Exploring the Back Catalogue: Self-Titled, The Promise, Pain, Grief, Faith & Other Personal Crises

Dickens is a master at summing up people in brief but evocative descriptions, and I think The Cure have a similar talent for summing up emotions and situations in (relatively) brief but evocative pieces of music.  The Promise is a vivid portrait of deep disappointment and grief, and it instantly took me back to the last time I’d heard someone express these emotions, to the same painful extent.  The fact that this was also on my iPod and in the garden probably helped to link the two; the brain does things like this…

Exploring the Back Catalogue: 4:13 Dream Wrap-Up

In general, I will say that musically, this album isn’t very representative of why I personally like The Cure. Even the musical highlights here don’t actually lift me off the ground as some of their other tracks through the years really do. I enjoy 4:13 Dream better when I listen to it in “performance poetry” mode, rather than “amazing music” mode. For that, it’s worth revisiting, though I don’t like every song on it. But then, I don’t like every song on a lot of Cure albums, and on a lot of albums from anyone – and that’s OK, as long as things are generally interesting, and the majority of tracks appeal to me in some way (not everything speaks to everyone; but things that don’t speak to me may well speak to others ?). I probably wouldn’t have been particularly amenable to this album if I’d not already liked a lot of this band’s prior work – it’s like with authors, you’ll give them more leeway after you’ve already enjoyed a couple of their books, and you’re more likely to be interested in anything they subsequently do that’s unlike what you liked before. It becomes more of a cerebral exercise then, rather than huge enjoyment and/or being really moved by something. All those things have their place though.

The Scream is a very good example of what I’d class as really effective performance poetry. And while I’m at it, and just because it’s the first thing I think when confronted with that title: