4:13 Dream | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 15th, 2020  

The Cure

4:13 Dream

Suretone/Geffen

Nov 01, 2008 Year End 2008 - Best of 2008 Bookmark and Share


The Cure’s thirteenth album, released after yet another four-year wait (since 1992’s Wish, they’ve been following the same schedule as the Summer Olympics—probably not intentionally) begins with a wonderful one-two punch. “Underneath the Stars” is a classic, full of all the chiming, yelping glory that has made Robert Smith and co. the most lasting of all the original alternative/college rock bands. The song begins in a surprisingly punishing manner, then things come into sharper focus. “The Only One” is an upbeat song reminiscent of “Just Like Heaven.” “You’re the only one I cried for/the only one I tried to please,” Smith wails, in typical fashion.

But 4:13 Dream gets spottier as it goes. Lyrically, Smith wanders lands he’s been describing for the last thirty years (seriously!). He opens “The Reasons Why” with the classic line, “I won’t try to bring you down about my suicide,” but, for the most part, 4:13 Dream is in the sunnier part of Smithland.

An every-other pattern emerges, where a lesser song is followed by a great one: “Freak Show” is followed by the luscious “Sirensong,” and “The Real Snow White” gives way to the driving “The Hungry Ghost.” One of the album’s strongest tracks is the labyrinthine “The Scream,” a haunting track with ferocious drumming and guitar work that’s unlike anything the band has done before. It’s amazing to think that three decades in, there are still stones unturned.

Which is reassuring, because not much changes with The Cure. No one speaks so openly about love as Robert Smith. He dares to say things that would otherwise be cliché, but between his idiosyncratic delivery and the fact that it fits him so well, so precisely, he not only gets away with it, but makes it sound original. At this rate, The Cure will not only outlast their competitors, but outplay them in the meantime. (www.thecure.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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