The Cure
Staring at the Sea


4.5
superb

Review

by vanderb0b USER (63 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Proof that Robert Smith can do more than sit in a corner and mope.

The Cure was always seemed to be one of the most inaccessible bands in recent history. The unrelentingly cold and bleak atmosphere induced by albums such as Disintegration and Faith succeeded marvelously in driving away multiple listeners (myself included). Whereas other predominantly melancholy artists, like Elliott Smith and The Eels, would often have faint glimmers of hope shining amidst the desolation, such moments seemed to be incredibly rare, possibly even nonexistent, on The Cure’s classic albums. And yet, The Cure had another side to them-a side that was often hidden from casual listeners. Staring At The Sea exposed listeners to a different Cure: one that was more optimistic, and sometimes even cheerful.

Staring At The Sea is a compilation of all the band’s singles from 1979-1985, so there is no new material. However, the band legitimately sounds different when only the hit’s are assembled. Much of the material is upbeat, such as the groovy and pop-like The Love Cats and the punk-eque Boys Don’t Cry. Amidst such relatively jovial material, hits from the band’s more inhospitable albums are rather easily digestible, but still every bit as bitter and cruel. These songs are seen from a new perspective, but their poignancy is in now way decreased, and thus they do not feel abridged and commercialized.

Much of the music is in The Cure’s minimalistic goth-rock style. A driving bass riff, a simple drum beat, and a guitar riff provide a backbone, and Robert Smith sings melancholy melodies above the instruments. However, an equal portion of this album is in a more cheerful and upbeat style. In songs such as The Love Cats, bouncy pianos, scatted vocals, keyboard leads, saxophones, and buoyant guitar and bass riffs replace the acidic minimalistic arrangements of the band’s conventional output. Both of these styles are equally represented, and the band varies their music enough to keep it constantly interesting.

It should be noted that one of the songs featured on this compilation is a rather rare track that is frequently praised by fans of the band. Charlotte Sometimes was never released on an album, but was instead found on a single. Aside form the original single and a live version, this compilation contains the only official recording of the song. The song’s rarity is rather surprising, as it easily ranks among the band’s strongest output. Some of Smith’s most emotional singing is found here, and the melodies are nothing short of sublime. This track is reason enough for seasoned fans to look into Staring At The Sea.

Starring At The Sea aims to do one thing: provide insight into The Cure’s early years, and this it does exceptionally. Most of the band’s essential songs are included, and this compilation is much less uninviting than some of their grim and dismal albums. This is the perfect place for newcomers to begin listening to The Cure, and all seasoned fans should at the least hear the compilation in it’s entirety, if only to hear their favorite songs in a somewhat-new light.



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user ratings (153)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
June 22nd 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wanted to review something badass for my twentieth. Another one I wrote in the train station while dying from jet lag. I love this album, it needed a review

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2010


17318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm surprised that this didn't already have a review. I'd say that this is probably the best compilation that they've released (that I know of).

EVedder27
June 22nd 2010


6088 Comments


Nice review, I need to get more Cure albums so thanks for the reminder

vanderb0b
June 22nd 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, guys. I thought that there would be more Cure fans on Sputnik, but it seems that the band's rather underrated here.

Kaleid
June 22nd 2010


735 Comments


Nice. Charlotte Sometimes is one of those hidden gems.

I think this probably is the best compilation they've released so far. The greatest hits had a lot of these songs, but missed out some brilliant tracks, while including some crap ones.

Jethro42
June 23rd 2010


15141 Comments


Lots of gems on that album. Good review, po'sd

STOP SHOUTING!
June 23rd 2010


748 Comments


Surprised Charlotte Sometimes can't be found anywhere else.

Wasn't Killing An Arab renamed or something? Or maybe just banned.

vanderb0b
June 24th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks

@STOP SHOUTING!

Killing An Arab was changed to Kissing An Arab for live performances.

PappyMason
September 3rd 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is such a great comp...

PappyMason
September 13th 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm turning into a proper little Cure fanboy. Good times.

aoz007
February 11th 2016


37 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A classic compilation that features the early hits of The Cure in chronological order. A great mix of pop and post punk.

PappyMason
February 11th 2016


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that features the early hits of The Cure in chronological order



Ha, I never even noticed that! It flows pretty well.

Hellscythe
February 11th 2016


2138 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

one of the best compilation albums ever released

Digging: Hail of Bullets - III: The Rommel Chronicles

onionbubs
February 11th 2016


7022 Comments


definitely is. my first taste of the cure was this

Digging: Jimmy Eat World - Invented

Hellscythe
February 11th 2016


2138 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

same here. bought it cheap on a whim one day and now they're my favorite band. definitely one of the most important albums for me.

TVC15
March 1st 2017


8998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty kool

Digging: Alkaline Trio - Alkaline Trio

theNateman
May 28th 2017


3160 Comments


best cure album probably

onionbubs
May 28th 2017


7022 Comments


not even close but its one of the best greatest hits albums easily



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