Music

The Cure - 4:13 Dream

The portents for this album were never good. After the ditching of their atmospheric keyboardist and long-standing lead guitarist some people hoped that this was another in a grand history of reinvigorating Cure lineup shakeups; unfortunately, this has not proven to be the case.

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The portents for this album were never good. After the ditching of their atmospheric keyboardist and long-standing lead guitarist some people hoped that this was another in a grand history of reinvigorating Cure lineup shakeups; unfortunately, this has not proven to be the case. With the release of this, their thirteenth album, Robert Smith finds himself in the unusual position of fronting a synthless Cure, and as their last series of tours and accompanying live DVD proves, something quite significant is missing. The deliciously textured sound that practically defines the band (or at least their output from the last twenty years) has been reduced to a mere sonic husk. Returning guitarist Porl Thompson, now on his third stint in The Cure, brings a substantial amount of technical flair, but this is surely not the point of the group. The Cure have always been, first and foremost, a song-driven band. Any solos present have often been the result of late-night recording sessions fuelled by excessive wine consumption or sleep deprivation - it was the emotion that counted, not the technical virtuosity. 4:13 Dream finds tension and build-up replaced by a quickly wearisome stream of wah-guitar, incessantly wailing throughout the echo-laden tracks.

To compund these problems, some of the songs are rehashes of songs rejected from previous album sessions, with one track stretching as far back as the 80s, and it shows. There is little cohesion to the album, asides from a half-hearted attempt at maintaing an upbeat feel - relatively speaking, this is The Cure we're talking about after all.

Of course, this being a Cure album 4:13 Dream is not entirely without its high points. Smith's trademark high-pitched and distinctly pained vocals are still the central focus and, as ever, he manages to come up with some memorable melodies. The singles, while offering dubious lyrical quality, are undoubtedly catchy, if somewhat Cure-by-numbers. Ultimately, this album rarely rises above mediocrity; as much as it pains me to say it, this is a disappointing effort.

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8 Comment

Mathias Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

You still are THE BEST BAND OF THE WORLD so far.

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Ronan Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

You know, if you learned how to spell I'd take this interview more seriously.

And can you tell me what grounds you're basing this quote on? "the songs are mostly rehases (sic) of songs rejected from previous album sessions". I know Sleep when I'm Dead is but where are the others?

Learn to write a review.

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donna Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

the live shows were epic!!
this is the GREATEST band in the world here, even when not at their best, far above in talent than the others,..
the CURE are the only band with integrity
and the only band to have ROBERT
he is, and always will be a genius.

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Suzanne Dietz Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

I am now thoroughly convinced that you Brits have absolutely shit taste in music if you think it's perfectly okay for you to trash The Cure. You people are too full of yourself. I hope that Robert Smith moves to the USA where we love him. Piss off.

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Chris Northwood Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

In defence of us Brits, isn't the most famous thing to come out of the US music scene lately Miley Cyrus? :P

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Suzanne Dietz Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

We Americans do not relish the pretended "power" of knocking a band for whatever reason. Miley Cyrus may not be my cup of tea for music, but little kids love her. I have read my limit of nasty rips of The Cure's music. authored by British snobs who have lost their grip on quality if they cannot recognize The Cure as being worthy of more than snippy remarks. The Cure deserve much more respect than they are given. Snippy shits the lot of you.

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dreamyacht Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

I have to agree with Ronan.... one hundred percent.

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James Cousins Posted on Friday 7 Aug 2020

Ronan, if you read Rolling Stone's piece on The Cure in the October 2008 edition you will find more information on the genesis of the songs on 4:13 Dream. And, unfortunately, this was not an interview with Robert Smith, just an album review.

Suzanne, I just thought that I should out that I am not, in fact, British. The Cure are, in my opinion, one of the most important bands of the past twenty years and one of my personal favourite groups; I just don't think that this album reaches the standards of which they are capable.

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