|Musicfolio.com||Reviews & Recommendations|
(Robert Smith & Co)
"It takes a singular
mind to sustain a personal vision through nineteen years. A mind that is,
perhaps, a mass of contradictions, but one that is certainly fueled by endless
determination. Robert Smith, creator of the strange, delirious world of The
Cure, has kept true to the 14 year-old boy who wore velvet dresses to school
and was expelled for being a malignant influence, who wished to dream and
scream through an ever-evolving music that will forever be teetering on the
edge of a cliff - and laughing.
(...) Nearly twenty years and twenty-five million albums into their estimable career, The Cure continue to be a force in the hearts of their many fans throughout the world.(...) Like all of the greatest and most durable rock bands, The Cure have shown the rare ability to effortlessly define their era through their music, providing a soundtrack to the lives of a generation."
-- www.elektra.com, 1998
1979: Three Imaginary Boys
Three Imaginary Boys (released in America--and later England--as Boys Don't Cry, with several LP tracks replaced by singles) shows the Cure to be masters of the three-minute form, and includes some amazingly terse and effective musical dissertations on loneliness (10:15 Saturday Night), war and hatred (Killing an Arab, Fire in Cairo), the precariousness of urban life (Subway Song) and trendiness (Jumping Someone Else's Train). An intelligent, unique halfway point between Gang of Four and the Jam.
½ 1979: Boys Don't Cry
Their debut album in the US. The song listing on this album includes several songs from the European version "Three Imaginary Boys"+ extra bonus hit tracks like Boys Don't Cry, Killing an Arab and Jumping on Someone Else's Train.
1980: Seventeen Seconds
"Still capturing the more accessible pop elements and angular post-punk leanings of Three Imaginary Boys, Seventeen Seconds marks a move toward the despair for which the band would become best known. The tempos are slowed down considerably, and the addition of subtle synthesizers to minimalist arrangements builds a darkly evocative atmosphere of depression."
-- Chris Woodstra, All-Music Guide
¼ 1981: Faith
"Memories of childrens' dreams Lie lifeless, Fading Lifeless, Hand in hand with fear and shadows Crying at the funeral party"... morbid to the bone, this album creates undoubtedly an atmosphere of despair and depression through a powerful harmony of sounds and lyrics that few other dark bands have succeeded in creating. Eight songs is all it takes to make you "breathe like a drowning man"!
-- Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 8/99
¼ 1982: Pornography
"(...) PORNOGRAPHY, a beautifully still and deep record, is a room full of shadows. Ambient in part, and occasionally challenging, its vision, even down to the oddly distorted photo on the cover, was one darkly wrapped. Smith's yelp of a vocal rose and fell in and out of the light, while "The Hanging Garden" hinted at his as yet untapped, but clearly commercial, bent."
-- CDnow notes
I close my eyes, Move slowly through drowning waves
Going away, On a strange day
My head falls backs And the walls crash down
And the sky And the impossible Explode
Held for one moment I remember a song
An impression of sound
Then everything is gone Forever
A strange day..."
1983: Japanese Whispers
"Classic 80's...Robert Smith calls it idiot pop, I call it brilliance. "
-- music fan from Chicago IL, amazon reviews
½ 1984: The Top
"The opener Shake Dog Shake is one of the most intense Cure songs ever, its brilliant layered sound and haunting lyrics push my mind into a dark realm reserved for my worst nightmares. Spectacular. Bird Mad Girl, Dressing Up, and The Caterpiller are the light and airy tracks reminescent of the 1983 'Japanese Whispers EP'. (...) The only song I don't care for (maybe I have to develop a taste for it?) is Give Me It, which is just too disorderly. A frenzied mess!
If you are looking for an album full of Friday I'm In Lovetype songs, look elsewhere! This is suggested for people after they have been aquanted with The Cure for awhile. It's a bit much to jump into for the casual listener."
-- firstname.lastname@example.org, amazon reviews
1985: The Head on the Door
"And here comes the happiest and most commercial album of the Cure, with hit songs like Close to Me, In Between Days, and Six Different Ways. By no means does this imply that the work is any less coalescent than previous albums, on the contrary it holds a stellar list of engaging songs including one of my all time favorites Kyoto Song."
-- Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 8/99
1986: Staring At The Sea
An excellent collection of the early Cure work, for those of you who would like to catch up on the 1979-1985 years.
1987: Kiss me Kiss me Kiss me
"Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, was a vast double album of extraordinary invention and moodscaping; never had The Cure sounded quite so extreme, whether in anguish or in bliss. Four singles were forthcoming; 'Why Can't I Be You?,' 'Catch,' 'Hot Hot Hot!!!' and 'Just Like Heaven.' Already a favorite of programmers at the burgeoning alternative radio stations in the US, The Cure suddenly found themselves ushered up from the theater circuit in America and onto arena and stadium stages throughout America on the strength of the 'Kiss Me' record."
-- www.elektra.com"[Rhino issued a remastered 2CD edition of 'Kiss Me...' in North America in 2006.] The bonus disc contains 18 tracks available on CD for the first time, featuring home and studio demos including an instrumental version of The Kiss recorded in Smith's home studio. The bonus disc also features instrumental studio demos for album tracks such as All I Want, Shiver And Shake, and Like Cockatoos, as well as live versions of album tracks Catch, The Snakepit and Fight recorded in 1987."
¾ 1989: Disintegration
"Definitely not an easy listen, and with it's 72min play-time, it's just too much Cure for one day! But once the bass gets to you, you can't get enough of it. It's music built to last, songs screaming perfection, an album that will outlast generations. From the powerful beat of Fascination Street to ballads like Pictures of You, to the more joyful sounds of Love Song, "Disintegration" qualifies as one of the best dark albums of the millenium."
-- Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 8/99
½ 1990: Mixed Up
A compilation of live extended version mixes. A must for long time fans...
¾ 1992: Wish
"'Wish' turns out to contain several of the best things The Cure have done, as well one or two items which they should be able to pull off in their sleep, and, by the sound of it, quite possibly did. The really good news is that Smith has edged the band away from the precipice of mannered, epic gloom which made 1989's 'Disintegration' such a grand and sometimes pompous affair. Wish revisits The Cure's more upbeat, poppy roots. The album's outstanding track, and second single, is Friday I'm In Love, a tune blessed with an insatiable lovable surging melody, a clever nursery rhyme lyric and a heavenly host of twinkly guitar lines. Though this euphoric mood is never fully recaptured, it is strongly implied on High, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, A Letter To Elise and Doing the Unstuck. Even when Smith is hanging his head, there's a spring in his step. Cut, a tearing flurry of wah wah guitars and funky drumming, is the most frenetic whinge The Cure have ever committed to tape. End struts back and forth across an enormous, see-sawing guitar riff which will probably get nicked by Nirvana. And even when the clouds lower, a sense of urgent, unself-conscious longing is generally more evident than that mother lode of unspecified regret which has become the Cure's calling card. "
-- Robert Sandall, Q Magazine, 5/92¼ 1993: Show (live)
A live album including hits from Wish, Disintegration, Kiss Me and The Head on the Door.
"...There are no unbearable guitar solos or concert versions that completely distort the songs, just the big, echoing sound that has filled many lonesome rooms..."
Rolling Stone (10/14/93, p.114)½ 1993: Paris (live)
"...who but the Cure would decide to release not one, but two concert recordings within the space of a single year? There is a method to Robert Smith's madness, however, and the two albums are different enough to stand on their own and satisfy fans who love the Cure for disparate reasons. PARIS, the first of the two to be released in America, showcases the darker moodier side of the Cure, favoring extended explorations of some of the Cure's most difficult material. With three tracks from SEVENTEEN SECONDS (At Night, In Your House, Play For Today) and two from PORNOGRAPHY (The Figurehead, One Hundred Years) and the presence of only two semi-"hits" (Charlotte Sometimes, Love Song), PARIS is clearly a treat for the long-time fan."
-- CDnow notes
½ 1996: Wild Mood Swings
"The weakest of all Cure albums to date. Want and This is a Lie are the only two songs worthy of mention on this album. Robert went as far as incorporating mexican music influences on the track 13th...well...as long as it makes him so Happy he could scream!. You probably know the song Mint Car, so let's say that there's a few Mint Cars on this album. Avoid it."
-- Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 8/99
¾ 1998: Galore
Galore is the follow up collection to 'Staring at the Sea' - which covered the Cure's early history 1979-1985. This CD spans the 1987-1997 era, in addition to a previously unreleased song Wrong Number.
½ 2000: Bloodflowers
"... the masters of melancholy have spawned another soundtrack for all of life's heartaches - crooning through nine richly developed tracks with a hopeless conviction. And yet, their disparaging wails and hums are strangely magnetic: a steady beacon pulsating through the shadows. The disc's first single, Maybe Someday, is probably the most radio-friendly of the collection, with its swanky keyboards surrounding an emblematic chorus of lost emotion and shattered hope. But other musical gems season the album with a sweetly sour The Last Day Of Summer followed by the haunting The Loudest Sound. Considered by some to be the patriarchs of classic Goth, The Cure continue to amplify the beauty in pain with this bouquet of bloodflowers - succeeding in making the art of sadness fashionable once again. "
--Johanna Ravich, Ink Blot Magazine
½ 2001: The Greatest Hits
Basically no more than a shameless cash-in including their commercial hits, which are usually not The Cure's best songs. The two new songs Cut Here and Just Say Yes are not worth purchasing the CD.
2004: The Cure
Tracklisting: 01.Lost 02.Labyrinth 03.Before Three 04.The End Of The World 05.Anniversary 06.Us Or Them 07.Alt.End 08.( I Dont Know Whats Going ) On 09.Taking Off 10.Never 11.The Promise 12.Going Nowhere (Int. Bonustrack )
"The Cure will probably earn higher marks in hindsight than it commands on first listen, but even in the current context-- Smith as Cronus eating his children-- the album is a worthwhile parting shot from an icon that's earned a thousand second chances, and nearly used them all in the 1990s. Closing on a 30-year backlog of ideas, it's no surprise to find Robert Smith repeating himself, but where that dearth of daring damned his last few records, The Cure marks the first time in ages that the music has measured up. Invoking 'Disintegration' is ridiculous, but The Cure is remarkably more thrilling a listen than the band's most recent guitar-heavy predecessors...
Apart from the putrid terrorism PSA Us or Them, the album survives its moments of overdone overdrive, but even its best tracks are starved for a stellar riff, which is hard to reconcile considering Fascination Street alone had, what, ten? (...) Stasis bitching aside, The Cure hides some delicious treats for fans and initiates alike."
-- Chris Ott, pitchforkmedia.com, 6/04
2008: 4:13 Dream
Tracklisting: 01. Underneath the Stars 02. The Only One 03. The Reasons Why 04. Freakshow 05. Sirensong 06. The Real Snow White 07. The Hungry Ghost 08. Switch 09. The Perfect Boy 10. This, here and now, with you 11. Sleep when I'm dead 12. The Scream 13. It's Over
Musicfolio picks: Underneath the Stars, The Scream, Freakshow.
"Portents of an impasse were detected as long as four years ago, when Robert Smith of the Cure talked about the process of sifting through his archive for the 2004 box set, Join the Dots. Everything Ive written for the new album, Im discovering Ive already sung, said the spiritual godfather of postemo stadium fillers such as My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds to Mars. Sure enough, there isnt a song on this, the Cures 13th album, that doesnt sound like an inferior version of one they have already written indeed, in the case of the 23-year-old Sleep When Im Dead, an actual version of one they have already written. Underneath the Stars is a sluggish variation on a theme better realised by Plainsong from the 1989 album 'Disintegration'. Scoot to the jivey spook-pop of Its Over and your thoughts turn to the fraught urgency of the superior From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, from 'Wish' (1992). And so on. Becoming your own tribute band is, to an extent, unavoidable. (...) when creativity is reduced to a mere act of franchise maintenance, something has to give."
-- Pete Paphides, timesonline.co.uk, 10/08
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