A horrible hack

The Cure


Year Released: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Geffen
Reviewed by Hari Ashurst on Jun 13, 2007
So, it transpired that Ross Robinson is a Cure fan boy. Then the inevitable collaboration was announced. Despite liking Ross Robinson I refused to get my hopes up. Surround the tubby Robert Smith with a ‘yes man’ fan boy and there is a chance we could end up with little more than a double-disc album consisting of one song, a repeated drone mantra full of more teenage angst than the Olsen Twins therapy sessions, and a special plate to keep your cocaine safe.

Ross Robinson, somehow, has been responsible for two of my favourite albums in recent memory; ‘Relationship of Command’ and ‘Burn, Piano Island, Burn’. He is a great producer, no matter how many ‘nu-metal’ albums he tried to ruin his career with. Infact, I heard he wanted to produce a black metal band. I presume he was on his way to the Nordic land of the trolls when he was obstructed by an overweight man in a Hawaiian shirt who looked like he had just been run over by a cosmetics van. At which point I presume he asked for an autograph and Robert Smith held out a record contract. He was tricked!

Fat man and fan boy jokes aside. The vocal performance here is fantastic. Smith hasn’t been allowed to descend into a whiney drone. The animalistic yelping at the end of ‘Lost’ is enough to arouse the attention of the oldest cure fan with the most stubborn Erectile Dysfunction. ‘(I Don’t Know what’s Going) on’ is as good as any ‘pop’ song the Cure managed to write in the 90’s. ‘Just like Heaven’ has always been a song that leaves most Cure fans clammy with happiness. ‘Taking Off’ manages this sensation again with some success.

This is a good record, which as a long-time Cure fan I didn’t expect I’d be able to say. But ‘good’ is as far as it should go. The record has its bad moments. Some of the bad moments last too long (‘Never’). The record seems starved of the hooks Cure records had squirming all over every LP they put out in the 80’s (Excluding ‘The Top’, of course).

I’m sure there are many Cure fans that were unsure whether to pick this up on the day of release. Many fell by the wayside when confronted with the front cover. I picked mine up from Woolworths where I was given the option of the ‘Limited Edition’ version with a bonus DVD. However, I thought the idea of Robert Smith pracing around, his belly jiggling for half an hour, was something that wouldn’t enhance my enjoyment of this record.


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