Reinvention is the name of the game, and the Cure has mastered the trick of the trade for their 13th album: 4:13 Dream. From the epic buildup of opener “Underneath the Stars” to the angst-driven “The Scream,” Dream is every bit the Cure, dashing sprinkles of doom and gloom from 1989’s Disintegration over an oversized pop treat vis-à-vis Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Wish.
Nothing comes close to sounding like Cure classics “Just Like Heaven” or “In Between Days,” but 4:13’s appeal comes straight from the Cure cookbook: catchy choruses, dreamy guitars and Robert Smith’s trademark wailing. The pop doses are never overbearing, but vehemently welcomed by fans of commercial Cure, with “The Only One” and “Sirensong” proving that the boys from Crawley, England, are still relevant in the contemporary music landscape, a point that is again highlighted with the electronic drum intro on “Switch.”
Smith returns to the throne as the King of Goth with the ballsy “Sleep When I’m Dead” and the near instrumental “It’s Over,” yet Dream doesn’t deliver the dismal punch of the genre the Cure pioneered. And while “The Reasons Why” combines the two sounds dominating the album – by masking Smith’s selfless crooning about suicide with picturesque guitars – 4:13 Dream is much more of a pop contender than a goth cult favorite.
4:13 Dream is currently available.