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The Cure
4:13 Dream
Geffen Records
www.thecure.com


Last month I successfully recognized Robert Smith to help my team win a round of Geeks Who Drink. Not because I am good at recognizing musicians but because 4:13 Dream had left The Cure on my mind. I think, quite possibly, this is my favorite Cure album since Disintegration. It sounds and feels like The Cure. Oh, and Robert Smith has had the same look forever…he's just, um, puffier?

4:13 Dream is the band's first studio album in four years - The Cure's 13th. And it sounds like their old stuff. "The Only One" reminds me of "Just Like Heaven." That said, I'm not entirely sure how fresh this album is. With the opening chords of each song I could almost sing the lyrics to another, older Cure song. That's either a really bad thing in that this album doesn't feel new or a really good thing in that it sounds like it belongs in the band's canon.

One bit of evidence that the band is aware of the times is their release of a new single on the 13th of the month starting in May through the album's release. And even more telling: Smith's ranty blog on the band's website about how we must support artists by buying their records - a response to Radiohead's pay-what-you-want model for In Rainbows.

While this album has upbeat tempos, it has the same angsty lyrics fans have come to expect from Smith. "The Reasons Why" is cheery in tone but the lyrics begin "I won't try to bring you down about my suicide" - not exactly the happiest words to start a song. "Underneath the Stars" begins with the same chimes as "Pictures of You" and then moves into something more like "Burn" from The Crow soundtrack.

My major complaint? There's something just a bit off with the album's production. It sounds just a bit too far into a cave.

-Alaina Gonzales

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