4:13 Dreamby The Cure
4:13 Dream may open with the doomed romanticism of "Underneath the Stars," but that slow-crawling mini-epic is a feint, momentarily disguising how this is the Cure's poppiest album since 1992's Wish. But despite the preponderance of sprightly tempos and singsong hooks, nothing about 4:13 Dream feels especially light, perhaps because Robert Smith chooses to pair these songs with a heavy dose of angst. On "The Reasons Why," the catchiest tune here, Smith sings about suicide with no trace of irony. The pristine production emphasizes Smith's stylized mannerisms. Buried toward the back of 4:13 Dream are two songs with hooks that nevertheless dig underneath the skin: "The Perfect Boy" and "This. Here and Now. With You."
- Release Date:
- Geffen Records
Performance CreditsCure Primary Artist
Simon Gallup Bass,Group Member
Robert Smith Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,6-string bass,Group Member
Porl Thompson Guitar,Group Member
Jason Cooper Percussion,Drums,Loops,Group Member
Catsfield Sub Rhythm Trio Hand Clapping
Technical CreditsCure Composer
Robert Smith Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Jason Cooper Loop
Vincent Van Gogh Author
Keith Uddin Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
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The latest release from the greatest band of the 80's, 90's and possibly the 00's, The Cure are back again with a solid release after their dissappointing self-titled album a few years back. The opening song, "Underneath the Stars" sounds like it could have come off their magnum opus, Disintegration. "The Only One" is the best pop song they have written since "Friday I'm In Love." While not as good as their previous masterpieces (i.e. Pornography, Head On the Door, Disintegration, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, or Bloodflowers), The Cure have proven that after nearly 30 years, they are still as essential and amazing as they ever were! One of the best releases of 2008!
Is 4:13 Dream a nod to "10:15 Saturday Night?" It's as if The Cure had gone fallen under an endless sleep but was miraculously revived at 4:13 AM. The album was the result of all Robert Smith experienced during that dreamlike state. Just when you thought it was over, Robert Smith returns stronger and more vibrant than ever in the opening `Underneath the Stars."
"Underneath the Stars" is the best opening Cure song, save for "Out of this World," and you immediately hear the difference. Echoing "Pictures of You," Smith comes out sounding the most confident he has in years. With his echoing dreamy vocals, he invites us to enter his dream world, a welcome return to a more electrifying Robert Smith something that we've been missing from The Cure. "The Only One" is a modern adaptation of "High" and surpasses the summit reached by the original found on Wish. You can actually hear Smith sounding excited as he reaches those upper notes, like he did during his early Goth incarnations of The Cure.
The Peter Hook-esque bass line could be an ode to New Order on "The Reasons Why." By this part of the album, one begins to notice a recurring theme, with Smith singing about stars and dreams as metaphors for falling in love. "The Reasons Why" sounds like a fan writing a letter to Robert Smith, wanting to feel some kind of connection outside of the song. Smith takes the idea of dream and turns into a more classical Shakespearean meaning of eternal sleep of death.
"Freakshow" is a funk burst of energy recalling 1996's Wild Mood Swings. The freaky guitar riffs enhance the dream state illusions of a damsel who's shattering his heart by slithering away a chance for true love. "Sirensong," one of my favorites, is one of the shortest, sweetest and most personal songs Robert Smith has ever composed on this or any album. I adore the dreamlike vibe that has Smith personifying his muse into the guise of a dream girl.
Just like inspiration, she appears and vanishes before you can grasp at her infinite beauty. Yes, "Sirensong" is this beautiful.
Doors fans may recognize the familiar theme of "Switch." With lyrics like, "Friends are as strangers/ And strangers as friends/ And I feel like I'm wired in a why/ Yeah my friends are as strangers," "Switch" sounds like a stirring modern lyrical interpretation of Jim Morrison's "People Are Strange."
"Sleep with the Dead" is vintage Cure with 21st Century zeal. Robert Smith has unearthed this one from The Head of the Door songwriting sessions. There's transcendent transitions between songs of 4:13 Dream. It is in constant flow, moving from one emotional peak of "Underneath the Stars" through the breaths of despair in "It's Over." I am hoping that 4:13 Dream is only the next chapter, and he doesn't walk away from The Cure.
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda