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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Cure
Three Imaginary Boys [Remastered Deluxe Edition]
Rhino Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

January 23, 2005
Some fans are still reeling from this year's summer Cure release (the self-titled The Cure), the band's first dose of new material in four years. Before anyone can entirely fathom a peak to the 2004 resurgence, Rhino Records is reissuing the group's debut album, the U.K.-issued Three Imaginary Boys, along with unreleased tracks and a 16-page photo booklet.

Released in 1979, Three Imaginary Boys is regarded as one of the mainstay essential works from the Cure. The album packages together 13 songs in a new wave pop-punk sensibility, and is completely void of the pensive lyrics and instrumentation that defines much of the group's work that came about starting in the mid-1980s.

The first disc of the new release is a remastered version of Three Imaginary Boys, no surprises. All the essential dusty, vintage characteristics of Robert Smith in his punk rock youth are retained in full and have been digitally remastered by Chris Blair at Abbey Road Studios in London. Included on the album are "10:15 Saturday Night" and a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady."

The second disc is a collection of rarities from 1977-79, the time period directly leading up to the Cure's first album. Some notables include a studio demo version of "Boys Don't Cry", live versions of "Heroin Face" and "10:15 Saturday Night", and studio out-takes of "Winter" and "Play With Me." Altogether included are six previously unreleased songs, eight previously unreleased versions of songs, and 17 tracks never before available on compact disc. Throughout this disc listeners are able to see a condensed progression of the Cure in their earliest stages. During recordings such as the studio demos of "I Want to Be Old" and "I'm Cold," the definitive influence of the Sex Pistols is apparent in dark, aggressive punk rock tunes. For tracks later in the playlist the group advances to take up a brand of new wave that is nearly danceable pop-punk ("Grinding Halt").

Also included in the tri-fold disc pack is a booklet covering the comprehensive span of time that the music represents. Featured are rare group photographs from the time period, a detailed song listing, and track-by-track commentary and sleeve notes by U.K. music scribe Johnny Black.

The remastered 2-CD set of Three Imaginary Boys is a release for both the casual Cure listener and fanatic alike. It satisfies the collector's bug for new unreleased material as well as the newbie's curiosity with a feature of classic work in digitally reworked form.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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