Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Oh, snap! Nate Patrin does it again. I am feeling pretty smug about not being one of the chumps who went out and bought the new Beastie Boys.

I am, however, one of the chumps who went out and bought the new Cure. Please believe me: that record is butt. I've listened to it once, and I don't expect to listen to it again. It has just about none of what makes the Cure great. It's like they decided to bite Thursday, which is just perplexing. I like Thursday and all (really!), but what? Why? Ross Robinson is just a terrible producer; he blows it on this record even worse than he blew it on that Blood Brothers album. His production is so muddy and off-center that the records actually somehow sound worse than bootleg live recordings. It seems like he'll never do anything better than that first Korn album, and if your absolute artistic pinnacle is the first Korn album, you should probably quit. (That means you too, Korn!) (Wait, did Ross Robinson do that At the Drive-In album? My thesis may be shot.) Production quibbles aside, Robert Smith has made the regrettable decision to attempt to "rock", something the Cure has never done convincingly before ever. At their best, the Cure sound like a quiet storm, dense pillow. They don't bludgeon. They do whatever the opposite of bludgeoning is. Cuddle? They cuddle. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore, but they should immediately stop trying to do whatever they're doing on the new record. I'm still jazzed to go to the Curiosa thing, though. The Cure better stick to a greatest-hits set unless they want to get blown off stage every single night. The Rapture does not play.

Thankfully, the Erland Oye DJ Kicks album does everything that the new Cure should do. I know I'm showing myself to be a total dance music dilettante here, but I love the vocals. Oye coos warmly and blissfully over warm, blissful tracks, and even though he can't beatmatch to save his life, the whole thing blurs into a fresh, sunny haze. Every once in a while, a nasty bassline will emerge from the murk, slap you around for a minute, and then fade back away. It's a pretty little record.