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June 2004
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RED Reviews
Two Racist Reviews:

The Cure
The Cure


Boom Bip
Corymb

Wilco
A Ghost is Born

Lilies
Arovane

Beastie Boys
To the 5 Boroughs

Junior Boys
Last Exit


'Fahrenheit 9/11'
Moore Puts the Heat on Bush

'Super-Size Me'
Weight-Gain Nightmare Makes for Disturbing 'Super Size' Treat

'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Cuaron Brings More Magic to Potter Series

The Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Makes History in the Sun

   
   
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Two Racist Reviews
 
by Brent Sallay

The Cure
The Cure
Geffen

(out of 5)

The problem with Bono is that his voice went out. It’s as simple as that. U2 can put out as many comeback albums as they want, but Bono will still sound weathered, his once able tenor now warbling like the waterlogged, animatronic hippo of the Jungle Cruise, pathetically trite and decades beyond repair. By persisting on going on, Bono reminds us all on a daily basis that he is old. Which makes us feel old. Which makes us hate Ireland.

Crawley, England’s Robert Smith, on the other hand, reminds us all of the whimsy of youth. From his constant games of dress up with lipstick to his countless songs and thematic albums about lullabies to his recent fascination with every 15-year-old skateboarder’s favorite band of the moment, Blink-182, Smith's got a twinkle in his eye that's hell's near cuter than my own baby sister's.

Now that I’ve alienated all of the U2 and Blink-182 fans and we’re down to the core Cure demographic, we can get to the point. If you're anything like me, you’re all asking the same questions: How hard has Robert Smith sold out? If I buy the new self-titled album will I have enough money left to buy bread for my family? And do I just leave the Curiosa festival after Interpol plays?

Well friends, the answers may shock you, as they did me. (See end of reviews for answer key.)

The most striking thing about the Cure’s new album for me was that it did not completely suck. As a matter of fact, though the mix here is much muddier and guitar-driven than any prior Cure album, Robert Smith’s voice is dead on, with a consistent urgency that hearkens back to Pornography.

Of course, a three-ear review can’t be all roses. Although The Cure surpasses any expectations I might have had left after a ten-year run of mediocre albums—and especially the three new tracks on the Cure’s Greatest Hits—it still fails to leave as much of an impression as any of the band’s best work.

In other words, you can buy it if you like. It’s better than Bloodflowers or Wild Mood Swings, which were not entirely forgettable either. There are a lot of other bands out today making better music in the vein of classic Cure (and several of them are coming with the Curiosa festival). But when you’re at the festival, and you’re wondering whether to stick around to hear “The Walk” or “Love Cats,” knowing full well that you’re going to have to endure a chunk of this new album, I say go for it. And if you get really bored, here's another review to tide you over.


Corymb
Boom Bip
Lex

(out of 5)

For those of you too young to remember, I placed Boom Bip’s From Left to Right EP at 42 on my year-end top 50 list for 2003. Now, that may not seem very high up, but bear in mind that 1) I am racist against EPs, and 2) I tend to underexaggerate. Those two strikes against it, said EP must surely have been one of the greatest musical concoctions ever created by the likes of mankind.

And so it was. Why, I could write a whole review about each of its four tracks—the Boom Bip original, the remix by Boards of Canada, the Venetian Snares mash up with Buck 65, and the outro by cLOUDDEAD—but I am lazy, and also, I cannot think of enough jokes to fill up four reviews, and so I will limit myself to this paragraph, and a single word: wowza.

The oddly titled Corymb compiles this same EP with the similarly remix-heavy Morning and a Day EP (featuring Lali Puna, Four Tet and Mogwai) and a few recordings from Peel sessions into one all encompassing disc of unequalled awesomeness.

Well, for the most part. Unfortunately, some of the Morning and a Day tracks are heavy on drone and somewhat light on ideas. Of these, only the Four Tet track is truly fit to stand with the others, with a sloppy beat that still manages to clean up after itself.

The two Peel session tracks are quite lovely though, and as a whole, Corymb amounts to a rewarding, if inconsistent, listen. Though I must emphasize that I mean 'inconsistent' in the most positive sense of the word possible. In any case, it's way better than some damn dirty EP.

Answer key: 1) two big red balloons. 2) because they're magically delicious. 3) c. 4) his glasses are missing.

For more information on how to stop racism in your area, visit your local library.

brent@red-mag.com

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