Album Review

4:13 Dream

4:13 Dream

by The Cure

7 / 10
27th November 2008

Reviewed by James Smith

Robert Smith, the writer of perfect morose pop music has, with his band “The Cure” crafted an almost gem of an album. Starting off with a bang, it unfortunately runs out of fizz in the later stages. The record alternates between sticky sweet pop and self-pitying gothic sadness, in the company of towering drums and epic bass lines throughout.

This is The Cure at their very best.

“Underneath The Stars” the album opener is an ambitious piece of music that, clocking in at over the 6 minute mark, makes your spine tingle and hair stand up on end. Luscious chords and sparkling synths are sprinkled over vast drum lines and cavernous bass plods while Smith’s muffled vocals harp on about the glorious night sky. There is more of the same as the album progresses as well as the usual bopping pop jingles that we have come to associate with The Cure. There are even moments of funk rock on 4:13 Dream which come on as complete surprises and as all the songs unravel they instantly sound familiar and warm.

There have been complaints that the sound on this record is too over produced and compressed, and that Robert Smith’s vocals were not as potent as usual. Playing out of my speakers though, it sounds just as succulent and layered as it should do and the vocals are just as effective as ever.

“I made a promise to myself
I wouldn’t start with anyone else but…
You know how it is with these promises
Made in the heat of the moment
They’re made to be broken in two
Sometimes the only thing to do”
is one such example of Smith’s potency in “The Real Snow White”.

One of the only complaints that could be said of this record is that after starting off brilliantly, it runs out of steam on the last few songs. It was a shame that after an ace 1st three quarters that the conclusion was left to just trail off with dreary Goth Rock jams like “The Scream” and “It’s Over”.

4:13 Dream is an unyielding, splendidly written album that has to be The Cure’s finest of the recent catalogue of releases. Blending melancholy lyrics with syrupy melodies, they have managed to capture a sound that is everything The Cure should sound like. The record blasts out of the starting blocks but then regrettably runs out of oomph right at the end. This is no “Pornography” or “Faith” but it is a decent outing none the less.

James Smith

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