|1. A Reflection|
|2. Play For Today|
|4. In Your House|
|6. The Final Sound|
|7. A Forest|
|9. At Night|
|10. Seventeen Seconds|
1. A Reflection
A short keyboard instrumental. The main melody is simple, comprised of three chords that any novice could play within minutes. But much like the rest of the album, its strength lies in its simplicity. It's a haunting little piece, and should give you the idea that this album will be a lot different from their debut.
2. Play For Today
This is one of two singles from the album, and it's not tough to see why. It's the most accessible song on the album, built around a rather catchy and energetic/punk-ish guitar melody. It sounds like "Jumping Someone Else's Train"'s cousin, only darker, better, and more personal; the lyrics delve into the mind of somebody involved in an insincere relationship.
A great song, built around a thick bass line. It carries a tense tone throughout.
4. In Your House
Another great song, with one of the catchier guitar melodies on the album. Again, atmospheric and haunting. You'll probably think every song sounds the same the first time you listen to this - I did as well. It'll take multiple listens to uncover some of the melodies (or lack thereof), as most of them are subtle.
This one is also a keyboard led instrumental (well, it has words in the background, but they're pretty much indecipherable). Very unsettling. Not a great song on its own, but it works wonders to keep in with the whole mood of the album. Call it a mood piece.
6. The Final Sound
Yet another keyboard instrumental piece. This one is *really* short (about 50 seconds), and is more of an intro for the following track. But it's creepy and cool while it lasts - very atonal.
7. A Forest
This is often labeled the "quintessential" or "archetypical" Cure song. Its 6 minutes are made up of a heavy bass line, rhythmic drumming, goth nightmare lyrics (you'll feel like you're in a forest in the middle of the night as you listen to it), and ethereal, dreamy guitar melodies. It's also pretty damn catchy and hypnotic - which explains why it was their first hit single.
Mysterious, for the title alone if nothing else. It's one of the more accessible songs on the album, as it contains some nice melodies that you'll uncover after a couple listens.
9. At Night
My personal favorite from this album - it even upstages "A Forest"! Again, it may take a few listens to get into it. After I heard it a couple times, the main hook that repeats throughout the song (comprised of Simon Gallup's fuzzy bass line backed by a countering synthesizer line) was stuck in my head for days. Like "A Forest", the lyrics also paint a gloomy, unsettling picture in the listener's mind. Of all the songs on the album, this (along with the proceeding one) most accurately show the even darker direction they'd take on their next album, "Faith".
10. Seventeen Seconds
Like "At Night", another moody piece, but more minimalistic - comprised of a gloomy guitar riff (backed by an equally as gloomy bass line), robotic sounding drum patterns, and abstract lyrics. What it is the significance of *seventeen" seconds? As it turns out, it's just an arbitrary measure of time that's adequate enough for Robert Smith to vent out the emptiness he was feeling at the time. A great closer, but that's not surprising, as all Cure albums end with a near flawless (sometimes completely flawless) song.
Depressed yet? On "Faith" and "Pornography" things would go from gray to black. "Seventeen Seconds" is the most accessible of the three, but it's still enough to scare people off (if you want a good starter album, pick up the singles compilation "Staring at the Sea"). But if you have an open mind, and don't powerfully dislike mopey/depressing music, give "Seventeen Seconds" a shot. It still remains one of The Cure's most rewarding listens.
"Seventeen Seconds" is a marvel of an album. It's classic moping Cure, yet upon further, deeper listens, one may become intrigued... Read more