On The Cure
, Robert Smith sounds disgruntled as usual, and The Cure make an album that sounds like a particularly adept Cure cover band in a top studio, making a pastiche of Wish
with a little Disintegration
I don't expect innovation from The Cure, but what worries me is what little these songs are actually based upon. Cure songs used to be built like houses, or in the earlier years built on atmosphere. But the songs on this album don't seem to have any actual foundations, however instantly pleasing the sound may be to long-term Cure fans.
Make no mistake, this is an album for Cure fans, with Cure fan Ross Robinson onboard as producer - a rare outsider in the studio with Robert Smith and co.
is an instantly appealing album to listen to, and upon hearing the opening track "Lost", it's easy to get carried away and excited, and believe that really, The Cure are well and truly back, with Smith giving one of his more passionate vocal performances, while the music behind him resembles an enjoyably aggressive dirge.
A track that stands up best to repeat listens though is "Anniversary", built upon layers but with a beating heart centred around a little keyboard melody. The vocal melody and lyrics are suitably dark, and The Cure coming out of retirement is worth it if only for songs like this, "Lost", and the Cure-by-numbers (but still decent) single, "The End of the World".
But whereas previous classic Cure songs relied on bass and keyboards, and layered everything, most of these songs are guitar-led and don't have the same musical depth as a result - I mean, since when were The Cure ever really a ROCK band. Sure, on "Us and Them"' the bass rumbles away, yet the keyboards may as well not be there.
Ultimately then, this is a guitar-heavy Cure album - one produced by a metal producer - and it simply becomes tiresome by the album's second half. Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews