The Cure
Japanese Whispers


3.0
good

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
December 21st, 2008 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist


Japanese Whispers was an album that went mostly unnoticed. Its distribution used to be fairly limited (you had to import it if you lived in the states) and it never broke any charts. To clear up any confusion, this release is merely a compilation of EP singles and B-sides ‘82 and ‘83. These songs never appeared on any main albums, so basically all the songs are one-off singles of the Pornography sessions. A rather strange collection from that era, as it was more of a precursor to The Top if anything, but still sounded nothing like anything they would release.

The compilation sees The Cure dabbling in the synthesizer driven, new wave movement of the early 80’s. Songs like The Dream, The Upstairs Room, and The Walk illustrate this with their machine-like drum beats and “dark” 80’s movie soundtrack feel. The Walk, the most popular of those three, was, according to Robert Smith, the only song he wrote that his mom liked at that point; this is probably due to the part in the song where Smith shouts “I saw you look like a Japanese baby!” but that’s peer speculation.

Along with the new wave interest, Smith and Lol Tolhurst developed a short lived interest in jazz. Speak My Language and The Lovecats are extremely flashy in that sense. Speak My Language is a poppy piano driven track with a mid tempo triplet jazz rhythm with windy guitar effects, but no one knows what the hell Smith is singing about. His lyrics are totally off the wall on all these songs in fact. The Lovecats is one of their best singles, though. It’s walking bass line, piano pulses, and crescendo of the brass section throughout the song makes it extremely enjoyable, plus the drum and happy, high guitar rhythms slightly reminiscent of The Stray Cats make this one of those tracks you wish you could dance to. Once the song starts to kicks in, it’s one of the most infectious moments of The Cure’s entire career.

The Cure has begun their experimentation that they would perfect on The Head On The Door, naturally with a few dull moments (The Dream, Just One Kiss). This isn’t essential listening by any means, but merely another thing you may be interested in if you want to learn more about the band’s development. Still, it serves its purpose as being a more or less enjoyable listen at just under a half hour, and you can’t go wrong with a few jazzy moments in your day, can you?



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
magictikkleCwicked
December 21st 2008


272 Comments


Ha, and it even goes unnoticed on an underground heavy review site. Whatever. Great review.

fireaboveicebelow
December 21st 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol thanks, I figured The Cure would be more popular around here, I guess they're not metal/obscure enough

TricksterGRex
December 21st 2008


2087 Comments


Nah, they're just not Protest The Hero enough. Good review.

fireaboveicebelow
December 21st 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they're kinda way better

PunkItUp
December 21st 2008


207 Comments


not my favorite cure album. i like the "pop" stuff. always did with the cure. the singles, i guess. lets go to bed, the walk is really cool, and lovecats. why that song is as adorable as a newborn kitten

lol

good reviewThis Message Edited On 12.21.08

TricksterGRex
December 21st 2008


2087 Comments


Just listened to "The Lovecats" and I have to agree.

fireaboveicebelow
December 21st 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks guys, and yeah Lovecats rules

carrero
April 11th 2009


2 Comments


"Lament" is a great track on this album, especially lyrically. So is "The upstairs room", ¨Lovecats¨, ¨The Walk¨,etc.. Pretty solid album really. Truly enjoybale and danceable and more trippy-happy than most Cure albums. A one of a kind beauty for them really. I think its essential if you´re a fan or care to understand the multiple dimensions of this legendary band.

fireaboveicebelow
April 12th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah it's underrated, kinda like Faith

JesusChris
January 9th 2011


673 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So good.

Mickeymau5
September 7th 2012


1614 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I just bought this, rules

WilhelmBlack
June 29th 2015


171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is underrated but it is not nearly on the same level as "Faith". I do not understand why Faith seems to be the bastard child of the trilogy. I thought it was for a while until I played it 6 times in a row because I could not stop enjoying it. Personally for a long time I loved Seventeen Seconds over it but that album is more of a transition album than "Faith" in my opinion. Also, Seventeen Seconds has those ambient instrumentals The Cure would never experiment with again. "The Snakepit" is not ambient.



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