Robert Smith and Co return to the spotlight with 4:13 Dream. The Cure’s light has dimmed in recent years and this album will unfortunately continue that trend. That’s not to say that the Cure is a completely spent force – far from it. The album starts with real focus and intent. Opener ‘Underneath The Stars’ sees Smith sing wistfully as ever over atmospheric guitars and a slow, heavy beat. Following on from that, the lead single entitled ‘The Only One’ reveals itself to be the album’s standout track. It’s one of the only songs that does the band justice and could have been a hit, had it been released in their heyday.

Unfortunately 4:13 Dream peaks far too soon. The mediocre middle section pales in comparison to the quality of the beginning, almost everything being forgettable other than the brilliance of ‘The Hungry Ghost’.

Luckily the album picks up pace towards the end, thanks to the excellent singles ‘The Perfect Boy’ and ‘Sleep When I’m Dead’.

The final track ‘It’s Over’ is a chaotic dash for the finish with snarling guitars, relentless drumming and some disorientated vocals from Smith. It lends the album some much-needed urgency, but it is too little too late.

One wonders how much better the album would have been had the Cure included some of the darker material they’ve recorded and if the album production had been better.

In a Nutshell: There are a few diamonds in the rough but this is unlikely to attract any new fans.

Rating: C

Vincent O’Boyle