The Cure
Boys Don't Cry


4.0
excellent

Review

by Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers USER (67 Reviews)
October 9th, 2005 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist


#442 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Ah 1980, when the New Wave/Post-Punk scene was still building and the Cure were but three young men and with somewhat more sensible hair than later incarnations. They started picking up steam with the singles Killing An Arab and Boys Don't Cry, and released their first album in the US, Boys Don't Cry. They wouldn't gain major popularity in America until 1989's Disintegration, a masterpiece of dreamy guitars and gloomy synthesizers. Boys Don't Cry was compiled mostly of the Cure's actual debut, Three Imaginary Boys, this album actually only has 2 previously unreleased songs. Despite this, Boys Don't Cry proves to be a great set of songs driven by jangly guitars and Robert Smith's young and whimsical voice.

Showcased in songs like Jumping Someone Else's Train and 10:15 Saturday Night, are the twangy, surf-rock guitars very popular then. But Robert Smith tried to stray the Cure away from other bands at the time. He felt music wasn't clever or dark enough, and while Smith didn't master the art of gloom until 1982's classic for loner goth kids, Pornography, Boys Don't Cry and Three Imaginary Boys are a good start. Smith took his dark, sarcastic edge to songs like Fire in Cairo and their first single Killing an Arab, taking a nihilist view, showing Smith's success at writing less personal songs than we're used to. His sarcasm reaches a seemingly light-hearted peak at the song So What, the title seems to give it all away, and the instruments are shoved in the background as Robert gives a cynical rant in a shaky voice. Smith's more personal lyrics are in the songs 10:15 Saturday Night and Boys Don't Cry. The perky and playful melodies distract the listener from Smith's cries of desolation and sadness. If boys don't cry, don't listen to the Cure... Smith doesn't shy away from making some songs guitar driven, as mentioned before. Jumping Someone Else's Train's Post-Punk guitar start the tune about everyone's willingness to conform (perhaps explaining Smith's denial of the Cure being Goth) with a bang, then burst into a Ska-like rhythm and melody. The song ends with a bang as well, as the drums suddenly jump into a foot-stompin', hand-clappin', cheerleading like beat with the bass giving a grooving pulse shortly afterwards.

Songs like Killing an Arab display odd melodies, having a, well, Arabic sounding riff and the very robotic bassline (well on pretty much every song.) The robotic feel suits the song, being about giving up all feeling (I'm alive, and dead) and individuality in order to kill and to be a soldier: I'm the stranger, killing an Arab. The song title was controversial upon its release, but we all know Robert Smith is a cuddly wuddly boy who wouldn't hurt anyone. A warning sticker was even slapped on copies of this album. Imagine what they would have done to Eminem if he were rapping about raping his mother back then. Playful and experimental, Accuracy and Subway Song have a bluesy feel to them, but have the same sort of Punk touch that the Cure were shaping. Accuracy is pretty catchy, and has a more natural sounding bassline, but loses the listener's attention after a while, failing to have the same appeal as the other songs. Subway Song is one of the songs that fall flat on this album, having no real structure, being a little over a minute and a half, and is just Smith whispering about a girl taking the subway home backed by them ol' blues. But it does serve a purpose. After a couple seconds of silence when the song ends, a blood-curling scream is let out, successfully scaring the shit out of any first time listener... okay fine it got me the second time too. Smith's vocals on So What (undoubtedly the worst song on the album) and Fire in Cairo are surprisingly high and show that he was indeed young at one point, and have the same arrogant Britpop tone that singers like Damon Albarn (from Blur, remember that annoying song- Song #2?) and that drunk from Oasis. A personal highlight for me on this album is Another Day, it's not particularly a stand-out song, but its melancholy and quietness reminds me of later Cure works, something rare on Boys Don't Cry.

Boys Don't Cry is a solid Post-Punk (well it's pretty hard to pin this down to a genre, let alone The Cure) album with catchy melodies that will ring in your head for an enduring amount of time. It has a cleverness and dark edge from three real boys who hated what was on the radio at the time and helped shape the New Wave but take off in their creative journey, indifferent to genres. From the ironic title track to the chorus-soaked album closer, Three Imaginary Boys, Boys Don't Cry is a must have for any Cure fan, though hardcore fans of stuff like Pornography or Disintegration may not like it as much.

Recommended Tracks:
Killing an Arab
Boys Don't Cry
Jumping Someone Else's Train
10:15 Saturday Night

Boys Don't Cry------------------>4 stars



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Comments:Add a Comment 
morrissey
Moderator
October 10th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review.



I have Three Imaginary Boys so this is pretty redundant.



My favourite Cure era though.

Zebra
Moderator
October 10th 2005


2647 Comments


Very detailed review, awesome job.

Is this a good place to start because I don't have a Cure album?

Scott Herren
October 10th 2005


192 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

disintegration would probably be the best place to start. This album is a bit dated.

Jawaharal
October 10th 2005


1832 Comments


Galapogos reviews = secks

pulseczar
October 10th 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hahahaha thanks cheeto

incubus62086
October 21st 2005


147 Comments


this is my favorite The Cure album

Nra4ever_17
October 26th 2005


65 Comments


".....and that drunk from Oasis,"

:lol:

That's honestly by far the funniest thing I have seen or read today.

Good review, I want to hear this album.This Message Edited On 10.26.05

Pizza
January 23rd 2006


687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review. :thumb:

im gonna get this soon for sure.

pulseczar
January 23rd 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is better than Three Imaginary Boys, by the slight difference in songs.

norcalsickboy
February 10th 2006


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the best album of eighties soft/goth rock!

moosepirate
February 16th 2006


12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my favorite Cure album



mentioning Camus might explain "Killing an Arab"



Christ, why does "Great" correspond to 3.5This Message Edited On 02.16.06

Mewt
May 3rd 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First Cure song I heard was 'Boys dont cry' so then I listened to this, The Cure rule.

masada
May 27th 2006


2733 Comments


Never commented on this woah.

AnyColour74
September 8th 2006


1054 Comments


10:15 Saturday Night is great. good band

MrKite
October 22nd 2006


5020 Comments


ive been thinking of trying this band out.

The Jungler
October 22nd 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't get Greatest Hits then. If you want a comp go with Staring at the Sea, if not check the highest rated albums and get the one that sounds the best to you. I wouldn't start with this.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2006


17949 Comments


Get Disintigration.

MrKite
October 22nd 2006


5020 Comments


thanks, i shall download a few tracks off of what you mentioned.

MrKite
December 2nd 2006


5020 Comments


I forgot about this band for awhile. They're really good. I have yet to get anything though.

The Jungler
December 2nd 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then how do you know?

But yeah, I agree.



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