Customer Review

18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I desperately wanted to love this album... But..., October 3, 2007
This review is from: Born Into This (Audio CD)
DISCLAIMER: I am a huge Cult fan, so you can take this review with a grain of salt.

Virtually everytime the Cult has come out with a new album, even as a fan, the first 3 or 4 times I listen, my head is full of question marks as to whether I like the album or not... "Born Into This" is no exception. The first time thru, I felt my skin crawling during the opening line of "Holy Mountain" where Ian starts off sounding like a washed up Elvis. Yet once I got past that, I found myself sort of getting into it. Nonsensical lyrics are nothing new with the Cult - its part of what makes them so endearing.

On to the album;

Two albums in a row now, the Cult has left off a demo from the album and either a) put it on the import version (like 'Libertine' from BG&E - available on the Australian import) and b) "Stand Alone" - from Born Into This. In both cases (just my opinion) these two songs are not only the most Cult like but the best songs from each period.

Interestingly, the special edition of this album is selling much better than the standard version. That said, the majority are getting - my opinion - the best song on the album.

I find myself asking about the production as it sounds like it was recorded in a garage, perhaps that was on purpose after the bands own admission that BG&E was way over produced. The raw sound brings us back to Love and Dreamtime.

1. Born into this - Good riff - Missing the classic main verse that makes a Cult Song a Cult Song - 2 Stars

2. Citizens - Don't like it, missing too much of the main verse and Ian sounds tired - 1 star

3. Diamonds - Just average - like the beginning, but I find myself thinking about other things before the songs over - 1 Star

4. Dirt(y little rockstar) - This is where the album turns the corner - that said, I didn't get into this one until about the 10th listen, now it just soars to me - 4 Stars

5. Holy Mountain - I want to like it, but if you have Spirit/Light/Speed (Ian's dud 2000 solo album) - this sounds way too much like "Wild Like a Horse" - I swear its the same song with different lyrics - not bad, but Ian sounds better slow when he's rocking out to "Ciao Baby." This one belongs in the lounge - 2 Stars

6. I Assassin - Love the riff! I get more into this one with each listen - 3.5 Stars

7. Illuminated - I hear a little "Hollow Man" in this one - 3 Stars

8. Tiger In The Sun - One of the two gems on the album - reminds me of Creeds "Higher" in that its not a fast paced song, but Ian delivers a great main verse with a lot of passion. 4 Stars

9. Savages - a Rocker - reminds me of "Shake The Sky" (one of the more underated songs from BG&E - along with "American Gothic") - Billy sort of goes off the deep end with this one - 3 Stars

10. Sound of Destruction - Solid, solid - like the guitar work, the non sensical lyrics - catchy. 3.5 Stars

11. Stand Alone - The lone GEM on the album that you can really hang your Cult hat on. 5 stars

12. War Pony Destroyer - bad title, bad lyrics, good guitar, only Ian could make a main verse out of the words "War Pony Destroyer..." - 2.5 Stars

13. I Assassin (DEMO) - Can't tell which is better, the album version or the demo - like 'em both about the same, love the rawness of the demo. 3.5 Stars

14. Sound of Destruction (demo) - Cleaner sounding than the album version - 3.5 Stars

15. Savages (Extended) - Don't know that we need an extended version of this song... But even as I write this, I'm hearing it for about the fifth time, and frankly, it gets considerably better with successive re-plays... 4 Stars

All and all, I'm thrilled they're back, wish there were more Sanctuaries or Rains mixed in, but this is the Cult afterall, every album is a bit of a departure from the previous, with the only real distinguishing characteristic being Ian's voice. Like the new sound, and as I've mentioned, with each successive listen, I'm finding more to like about the album... See you in Tampa on October 30th...
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 4, 2007 3:18:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2008 2:21:56 PM PDT
I agree mostly with your review. Very good articulation and detailed critique.

Stand Alone is definitely the best on the whole thing and ironically they put it only on the special edition.

Soaring melody, memorable and worth repeated listens. The rest of the album sounds like a patched together mess that was written in a hurry, in order to finish before the start of the tour. Perhaps they were trying too hard.

hopefully they'll play Stand alone on their tour. The rest, they can keep.

Posted on Oct 7, 2007 1:41:32 PM PDT
Dutchie Boy says:
Huge Cult fan ??? I am sorry, but i think you are not. Born into this is a great album, best songs are Sound Of Destruction, Tiger In The Sun. Those songs should be the singles of this album. I am a huge Cult fan and this album will be playing in my car for a couple of months. And fully loud. Thanks Ian, Billy, John, Chris and Youth.

CFFC!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2007 4:37:03 PM PDT
D. K. Miles says:
Perhaps you need to re-read the review (and my other reviews of Cult Albums) with some objectivity - I gave Tiger in the Sun 4 stars (out of 5) and "Sound of Destruction" 3.5 Stars (out of 5) not to mention I gave "Stand Alone 5 Stars (out of 5) - THAT song should be released as a single. For the record, the album gets noticably better with each re-play...

Hmmm... Let me see, I've seen the Cult 11 times;

1989 Manchester NH (w/Metallica)
1990 Boston (Boston Garden - they headlined behind Dangerous Toys and Bonham)
1990 Springfield, MA - The Next day with Bonham and Dangerous Toys
1991 Los Angeles Forum - w/Lenny Kravitz
1992 Bally's Hotel and Casino Vegas - w/Dramarama
1995 Tucson Arizona in a Movie Theatre with Big Chief - about a Month before the first breakup
1996 Ian w/Holy Barbarians (I own Cream too) at Slims in San Francisco
1999 San Francisco the Warfield
1999 Houston
2001 Pompano Beach, FL
2006 Jannus Landing, Tampa FL
2007 Later this month in Tampa again

Being a fan doesn't automatically mean you blindly support everything they do... The Cult have had some songs that packed a whallop (She Sells Sanctuary, Rain, Firwoman, Lil Devil, Wildflower, Love Removal Machine, Rise, American Gothic, Libertine, Wild Hearted Son, Stand Alone, Tiger in the Sun, Heart of Soul, to name a few) and they've had some stinkers too - not everything's going to hit, especially when you take a distinctively different direction musically as the Cult have over the years.

I love the Cult and one album and one review won't jade my opinion of them - nor will it disuade me from seeing them again in the future.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2008 7:51:04 AM PST
Nepenthe says:
Im sorry.. I have to say it. If you are comparing Tiger In The Sun to a Creed song... you aren't a true Cult brother. A true Cult fan would have realized the bloodline running through that song is traced to American Horse and, most of all, Aphrodisiac Jacket. Funny your list of "whallop" songs is basically a Greatest Hits set.... makes me wonder. We've been at some of the same shows together in the past it seems... shame you didnt come up and introduce yourself... haha... see you at the next one, maybe?... or will you be busy moshing at Creed... lmao.. cheers then.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 2:56:23 PM PDT
A. Burton says:
A true Cult brother....that made me laugh out loud! Looking forward to seeing them live this month.....I've been waiting since 1985. I am *trying* to get into this album....but (to me) it does not have the same feel as their earlier works even though the editorial says it does---but that could be because I am 35 now instead of 13--maybe it's just me. Maybe it just needs to grow on me.....

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 9:59:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2008 10:03:52 PM PST
j. joyce says:
People...people why are we fighting? When will you realize that music is subjective? Metallica went through this in '91 with "Metallica" (the "black" album).If the Cult wrote purely on the basis on what they sounded like on "Sonic Temple" or "Electric",then people would be accusing them retreading earlier riffage! Please don't forget that music IS art and certain art one must acquire a taste for. After 20-30 years it's hard for these bands to constantly come up with "By Menen" type riffs or hooks. Just ask Mick Jagger.For me,if the hooks aren't there I try to concentrate on the musicianship.And that's easy because the Cult are still a great band!
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