13 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After three decades, The Cure’s Robert Smith knows how to make a Cure album. He knows, for instance, it should begin with slow, dark guitar chords that grind into an echo canyon for at least six minutes (“Underneath the Stars”). There should be moments where he moans in existential futility with a heart wrecked by unfulfilled passion (“The Real Snow White,” “The Scream”). He should write a few quick pop songs for good measure (“The Only One,” “The Perfect Boy”). And all of this should be brought together as if Smith has an overall concept or vision that ties everything into one piece. That concept, however, isn’t a literal one. It’s a sonic one. And Smith infuses 4:13 Dream with a massive sense of grandeur that only he can gracefully pull off without seeming like a megalomaniac. He unites the quick jab of “Freakshow” and the nearly countrified “Siren Song” with the ambient forest ruling “It’s Over,” uniting the different approaches with his eager and yearning vocals that are more playful than ever, reaching a near yodel in the sillier moments. It’s this flexibility that’s enabled him to keep the Cure from going stale after all these years.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After three decades, The Cure’s Robert Smith knows how to make a Cure album. He knows, for instance, it should begin with slow, dark guitar chords that grind into an echo canyon for at least six minutes (“Underneath the Stars”). There should be moments where he moans in existential futility with a heart wrecked by unfulfilled passion (“The Real Snow White,” “The Scream”). He should write a few quick pop songs for good measure (“The Only One,” “The Perfect Boy”). And all of this should be brought together as if Smith has an overall concept or vision that ties everything into one piece. That concept, however, isn’t a literal one. It’s a sonic one. And Smith infuses 4:13 Dream with a massive sense of grandeur that only he can gracefully pull off without seeming like a megalomaniac. He unites the quick jab of “Freakshow” and the nearly countrified “Siren Song” with the ambient forest ruling “It’s Over,” uniting the different approaches with his eager and yearning vocals that are more playful than ever, reaching a near yodel in the sillier moments. It’s this flexibility that’s enabled him to keep the Cure from going stale after all these years.

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