Official: There’s A New Album From The Cure
Some bands never seem to get old. Sure, the band members get older, but the sound never ages. It isn’t true of every veteran band – the Mick Jagger of today sounds very different to the Mick Jagger of the 1960s with the Rolling Stones, for example – but there are musicians out there who age like fine wine. If you close your eyes and listen to their music, there’s no deterioration in the quality of the singer’s voice or the fluidity of the lead guitarist’s performance. We’d humbly suggest that The Cure are one of those bands. They’ve been iconic at home in the United Kingdom and further afield since the 1980s and have achieved cult status – but they’re not quite done yet. There’s officially a new album on the way from The Cure.
There have been rumours about a new album from the legendary alt-emo-rockers for a long time, but lead singer and founder member Robert Smith let the cat out of the bag during this year’s BandLab NME Awards. There’s a video on the website at the link we provided you with above, but we have all the important details here. Smith used the curious word “merciless” to describe the new album’s sound and promised that it would be with us “real soon.” In fact, he went as far as confirming that the band have pre-recorded two albums in addition to a solo album from Smith himself, so while waiting for new music from The Cure has felt like a famine for the past decade, it seems that the famine is about to turn into a feast. The first of the albums to be released will be called “Songs of a Lost World” and is due to be mixed on April 1st. Cure also let slip that the album is ten songs long. Short, truncated albums like this are rapidly becoming the standard in the age of streaming.
It probably won’t surprise anybody to hear that in addition to being “merciless,” the new album will be “doom-laden.” Smith talks in the NME interview as if the idea of a Cure album being “doom-laden” is a new idea, which is most definitely isn’t, but it’s apparently the “doomiest” thing that the long-tenured band has ever done. That’s quite a benchmark that Smith’s set, so it’ll be interesting to see whether he’ll be able to reach it. Looking into the future, the second new album is said to be more upbeat, and his solo album is “deeply personal.”
A Decade of Delay
There hasn’t been a new Cure album since 2008. We know there are some dedicated Cure fans in our audience who’ll disagree with that statement, but we stand by it. An album called “Torn Down” was released in 2018, but there was nothing new about it. “Torn Down” was an album full of remixes and was a companion or follow up album to 1990’s “Mixed Up.” Even that album took the band a long time, as Smith first announced that work had begun on it way back in 2009. Prior to that, there had been nothing from the Cure since 2011, but their release that year was merely a live recording of their set from Bestival. “Bestival Live 2011” was a charity album, with all the profits generated by it sent to the Isle of Wight Youth Trust. If we’re talking about “proper” albums comprising new songs, you have to go back to the 2008 album “4:13 Dream.”
“4:13 Dream” was generally well-received by critics but still wasn’t quite the album that the band promised it to be. Smith had told the press that the album was coming as long ago as 2007, but back then, it was supposed to be a double album containing thirty-three songs. The brand gradually fell out of love with more than half of the songs before the album was released, so only thirteen tracks made the final cut. By that time, all four of the album’s singles had already been released. Punctuality and delivering on promises aren’t among Robert Smith’s strong suits, so based on past form, it might be prudent not to get too excited about the prospect of new music just yet.
A Self-Sustaining Band
Most bands wouldn’t be able to go more than ten years without releasing new music or splitting up. Aside from needing to remain active in order to make staying in the band worthwhile, bands generally need the income created by new singles and new albums to keep themselves afloat. The members of The Cure don’t have to worry about that because the royalties generated by their 1980s and 1990s recordings are enough to sustain them even if nobody buys a single copy of the new album.
You can hear the influence of the Cure everywhere. It’s there in modern-day performers like Chvrches, who duetted with Smith at the NME Awards. It’s even in obscure places like online casinos, where music is every bit as important a part of attracting people to casinos and their sister sites as graphics and gaming content are. If you cast your eye over some of the new casinos that have appeared in the marketplace in recent years, you’ll see jukebox games with official licenses from legendary bands and singers. The members of the Cure – or, more likely, Robert Smith – haven’t yet decided to licence their music to any of those new casino sister sites yet, but it’s an option that’s there if they ever wanted to. They could almost certainly charge a high fee for such an endeavour, and the fact that they haven’t suggests that they’re quite comfortable as they are. Robert Smith is now in his 60s, and The Cure has fewer albums ahead of them than they do in the rearview mirror. There’s no promise that we’ll get anything more from them beyond the two albums that they have planned, so this might be our final opportunity to bask in Smith’s songwriting glory. All we can hope is that having given us both the name of the album and a description of its sound, he doesn’t keep us waiting too long for the finished product. Expect to hear more in April.
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