The Cure
4:13 Dream


3.5
great

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
July 21st, 2011 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dreams of a return to quality; wakes up and finds it’s a reality.

Originally intended to be a double album, ‘4:13 Dream’ features just 13 of the purported 33 tracks The Cure recorded for the scrapped concept. It’s an interesting move for a band 30 years into its career to attempt such an ambitious task, but the results can never be truly assessed until a second album is released (presumably in 2012, if it follows the same 4 year gap each of the band’s albums since ‘Wish’ in 1992, have), whereupon one can assess whether the decision to place the poppy tracks on this disc and reserve the rest of the (darker) material for inclusion on ‘Part 2’, was a wise move or just a desperate error.

The fact that ‘4:13 Dream’ has consciously gone down a gentler route will set alarm bells ringing for those with a pallet only suited to gloomy Cure, whilst simultaneously grabbing the attention of those that favour ‘The Head on the Door’ and ‘Kiss Me…’ over the lads gothic output of the early eighties. That second group will not be disappointed, as ‘4:13 Dream’ is one of the better attempts at radio-friendly pop-rock The Cure have released in a number of years. In fact, it’s probably the most enjoyable pop incarnation of the ex-goths since ‘Wish’, 16 years pervious.

The set opens strong with the spacious, dreamy ‘Underneath The Stars’, and gets more enjoyable as it moves on, with the jangley, sprightly ‘Freakshow’, the silky, light-pop of ‘Only One’, and the solid vocals and catchy riff present on ‘Reasons Why’. Things shape up really nicely, with the beach-sunset warmth of ‘Sirensong’ and the genuinely well-executed chorus of ‘Real Snow White’ solidifying the light, soft, and instantly loveable quality the disc hints at early doors.

Against the odds, The Cure have produced one of their best albums in years. Sure, the gothic fans of the group mightn’t see the appeal, but for everyone else, ‘4:13 Dream’ is the first Cure album in a while that cannot be brushed off as a record for ‘fans-only’. It’s no ‘Disintegration’, but it's surprisingly satisfying, and its consistency and confidence make it one of the most exciting Cure releases of the decade.

The issues that plagued most of the recent Cure albums tended to gravitate around the band’s self-consciousness - when Robert Smith tried too hard to make an album that sounds 20 years old, to appease the call for a ‘Disintegration’-esque album. What those fans (and Smith) didn’t realise, is that accomplishing such a task is nearly impossible. The band has grown up and their sound needs to follow suit, so deliberately gothic efforts like ‘Bloodflowers’ only made it clear that Smith was struggling at maturing into a artist with three decades behind his crazy, unkempt locks.

With ‘4:13 Dream’, it seems Smith has finally overcome this issue, and tailored the album to compliment his new-found self-awareness. As a result, the band sounds fresher and more contemporary than they have since the early nineties. It really benefits the album - the track-list is bubbling with warmth, confidence, maturity and most markedly, potential for the future of a band that seemed too old to walk months ago.

‘4:13 Dream’ is thoroughly enjoyable, and solid from start to finish, leaving one with a quiet confidence for ‘Part 2’, should it ever see the light of day. As I stated at the beginning of this review: we’ll never be able to assess if band’s double-album concept will return them to glory until another record hits the shelves, but in the meantime who cares? The fans have gained something just as important as an answer to that question with ‘4:13 Dream’. Faith. Faith in a band that seemed to be standing on tenuous legs for years, because these goths have shown they’re not ready to sit down just yet.



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user ratings (234)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Mike Stagno EMERITUS (4)
Classic Cure this is not, but 4:13 Dream is certainly easier to digest than some of the band's previ...

NeoOrder (4)
A great return to form, but not without its faults...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
July 21st 2011


15941 Comments


And thus concludes The Cure discography. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading these, Tom, and this is just
as good as any other review you've written so have a pos.

Also, this is me being random and going off on a tangent, but I noticed you used the word 'sprightly'
in the first sentence of your third paragraph and I found it amusing because it's a word that you
pretty much never see used and I just used it myself in a review a few days ago.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Gyromania - Can't believe i've done them all. It was a pain in the ass at times, but mostly enjoyable. Glad you enjoyed reading them and thanks for the pos.

'Sprightly' is a good word, man! If you and me keep using it enough it'll catch on; all the cool kids will be saying it in a few months, trust me ; P


Tyrael
July 21st 2011


20893 Comments


Great review Tom. It's nice to see people are actually still writing reviews around here ^^. Congrats on finishing another discography!
Any idea where you'll be going next?

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Tyraelxy - Thanks man, i appriciate it.

I'm gonna have a few days off before i write, perhaps just over this weekend then start again on Monday. I don't know what to do next. I have a few ideas, but nothing set in place yet. Any requests??


Gyromania
July 21st 2011


15941 Comments


"'Sprightly' is a good word, man! If you and me keep using it enough it'll catch on; all the cool
kids will be saying it in a few months, trust me ; P
"

I can only hope :P

"Any requests?? "

Take on Bowie's discography!



Jethro42
July 21st 2011


12477 Comments


David Bowie discog
=]
edit; Holy shit you just beat me at it. ^

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Two requests for Bowie discog - it'd be a challenge but i might conisder it. I've already done 3 Bowie albums in the past, so i've techinically made a start already.

Jethro42
July 21st 2011


12477 Comments


Yes a helluva challenge but it would be great; just like Nagrarok you excell in doing the discogs. The idea of Bowie came since you covered Roxy Music and I said to me 'why not'

Gyromania
July 21st 2011


15941 Comments


Haha, that's scary, Jethro - we're like-minded ;D

The only Bowie album I've ever heard all the way through is Honky Dory and I absolutely adore
it. I've heard several songs off of his other records as well, I just never actively sought out those
albums.

Jethro42
July 21st 2011


12477 Comments


Damn right Gyro!

Tyrael
July 21st 2011


20893 Comments


The only Bowie album I've ever heard all the way through is Honky Dory and I absolutely adore
it.

You should definitely check out Aladdin Sane and
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

edit: Hell yes Tom, do it!

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Jethro42 - Thanks. Bowie is one of my favourtite artists so it'd be nice to have to go really in depth and examine all the albums for review - especially some of his later stuff that i don't know as well as his 70's masterpieces.

Gryomania - Bowie was a machine in the 70's. So many masterpieces to check out.

Tyraelxy - Good recs. I'd add his Berlin work like Low - that was my first Bowie album.

I think i might do the Bowie discog, so long as people would actually come and read it. If anyone else wants me to do, drop a comment - the more votes the more likely i'll do it. Got three votes so far.


Jethro42
July 21st 2011


12477 Comments


The man have penned too many great songs to handle.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Jethro42 - True. There's a lot of ground to cover but i think i'm going to try and do it. I'm going to have this weekend off to recover from The Cure reviews and perhaps post the first Bowie review Monday.


Jethro42
July 21st 2011


12477 Comments


Nice!
Tom for staff!


Gyromania
July 21st 2011


15941 Comments


Okay so, I just downloaded: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Heroes. and Low, so hopefully those should keep me preoccupied for a while.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Jethro42 - Ha, ha, that would be nice!

Gyromania - Damn, that's a lot of epic. Nice stuff, Ziggy or Low is probably my fave from that lot - both completely different albums tho.


Gyromania
July 21st 2011


15941 Comments


I'm on the second track of The Rise and Fall.... The opener, "Five Years," blew me away; I hope the rest is as good. I remember being a little put-off after looking at the tracklist about a year ago to find "Suffragette City," a song I could never quite get into

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Gyromania - Oh man i fucking LOVE that track, and yeah, the rest should be great if you liked that. 'Moonage Daydream' is top and 'Rock n Roll Suicide' is genius.


Nagrarok
July 21st 2011


8259 Comments


Massive props for doing such quality reviews on the Cure discog, now I am certainly urged to listen to more. As for Bowie, I've heard the Berlin trilogy, but I haven't been able to really get into his work so far.



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