Just like Heaven for fans of The Cure
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me is one of my favorite Cure albums. It's packed with great music and has a discernible atmosphere that distinguishes it from most other alternative music. The Cure was a big part of my teenaged years, and this music sounds as good today as it did back then. Just Like Heaven and Hot Hot Hot!!! are the two tracks most likely to be familiar to the uninitiated, the first song catching the group at one of their more mainstream (yet unique) moments and the latter proving that The Cure could appeal to a wider audience while remaining perfectly and distinctively themselves. My nod for best song on the album, though, would go to Why Can't I Be You? which is actually quite upbeat and danceable (if you're so inclined). This song is one of several that deliver a virtual cacophony of sound, including prominent horns against the familiar background sounds of the band. Catch, How Beautiful You Are, and The Perfect Girl have an infectious, ditty-like quality to them, breaking the music free from the clinging maudlin environment one expects to find front man Robert Smith in much of the time. Of course, melancholia exists among these tracks as well. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep is a slow, sentimental song which sounds wonderful until you get to One More Time, which outdoes it in poignancy. And then you get to A Thousand Hours; if ever a Cure song could be called beautiful, this is the one. Robert Smith says more in a few words than most singers do over the course of an entire album. When Smith sings "For how much longer can I howl into this wind, for how much longer can I cry like this?" I find myself quite moved every time; the vocals are raw and impassioned and seem to incorporate so much anxiety and angst into them that the overall effect is incredible. I don't want you to think that the guys went soft on this album, though: Torture is a release of pent-up feelings, Shiver and Shake tells it like it is, and the final track Fight energizes each past, former, or future Cure addict to be who you are and who you want to be regardless of what others may think of you. You may actually want to look for the tape rather than the CD of this particular album. While the CD is quite long, extending well over an hour, the tape contains one track not included on the CD: Hey You. It's actually one of my favorite songs on the album, full of bounce and inspiration, even though it isn't very long in duration. There is really more variety to be found on this album than on most other Cure releases, and I think this is the best selection with which to introduce today's generation to the music we thirtysomethings indulged in during our youth. I would still have to name Disintegration as the group's best album, but I really believe Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me is their most appealing offering."
Chicken Woman | TX | 01/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Straight from the hearts, souls and nimble fingertips of The Cure comes Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, an eccentric album of joy, sorrow, anger, dizzy love, and outright insanity. This, The Cure's 8th studio album, is packed with goodies to suit every mood; from the classic, doom-ridden Goth that made the band famous, to the exceptional '80s synth pop that made them versatile, and everywhere in between. Every song is interesting, to say the least, and most are outright gems.
1. The Kiss
An interesting choice for the opening track on the album, The Kiss is tense, dramatic and eager. It follows the format of many previous Cure songs: long, Gothic intro, followed by a short set of lyrics and a fadeout.
The Kiss chronicles a bitter, sadistic connection, and a sexual relationship that is used to express hate and contempt, designed to hurt and maim, rather than the sharing of a beautiful, mutual love and respect.
It's an intense listen, but it effectively lets you know what to expect from the album; it tells you that Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me isn't just a collection of silly pop works.
A sure departure from the previous track, Catch is a sweet, sad tale of an unrequited crush. Robert Smith's voice is melodious and gentle, gliding reflectively along the innocent, cute lyrics. The smooth, easy guitar work, punchy percussion and bittersweet strings pull you into the mind of a man who is reminiscing about (and longing for) a strange, untouchable girl. A mellow pop ditty that you'll find yourself humming all day, this one was meant for the couple's skate at a roller rink.
What do you do when you know that someone is a poisonous creature who can do you know good, but is so infectious that you can't give them up?
Torture is a tale of spending one more night with such a person, and is delivered with just the sort of excellent, driving bass line and howling, provocative vocals that people have come to love and expect from The Cure. The momentum is great; you can feel the sweet torture for yourself.
4. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
A crawling, crazed wish for peace and beauty in an ugly, dissatisfying world. With despairing instrumentals infused with Middle Eastern style, and vocals full of lament and sorrow, this experimental track will handily complement any reflective mood.
5. Why Can't I Be You?
Why Can't I Be You is the first really upbeat song on the album, and one of The Cure's most synthed-up works. The sound is magnificently big, making it almost impossible to keep from bopping around in your chair, and almost as difficult to keep yourself from jumping up and dancing.
The lyrics do a great job at telling of someone who is so incredibly beautiful and perfect that the singer and listener alike have to wonder what it would be like to be so grand.
6. How Beautiful You Are
Don't let the title throw you... this is no "Your Song". This track is about falling out of love.
The story follows a young couple walking hand in hand in Paris. When confronted by a poor family who admires the girl's beauty, she views them with disgust and contempt. How Beautiful You Are is a telling of how selfishness and disrespect can tear a couple apart.
The involved bass work, punky guitar stylings and generous sprinklings of classical violin, piano and accordion will pull you into a decaying Parisian street at sunset, and the passionate emotions behind the couple's interaction. Robert Smith's staccato vocals may throw you at first, but after a listen, you'll realize that they are needed to express the intense heartbreak and disappointment behind the lyrics.
Catch, Why Can't I Be You, Just Like Heaven and Hot Hot Hot where the four tracks from this album that were chosen to be made into singles. Though they are all excellent songs, How Beautiful You Are deserved to be in the mix. It is truly a masterpiece, and, though it's difficult for me to choose a song from the album to be my favorite, this might be it.
7. The Snakepit
Hisses, rattle and booms set the mood for this pensive anthem of dissatisfaction and contempt. The lyrics follow the realization that the storyteller is leading a hollow, empty life; an existence without meaning. Though he's surrounded by party animals and having a stereotypically "good time", he is drowned in the shallow pointlessness of it all.
This is a great listen for the days when you just need a breather.
8. Just Like Heaven
Pure magic. Just Like Heaven is a love song filled with ingenuity and wonder. By far the most atmospheric track on the album, The Cure brings you out into the open with this gorgeous work. A fresh, clear blend of acoustic guitar and rolling drums, sprinkled throughout with light synth work and simple piano, sets you atop a seaside cliff for a beautiful day with a loved one. Robert Smith's vocals on this track are the clearest and brightest on the album. Pure, clean and elegant, this spinning ode to amour will make you want to lock lips with the nearest person.
9. All I Want
Pure sexuality, expressed without profanity, is a rare thing to be found in modern music. But the band pulls it off in this soaring, aching track. All the storyteller wants is to be with the one person who makes him feel sane and complete.
The highlight of this song, is, without a doubt, the excellent, garage-inspired (or inspiring?) guitar work. A listen would suggest that this one sounds even better in an arena.
10. Hot Hot Hot!!!
An undeniably dance worthy funk work. Hot Hot Hot sounds almost like an inspiration for Red Hot Chili Peppers. The tight, punky guitar strumming, orchestra-inspired synthesizers and strong, domineering bass are the perfect sounds to complement this obscure song. Robert Smith's fevered, quavering vocals are meant to symbolize a man who has been struck by lightning, and, from what I can guess, they are apt. With lots of bounce and energy, this track parties down deliciously.
11. One More Time
An ode to child-like wonder, in true arena ballad fashion. With playful flute work, sparse, booming drums, and a soft guitar riff, this song is a strange break from the extreme pop, doom-ridden Goth and acoustic rock that comprises most of the album. It is an interesting, mellow, cute little tune, which might remind listeners of the soundtrack from Never Ending Story.
12. Like Cockatoos
Knocking, busy percussion, steady acoustic strumming and a sliding bass line help set the perfect "the end" mood for this rainy day break up song. In the dead of night, under a pouring rain, a man promises never to speak to his lover again. Though we're never told what she did to upset him, the city background noises and closing orchestral work somehow serve to make you glad he's leaving her.
13. Icing Sugar
Weird, man. The Cure glorifies urgent, girlish adolescent lust with furious drumbeats, screeching saxophone notes and a quick set of lyrics, delivered breathlessly. Hot, heavy, fast and naughty, you might need to take a few deep breaths after hearing this trippy ditty.
14. The Perfect Girl
She really is! Sweet strings and tinkling piano mix gorgeously with bopping drums and simple, steady guitar work, while a harpsichord further convinces us of The Cure's originality. Robert croons madly over a strange girl, whom he finds himself falling in love with. Strange looking, strange acting, and completely out of this world, she's a breath of fresh air, just like the song that was written for her. Beware of the power of this song: it has been know to cause silly dancing.
15. A Thousand Hours
Heartache drives every synth note, even piano strike and every lyric in this sweet, introspective cry of unrequited love. Every day seems to last a thousand lonely hours when you have devoted yourself to someone who doesn't care.
16. Shiver and Shake
With superior drumbeats that shimmy effortlessly, and fast, angsty guitar work, this is a worthy ode to fury. If you've ever met someone whom you wanted to kill, you can appreciate the curt, indignant lyrics and passionate animosity epitomized here.
The Cure's unprecedented venture in powerhouse rock begs you to never give up when the world turns on you. Robert Smith basically yells at the listener, but his reasons are justified. Stabbing, continuous synth notes, pushing lyrics and cutting guitar bring home a sense of resolution. Fight is a great closing track, with a great message. Never give in to pain and sorrow.
Though each track is unique, they seem to belong together, like a wonderfully dysfunctional family. Each song glides elegantly along our musical palates, as every work is relevant to what every person has felt at one point in time. Whether you choose to imbibe a few tracks at a time, or go for the gold and devour each song at once, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me is a true anytime listen, and a sure new wave masterpiece."
I didn't think I'd like it....I was wrong.
Melkor | San Diego, CA USA | 06/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If someone told me 15 years ago to listen to a Cure CD, I probably would have laughed in their face. At the time, I was listening to either hard-core metal, classic rock, punk, heavy industrial, or classical. The Cure, to me, was music that all the drama students at my high school listened to. Music for people who were overly sensitive "ar-teests" (artists) who brooded away too much of their teenage insecurities.Flash forward seven years to 1993. I was taking summer school classes at college and was still listening (primarily) to the heavier brand of music, but my mind was open to other options at this point. One day while walking home from class, I heard "Just Like Heaven" on the radio and could not get it out of my head. No matter where I went or what I was doing, I found myself singing that song.I finally gave in and bought "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me". For the next 4 months, no other CD went into my CD player. I put this CD up there with "Dark Side of the Moon", in that you can't listen to just one song from the CD. You just have to put it in and listen to the whole thing straight through. It's a wonderful work of music. Soon, I turned all of my metal friends onto the CD. Eventually all of us became huge Cure fans, and then got into DM, and then The Smiths, and then New Order, and so on...It was so wild that I missed this music when it first came out. If anyone is looking for a great CD to enter the world of The Cure, I can highly recommend this CD as a place to start. I can't say enough good things about it, and this is coming from someone who was VERY skeptical.If any Cure fans reading this want to enter the metal world, just like I came into yours, try starting with "Black Sabbath" and "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath, "Killers" and "Piece of Mind" by Iron Maiden, and for the more advanced get "Rust In Piece" and "Cryptic Writings" by Megadeth."