the Smashing Pumpkins. Smith still sounds awesome with that echoing voice.
Unfortunately, the Cure also is trying to play disco-punk songs to try to sound cool with the new kids these days. It doesn’t work very well, to say the least. “Freakshow” is a slightly awkward song with Porl Thompson playing an annoying distorted guitar solo in the background, which doesn’t quite work when Smith is singing a mile a minute. Cooper’s wannabe disco drumming is, to say the least, boring.
To my dismay, the Cure still has the opportunity to become cool these days, in the same way that Pearl Jam hit the top 10 charts with the songs “World Wide Suicide” and “Life Wasted.” The Cure’s sixth song, “The Real Snow White” is filled with the killer blaring distorted guitar chords which were so infectious in their song “Wrong Number,” which was a hit on the Cure’s compilation album, “Galore.” This is an awesome track with Thompson playing the awesome guitar melodies, which are so irresistible in bands, such as Franz Ferdinand.
Cooper also plays some awesome hip-hop beats in songs such as “The Hungry Ghost” and “Sleep When I’m Dead.” Of course, Thompson and Smith spice these songs up with blurring guitar sounds, and Smith is a killer singer in “The Hungry Ghost,” in which he sings “Shallow doubt as the as the hunger grows/Make believe it’s like no one knows/Even if we turn more to most/We’ll never satisfy the hungry ghost.” But Cooper deserves tons of credit, for really kicking up their excitement with plenty of cool rhythms.
This is an experimental album, in which the Cure tried lots of new things, such as excessively loud guitars and discotheque drumming. Hopefully the Cure learned a couple of good lessons from this album. First, they sound awesome when they’re loud and chaotic, but Thompson has to quit overdoing it with annoying blaring guitar solos. And Cooper has to make sure he keeps laying down awesome beats.
With all that said, the Cure’s new album is good. Just don’t expect to be as stellar and unbelievably cool as their masterpiece album, “Disintegration.”
Verdict: While the Cure made a few stumbles, in this album they’ve discovered plenty of ways to break back into the mainstream, even though they’re pretty old hat nowadays.