Punknews.org
The Cure - Seventeen Seconds (Cover Artwork)

The Cure

The Cure: Seventeen SecondsSeventeen Seconds (1980)
Fiction

Reviewer Rating: 2.5


Contributed by: ngs091ngs091
(others by this writer | submit your own)

As probably the most unsuccessful album in the Cure's early career, their second album, Seventeen Seconds feels too cold for its own good. You see, this is meant to be a departure from the Wire-esque minimalist post-punk of their debut (Three Imaginary Boys / Boys Don't Cry) and is trying to be a ma.
iTunes StoreAmazon


As probably the most unsuccessful album in the Cure's early career, their second album, Seventeen Seconds feels too cold for its own good. You see, this is meant to be a departure from the Wire-esque minimalist post-punk of their debut (Three Imaginary Boys / Boys Don't Cry) and is trying to be a mature and more personal affair. As the Cure's leader, Robert Smith has stated he was trying to bridge the sound of some depressive music staples, such as David Bowie's Low, Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks among others. However, if this album fails, it's mostly due to a feeling of indifference.

You see, many of the Cure's next albums would be greats, such as the dark-and-gloomy Faith and the gothic death marches of Pornography to more accessible albums like the dance-popish The Head on the Door and the dark arena rock of Disintegration. However, these albums work despite often being utterly depressing because the listener could connect with them. Seventeen Seconds, however, is awash by too much detachment in the way it sounds, mostly from the mix and production, which drowns out its should-have-been effective vocals into heavy-sounding death ballads.

Songs such as "Secrets" and "In Your House" sound lifeless; the orchestrations may be technically good, but it does not let the lyrics or the audience truly breathe, and the instruments are probably too loud, where they should find the bridge between rock and utilizing tender beauty. "Three" falls into the same category; it needs to be said that the album is indeed started well enough, and has a fine-enough middle section mostly due to the one masterful song in the still-classic "A Forest."

"A Reflection" does open up the album on an interesting note; it's solely instrumental and sounds like a choir, thus establishing some nice mood, especially when paired with the song "Play for Today" that is solid enough it carries the dull first half of this record on its shoulders.

"A Forest" is often featured on best-of comps for the band, and sometimes even multi-artist sets. In many ways it is one of those tracks that stands the test of time, perfectly encapsulating Smith's gloomy mindset as well as standing on its own amongst the Joy Division-like songs of the time period. It may also give the album back some of its life, as the next song, "M" sounds like Seventeen Seconds may be reanimated for the rest of the album, yet it is not. Rather, it gets into overlength with "At Night" and back to passiveness with the closing title track.

So, as "A Forest" might be around long after we die, sadly the same can't be said about much of the rest of Seventeen Seconds. Lastly, it's a good thing they made much more music that made them a staple of the same sound that they mostly fumbled with on this album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Black Flag - My WarBad Religion - The Process Of BeliefDead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting VegetablesBad Religion - Against the GrainJoy Division - Unknown PleasuresBad Religion - The Empire Strikes FirstPixies - DoolittleBlack Flag - Slip It InJoy Division - CloserSmoking Popes - Destination Failure

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
xote (January 8, 2009)

This the album Hot Topic "depressed" kids can't listen too. Becuase it is actually full of pain and depression. I love this album.

taxidermy (January 7, 2009)

i've always liked this album but somehow knew it wasn't for everyone

SilentStorms (January 7, 2009)

So basically don't waste my time. Done.

ollywood (January 6, 2009)

I used to have this, I haven't really listened to too much Cure, but this seems much more expiremental from what I've heard by them. A Forest was the only song I could listen to off of this album. Not a terrible album, just nothing to really keep you wanting to listen to it

briancampbell (January 6, 2009)

Lame.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


The Fest 13

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go