'seventeen seconds' was everything the title suggested. intense. dense. bleak. it is not an album for the faint at heart. the addition of perennial favourite simon gallup on bass and the short-lived but effective mathleu hartley on keyboards expanded the cure's previously sparse sound, adding layers of texture that complemented smith's longer, less accessible songs. while 'play for today' hearkens back to the bands poppier days, 'seventeen seconds' and 'secrets' show that the band was not about to turn back from its new approach. 'a reflection' is eerily beautiful, but the album's true highlight is the perky-but-sad 'a forest.'
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