Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Album Reviews
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-15-2008, 01:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
Later on...
 
FireInCairo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,236
Default

Cheers.
Its mine too
hence my user name and my band's name haha
__________________
O G MUDBONE: Only You can prevent forest fires.
FireInCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 04:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
Later on...
 
FireInCairo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,236
Default Seventeen Seconds

Seventeen Seconds (1980)




"A Reflection" (Instrumental) – 2:09
"Play for Today" – 3:39
"Secrets" – 3:20
"In Your House" – 4:07
"Three" – 2:36
"The Final Sound" (Instrumental) – 0:53
"A Forest" – 5:55
"M" – 3:03
"At Night" – 5:54
"Seventeen Seconds" – 4:02

The first thing I feel is note worthy about this album is how far the Cure had come in the year since the release of Three Imaginary Boys. Whereas that record sounded like a group attempting to find themselves within the trail end of punk and the beginning of post-punk.
Another notable, is concept of the 'dark' trilogy which is formed by Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography. These three albums if connected by concept in actuality, chronicle the descent into madness. The atmosphere created in this record is relentlessly cold. One reviewer described it as "a sad cure, sitting cold and alone in a room, watching clocks", for me this is almost the exact image that it conjures up for me as I listen. The recorded is pervaded by a sense of apathetic melancholy and boredom which I find all to easy to relate to.

As for the songs themselves, this album has been very overlooked. It has aged quite well, more so than some of their dated later output. The only song which I could say I don't like, is Three, that beat just reminds me of michael jackson for some reason.
For the most part the songs are driven by simple single not melodies provided by both guitar (sounding quite like the trademark Bass vi) and synth/keys and underpinned by slowly pulsing Bass. The proceedings are swimming in echoing reverb, choruses, flange and phase, a stew of modulation. Robert Smith's voice is more developed and defined here, and is usually quite distant like he's only half-paying attention. The hall-marks of classic cure songs are here in terms of sound, production and theme, but what is missing to a large degree is the depth in songwriting.

However, despite this albums strong points in terms of cohesion and maturity, it does suffer from a lack of remarkable songs, featuring only the infallible 'A Forest'. It strikes me that perhaps that is half the point, as this album is about boredom and apathy, and creating that mood. This may go a way to explaining why this album is oft looked over in favour of faith and pornography, the desperation of faith and the total nihilistic madness of pornography make for far more engaging set pieces.

I find the evolution of the Cure's image quite interesting and relevant to the music as it seems to have developed with the concept of the music. Here the band are still in a phase of Anti-image, which fits with the music, as it attempts to portray somewhat of a blank canvas of indifference.

Overall Impression:
This is the first glimpse of the Cure as a fully formed band with their identity assured. As a mood piece this album is incredibly evocative. Its just that, the mood isn't particularly engaging unless you are already in that mood, and really who wants to feel bored and apathetic just cause Robert Smith tells you to?
I find that it flows well one song into the next, but there are the odd weak songs which do not work within the context, I'm pointing at Three and oddly M because the chord progression and general mood doesn't sit right.
A remarkable progression from the previous year, and a stepping stone for things to come.

Good: but a very high good

Key tracks: A forest, Play for today and Seventeen Seconds
__________________
O G MUDBONE: Only You can prevent forest fires.

Last edited by FireInCairo; 11-15-2008 at 05:04 AM.
FireInCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2008, 11:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
Later on...
 
FireInCairo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,236
Default Faith (1981)

Faith (1981)



The third album by the Cure and second in the dark trilogy shows a logical progression from the brooding apathy of Seventeen Seconds in terms of both mood and in sound. This record forms the mid-point of the dark trilogy, moving from lethargic, grey bedroom gloom into anguished desperation. This album has a pervading sense of oppression and isolated agony, most songs find Robert Smith sounding on the verge of a flood of tears. A thing to note on this album, and the dark trilogy as a whole is, that it is about building mood (and kind of imposing it on the listener to some extent) and should not be listened to one track at a time interrupted but as a whole.

OK enough adjectives...

This album spouts somber and stately minimalist new wave like there is no tomorrow. The arrangements are spare with simple instrumentation and barely noticeable rhythmic patterns, mainly created by a drum machine or by heavily filtered drums.
The song structures revolve around bass and baritone guitars which provide droning foundations, with synths adding extra ambience and texture. Percussion is minimal in the extreme with most songs featuring simple kick and snare patterns drenched in reverb as the main rhythmic foundation, with occasional inclusions of a cymbal stab or gentle toms.
Once again, modulation is Robert Smith's best friend with almost every instrument drenched in chorus, and reverb as par for the course. This gives the record a dreamy ambient feel and renders Smith's voice distant, sounding like he is in the next room or crawling around alone in your attic.

This album is big on dirges with one or two bass riffs forming the basis of the song and few notes. Tempos range on the most part from around 90-1115, with exclusions coming from the lead single 'Primary', and Doubt. While Seventeen Seconds worked best when viewed purely as a conceptual mood piece designed to sound like boredom, Faith is much more engaging, firstly on part of the mood it evokes: as desperation is more interesting than apathy. Also, the songwriting, lyrical content, consistency and structured track listing.

Songwriting Faith was Robert Smith's strongest set of songs to date, featuring ambient *mood pieces (*see Faith and Drowning man) alongside *catchier (yet still dark) songs with pop structures (*see Primary and Doubt). The songs say a lot with very little and convey strong emotion in neatly packaged bites.
Lyrical content On this record Smith's darkly abstract, and oddly personal lyrical style of the period is firmly stated with effective lyrics that do not conform to conventional rhyming structures, and are generally quite concise. Also, at this point his dark lyrics had not yet really become the broad (but quite nice and acceptable) cliche they are today, and can convey real angst.
Consistency For me this album is a wholly engaging listen which holds me in a suspended state for the full 36:50 duration. However it is not for everyone, and definitely not for those without melancholic/depressive streaks. Viewed on their own, a few of these songs would not stand up, but that is not the way of the album, these songs hold each other up and form a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Track listing The aforementioned consistency is in part the achievement of the track listing which creates such a balanced record, with the appropriate peaks and troughs.


Overall
For me, Faith is the Cure's first truly great album. A triumph of mood and minimalism, and the presentation of a whole work, rather than a collection of random songs. It is one of their most listened albums for me and an experience in itself. However, other albums present a more accessible, varied and ambitious set, so I must rate this:
Very Good +
__________________
O G MUDBONE: Only You can prevent forest fires.
FireInCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2008, 07:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
Ba and Be.
 
jackhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: This Is England
Posts: 17,300
Default

Great review on Seventen Seconds. I gave that a spin the other day and forgot how good it was.

The only real problem I have with The Cure is filler. When they make a good track, they absolutely nail it but they also make some average forgettable tracks. This is why I find it difficult to have a favourite Cure album.
__________________

A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.
jackhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2008, 05:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
Later on...
 
FireInCairo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,236
Default

I have to say, I find the same problem. They have lots of albums I love, but none I could say is my favourite.
__________________
O G MUDBONE: Only You can prevent forest fires.
FireInCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 04:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
Ba and Be.
 
jackhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: This Is England
Posts: 17,300
Default

I will be interested in your views on 'Wild Mood Swings'. Once again there are a few fillers but I have a real soft spot for this.
__________________

A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.
jackhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 04:38 AM   #17 (permalink)
The Passenger
 
15Steps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bucketheadland
Posts: 583
Default

to me Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss me is their Opus, psyched to see your review for it.
__________________
15Steps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 03:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
Zer0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 3,792
Default

Good review for Faith, really did the album justice. Im really looking forward to your Pornography review
__________________
Zer0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
Ba and Be.
 
jackhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: This Is England
Posts: 17,300
Default

Next instalment please
__________________

A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.
jackhammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 08:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
Later on...
 
FireInCairo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,236
Default

Woah totally forgot about this
I'll try and get a couple done this week.
__________________
O G MUDBONE: Only You can prevent forest fires.
FireInCairo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.