4:13 Dream

 4:13 Dream
Album number 13 finds the 30-year vets second-guessing themselves. Originally a double LP slated for an April 13 release, Robert Smith and his mates pared the recordings down to a single LP while enlisting American Idol songwriter/engineer Keith Uddin to produce. For better or for worse, 4:13 Dream sounds exactly like a Cure album should: jangling, protracted song intros ("Underneath the Stars"), punchy "Friday I'm In Love" clones ("The Only One") and an abundance of chimes and open chords. As suspected, Uddin's production contributes to the songs' identity issues, while much of the album seems too dynamic (even for the Cure) yet strangely passionless. However, a reunion of The Head on the Door-era guitarists (Simon Gallup and Porl Thompson) gives the LP an adventurous and classic feel. In fact, 4:13 Dream features some immediate Cure classics that would play better on a Greatest Hits 1992-2012 collection than an overall career anthology. (Geffen)