It is hard to believe that The Cure have been recording albums for over 30 years now. They had already been a band for about 10 years before I became a fan, and I have now been obsessed for the last 20 years -- ever since I first heard them. The Head on the Door was the first album by The Cure that I ever heard and bought, way back in 1985. Two years later came the amazing album Kiss Me Kiss Me. By the time Disintegration came out in 1989 I was a hardcore crazy fanatical Cure fan. It is sort of funny. This was the album that Robert Smith made that he thought would not be a commercial success. His label also was worried about this album. It was their darkest album yet and would remain their darkest of all time, yet everyone embraced the album and fell in love with it. It somehow managed to speak to an entire generation. The Cure was not just for the goths and weirdos anymore. Everyone liked them. I could not get enough of this band. Disintegration remains most Cure fans' favorite album. It came out at an important developmental part of my life and probably was the most important album in my life. People often overstate the importance of certain albums, but it came out a couple days after my birthday during my last couple months of junior high. It became my album of the summer of 1989, the year before I started High School. I probably listened to this album at least once a day. Wish came out 3 years later, a couple weeks before my 18th birthday and close to the end of my life in High School. While Disintegration would remain my favorite, I also fell in love with Wish. The album was everywhere. The singles that most Cure fans didn't really like were all over the radio. It was really all about the B-sides and the non single tracks on this album. These were the songs I was obsessed with. I could live without ever hearing "Friday I'm In Love" or "High" again, but still can't get enough of "Apart," "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea," and "To With Impossible Things." This album became the album of my summer of 1992. I was not alone. It was another important album for a very important part of my life. The Cure was there for me again to help me transition both emotionally and physically. For most of us, Wish would be the last great Cure album. We are hopelessly devoted fans for life but nothing can compare to those albums.
I've remained a fan all these years, just as obsessed as ever. I go see them every time they tour. I listen to all their old albums many times throughout the year, but I am always a bit disappointed every time I first listen to their newest album. There are always a couple songs that I like but I never listen to their new albums all that much. I decided to have a new approach to this newest Cure album. I would not set my expectations that high and have a better chance of liking the album. I ended up liking a bunch of songs on this new album a lot. I actually found myself listening to this new album more that I have to any of the previous 3 albums. The new album is their 13th album and appropriately called 4:13 Dream. It is their 4th album since Wish and their 13th proper album. Robert intended this album to be a double album. I really wish that he would have followed through with that. Most of their albums have a dark part and a pop element to them, but the songs are usually all mixed up together. It would have been fantastic to have a new album with a disc of pop upbeat songs and a disc of the more dark Cure songs. The album ended up including more of the happier pop songs that Robert has become fond of over the last decade. They recorded 33 songs for the album, so there are many more songs out there. Some of them have ended up as b-sides on the singles, but I am hopeful they will decide to release another album of the tracks that did not make it onto this album. Maybe that second Disintegration type album is still possible. Most fans just simply want another Disintegration. We then become disappointed when each new Cure album sounds nothing like Disintegration.
There are some elements of some older albums on this new one. There is no getting away from Robert Smith's signature voice. Once you are a fan, it is hard to resist. There are always elements of the new songs that I fall in love with. If nothing else it is his voice. I am a big fan of one of the singles on the new album. "Sleep When I'm Dead" is easily one of the best songs on the album. I was very pleased to learn it was originally written for The Head on the Door. It has an older Cure sound to. How appropriate that my favorite song from the new album originally came from my first Cure album. "The Reasons Why" and "The Hungry Ghost" are two of my other favorites on the album. "The Hungry Ghost" could have easily fit on the Wish album. I like these songs because they remind me of the older sound of The Cure that I fell in love with. The album has already grown on me this week. I like it more now that I did earlier in the week. Regardless of how you feel about the new album, there is no denying their greatness live. They still remain one of the greatest live bands that I have ever seen. They are the closest thing that we have to the Grateful Dead. I have never seen the Dead live but imagine it was similar to a Cure show. I really hope Robert Smith follows through and gives us that companion album of those dark songs. He may not be as depressed or drug induced as he was when he recorded Pornography and Disintegration, but I know another amazing dark albums is still inside of him somewhere. It may even already be recorded -- he just had to put it out. He doesn't really owe it to his fans. He has already given us so much. It would just be an amazing gift to us. Maybe he should call the next album The Gift.
Here is the video for my new favorite song from the new album, "Sleep When I'm Dead"...
and here is a somewhat older song, "Lullaby," from the album Disintegration...
also out today...
Intimacy by Bloc Party
Cardinology by Ryan Adams
A Hundred Million Suns by Snow Patrol
Off With Their Heads by Kaiser Chiefs
Heart On by Eagles of Death Metal
The Fame by Lady Gaga
Microcastle by Deerhunter
Just a Souvenir by Squarepusher
Love is Overtaking Me by Arthur Russell
Alpinisms by School of Seven Bells