The Cure
4:13 Dream


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
October 27th, 2008 | 67 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Classic Cure this is not, but 4:13 Dream is certainly easier to digest than some of the band's previous works.

Four years, a cancelled North American tour, and a slew of missed deadlines later, The Cure has finally released their thirteenth studio album. It's been a long, arduous process for the band's fans (and probably the band itself), a fact a good friend of mine hasn't been reluctant to remind me of. “[But] still," he would tell me, "at least their next album is supposed to be a double album!" That was eleven months ago. Clearly, things didn't go exactly as planned. Instead, Cure frontman Robert Smith opted to separate the recording (which was rumoured to be thirty-three songs long), with 2008's 4:13 Dream taking a more positive slant, while the as of yet untitled second half comprising of the darker tracks. But as disappointing as the change in plans may be, especially after all the delays, 4:13 Dream is still a quality release, as well as one of the strongest albums The Cure has released in quite awhile.

"Underneath the Stars" kicks things off with a bit of a gloomy jam reminiscent of Disintegration's "Plainsong", but after the six minute opener, the murkiness quickly dissipates. In its place, a bouncier, upbeat Cure takes over. "Only One" and "Hungry Ghost" are two of the more energetic offerings featured on 4:13 Dream. Musically, they present a glimpse of what the album has to offer, that being material generally happier and poppier than one would usually associate with the English band. Smith's singing is placed at the forefront of the album; sometimes he sounds genuinely content, particularly in the aforementioned "Only One", but other times a wistful tone manages to break through. Such moments of intimacy contrast very nicely with the layers of heavy instrumentation, especially guitars. That isn't to say that 4:13 Dream is all sunshine and daisies, of course. Smith sings the rather disturbing "I won't try to bring you down with my suicide" in "Reasons Why", and his "You've got what I want"s in "Real Snow White" could have been menacing if not for the buoyant chorus that shortly follows. "The Scream" and "It's Over" close off the album on a dark note; the former taking a mellower, effect heavy approach, and the latter taking a more frenzied route. Effectively, both songs provide a nice transition into what should have been the darker, second half of the album, a point made all the more evident through Smith's yelps of "This is not a dream" in "The Scream".

Overall, 4:13 Dream is an extremely consistent album throughout its runtime. Though the heavy wah effects "Switch" are somewhat irksome, and the dynamics of "Freakshow" are a bit odd, there is hardly a dull moment to be heard. The Wish-era Cure meets The Cranberries alt rock in "Sleep When I'm Dead" is particularly infectious, as is "Real Snow White", which is heavily built on intricate guitar melodies and dense rhythms. Classic Cure this is not, but it is, dare I say it, an easier album to digest than some of the band's previous works. Even if the material is a little atypical for the band, it's great to see that The Cure still has some juice left in the tank, especially after the torpid sounding efforts that were Bloodflowers and The Cure. Now hopefully it won't take another four years to release the second half.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Hewitt
October 27th 2008


371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. I'm glad that this was released with only one disc. I was pleasantly surprised by it but I have a feeling that would've been soured somewhat with a double disc release. I'm looking forward to hearing the second half.

Altmer
October 27th 2008


5700 Comments


is "torpid" even a word do you not mean torrid or insipid

lunchforthesky
October 27th 2008


1039 Comments


Their last record was okay for a band way past their best. I might look into this one.

marksellsuswallets
October 27th 2008


4845 Comments


I used to be ridiculously into The Cure but I haven't listened to much from then in so long...mainly just their Greatest Hits album when I do...

Hewitt
October 27th 2008


371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Torpid is a word, its a good choice for description of recent Cure before this release as well.This Message Edited On 10.27.08

fireaboveicebelow
October 27th 2008


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yay for diction. nice short review, I can see my rating going higher eventually

DENEpants
October 27th 2008


382 Comments


speaking of diction, maybe not use the same word 4 times in one line.

"more energetic offerings 4:13 Dream has to offer. Musically, they offer a glimpse of what the album has to offer"

good review though. hopefully this is better than their last.This Message Edited On 10.27.08

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 27th 2008


3708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good idea

is "torpid" even a word do you not mean torrid or insipid
it's a word

Nice review. I'm glad that this was released with only one disc. I was pleasantly surprised by it but I have a feeling that would've been soured somewhat with a double disc release. I'm looking forward to hearing the second half.
You know, that's possible. We'll just have to wait until the second disc is released though.

VeryPleasantNeighbor
October 27th 2008


272 Comments


"...a gloomy jam reminscent of Disintegration's 'Plainsong'"

that's a good start.

nice review.

AggravatedYeti
October 27th 2008


7684 Comments


Sweet, I streamed this, it was pretty awesome. 'FreakShow' was the only song I thought was just ok.
Nice review as well.

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 27th 2008


3708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Freakshow is probably my least favourite on this, but it's still alright.

Lungingweasel
October 28th 2008


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the new album! I caught them on this tour, and as always, it was absolutely amazing.



My favorite track has to be "Reasons Why." Is it just me, or are the cure at their best when their brooding? Perhaps it's just personal preference. I can't wait for the second half!

AtavanHalen
October 29th 2008


17920 Comments


Just got this album, will get around to listening/sounding off soon.

kygermo
October 29th 2008


1007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

at first i thought it was the most blah thing id ever bought. but maaaan did it grow on me.!

Kaleid
November 1st 2008


735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

An improvement on their s/t. Nice concise review

fireaboveicebelow
December 1st 2008


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wow this really grew off me, all the upbeat songs piss me off

PuddleSwimmer
March 18th 2009


1457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like the subtle hints, you know:



"Oh I love, how I love, how I love what you do to my hips.

When you blow me outside, and you suck me like this"

PuddleSwimmer
April 14th 2009


1457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

His voice is also starting to irk me



But it's still good

nicholasarthur
September 27th 2010


87 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's good but I thought their self titled was much better.

Uranium
April 15th 2012


7543 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is so much better than i remember, my god.



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