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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 43 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 149 reviews
on September 12, 2013
This is The Cure's most physical, sensual album. If Disintegration sounds "classical" -- pristine, mannered, elegant, with tubercular pining over "Pictures Of You" -- then Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me is "decadent." One song on it is actually an adaptation of a prose piece by Baudelaire. The music has a feverish and unhealthy sound; if the French poets had made a rock album, it would have sounded like this. The music is heavy, sticky, and chaotic, and Robert Smith matches it with bizarre lyrics, emphasizing the weirdest aspects of his vocal style.

"Just Like Heaven" was the most successful single (and actually sounds uncharacteristically restrained for this album), but for my money, the real show-stopper here is "Why Can't I Be You?" This has to be the most brilliantly deranged music ever seriously presented as a pop single. It basically takes a light-funk rhythm and a horn section, makes them play at a manic, break-neck pace (this is probably the most energetic song in The Cure's entire catalogue), and has Smith wail such an over-the-top profession of love that it actually becomes kind of menacing. Lines such as "Everything you do is irresistible / everything you do is simply kissable" start to sound like accusations, leading into his unhinged scream, "why can't I be you?" When he gets to "everything you do is simply dreamy," he slurs the words so much that it sounds like incoherent raving. And then the horns rock the hell out of the chorus.

But don't let the singles overshadow the rest of the album. The very first song, "The Kiss," is a logical development from earlier bad-trip Cure songs like "Shake Dog Shake," but here they finally find the right sound -- a delirious, dizzying swirl of hypnotic acid guitars and Simon Gallup's overbearingly loud, primitive bass grind. The song plays as an instrumental for longer than you would expect, before the tension finally explodes with Smith's violent wail. There is not a lot of subtlety here: he bluntly and rather nastily equates lust with poison, thus stating the theme for the entire album. But, in this case, confidence sells the directness of the attack. Never before, or since, had The Cure sounded so dangerous.

There is a tendency, not unwarranted, to typecast Smith as a sad sack who writes nursery-rhyme love songs, but this album proves that, once, he was a very strong writer. The Baudelaire cover "How Beautiful You Are" could have failed in any number of ways, but instead, it is actually better than the source material. It is psychologically deeper: in Baudelaire, the poor folk are simply admiring the elegance of the cafe where the narrator is sitting with his lover, whereas Smith makes them admire the woman specifically. Thus, instead of simply being thoughtless, the woman's reply becomes deeply and ironically cruel. Also, Baudelaire's narrator says, "you want to know why I hate you today," whereas Smith drops the "today" and turns a rich boy's petulant sulk into a life-changing experience.

When Smith's voice isn't dominating the songs, the music picks up the slack with the oddest and most unconventional sounds to be found on any Cure album. Several songs are long near-instrumental mood pieces with understated vocals, like "The Snakepit," a sexy and hypnotic groove with a killer bass riff, or "Icing Sugar," where galloping drums are contrasted with spaced-out, dreamy synths and horns, or the vast chime-guitar expanse in "One More Time," which calls to mind some sort of vast underground lake. These songs sit comfortably next to anthemic, bass-heavy arena rock ("Torture"), claustrophobic insomniac psychedelia ("If Only Tonight We Could Sleep"), and demented mariachi or swing ("Hey You!" and "Hot Hot Hot!"). There are some sweet love songs also, like "Catch," which sounds weirder and weirder the more you think about it -- apparently he was in love with a girl who spent all her time staring and falling down.

The band's confidence and skill on this album are thrilling. Disintegration is still probably my favourite Cure album, but this one might have stronger, wilder, and more original music. Not every song would have worked as a single, but there are no bad songs, and every song contributes something to the album as a whole. "The Kiss," for example, is basically just a really long intro, but it's also one of the best Cure songs ever. At the same time, the album still feels unified, and most of the songs use the same basic psychedelic guitar sound, they just explore all of its facets. If you only know the hits, stop and see what you've been missing.
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on April 24, 2016
Is this The Cure's best album? No, not in my opinion. But, it is an essential part of their identity and, not to mention, allowed many people who had never listened to The Cure have a chance to. Kiss Me is arguably the groups most accessible album with songs such as "Just Like Heaven" and "Catch" floating through the airwaves. But, while many tend to gravitate towards those more radio friendly songs, I find myself liking the less popular tracks. These include "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep", "The Snakepit", "Like Cockatoos" and "Fight". Thats not to say that I don't enjoy the more pop oriented tracks though.

While I feel that the album is a few tracks too long, I can't deny that it helped paved their way to international success. It's not my absolute favorite Cure album, but I have many fond memories of listening to it when I was younger and am happy to have it in my collection. I would also like to add that I feel the extended version of "Hot, Hot, Hot" found on the Mixed Up album is superior to the Kiss Me verison.
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on May 29, 2017
Just about wore this cassette out when it was originally released. Fabulous collection of songs running the gamut from lighter fare to the dark side. A must for any Cure fan and a classic in its own right.
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on July 1, 2017
awesome album!
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on September 19, 2006
Oh man, this album is amazing. Last time I listened to it was probably a few years ago on the original CD w/o "Hey You!" It's awesome to have this masterpiece album remastered with much better sound in its originally intended form of all 18 tracks (Amazon has omitted "Torture" by mistake, but let me reassure you, it's there in all its edgy glory). The build-up intro of "The Kiss" is unparalleled except for say, other Cure songs like "Open" or "Want." When the first vocals of the album burst upon you (OH KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME!!! YOUR TONGUE'S LIKE POISON, SO SWOLLEN IT FILLS UP MY MOUTH!!!) you know you're in for a sick ride. You've got your classic singles "Why Can't I Be You?" and "Hot Hot Hot!!!" along with the most famous of all, "Just Like Heaven." But this is only the icing on the cake. "How Beautiful You Are..." and "One More Time" are both amazing non-single tracks, to compliment the rest of the album. Also, if I were to ever have the opportunity to make a movie, I'd definitely have "Fight" as the soundtrack to a sick, crazy, violent fight'd be perfect. I won't go into all the other tracks...just buy it and experience one of the best albums ever created. It's so diverse, from crazy-cuckoo happy to dark, angsty, edgy, and anthemic. Throughout it all, there's always great melody and passion. Robert Smith is a genius and this release is one of The Cure's showcases extreme talent and versatility.

PS ~ The bonus disc is awesome for hearing a lot of the songs as they were first presented and comparing them to their end results that made it onto the album...a very nice insight.
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on June 16, 2003
While Disintegration is probably my all-time favorite album by The Cure, this one ranks a close second. It's got a lot of tracks taking the listener from catchy dance-tunes like HOT HOT HOT, to great narratives on social issues like HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE. I was a fan of the Cure when I first heard Disintegration (an album done after this one). So when I got this Album, I realized just how versitile they are and how great a songwriter Rober Smith is. This album has a lot more pop-singles than a lot of their other later CDs, so it's good one to get if you are just getting into the band.
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on January 30, 2015
Good album. Made the recipient very happy
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on November 5, 2006
This album(cd)stands the test of time.One of,if not their most varied release.From hard rockers like "The Kiss" to giddy numbers like "Catch" to the infectous pop of "Why Cant I Be You" or "Just Like Heaven"on down to the more ethereal Cure-like numbers such as "Like Cockatoos" and "A Thousand Hours",there is something for everyone in this collection.
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on August 5, 2010
This album is one of the quintessential 80's album. Not that it is 80s music but it was released in the decade. Head on the Door preceded it and Disintegration followed and those 3 albums are the height of The Cure. This album broke thru in america big-time and sent them to the stratosphere. Filled with songs both dreamy and violent, it manages to throw in pop music as well. Having a little of all 'the Cure Sounds' this album probably represents all the moods that Mr Smith records in better than any 1 Cure release.
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on April 25, 2008
I love the Cure. The things this music does to me... well, you just have no idea. And this album is no different, the music shines. Even if there are some tracks that don't feel fully realized.
It is a very eclectic mix, I'll admit. And that is my one major complaint with this album. It just kinda goes all over the place with no real flow from one song to the next.
Albums like "Disintegration" and 'Wish", for example have an excellent flow. With every song leading into the next beautifully. These albums are so easy to turn on and just get lost in them.
"Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me" feels more like it was thrown together, with no particular song order in mind. And while I like all the songs, the structure of the album makes it hard to get lost in the music.
It pains me to give the Cure less than five stars, but this album just isn't perfect. Really good, but not perfect.
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