It was a very pleasing day when I checked my mailbox and found a little parcel from England therein. This disc is the newest work by the legendary English rock/hip-hop/electronica band Curve. For this release, they have done all the distribution themselves and have released it on their very own Fatlip label (which was also responsible for 1996's "Pink Girl with the Blues" single). All songs were recorded during the first months of this year and by thunder what a treat they are.
To say that this album carries on in the guitar-heavy tradition of the band would be a lie. This is a very aptly named release as it truly contains some groundbreaking work from Curve. The lead track "Answers" is a gritty techno-based number with Toni Halliday repeating the same phrase at different intervals during the song. Following that are some even more remarkable songs, the most noticeable being "Star" and "Signals and Alibis".
"The New Adventures of Curve" is a much more electronic album in comparisons to past works. I would say the closest comparison one could make would be some of the more intense electro moments on "Gift" (2001) and "Cuckoo" (1993). The last track on the album is the most surprising as it has Dean Garcia doing lead vocals. Surprise surprise, the Curve man can sing quite well.
Curve have made something quite novel in this day and age, an "electronica" album without the ka-ka. There is a level of variation in each song which is sorely missing in this kind of music elsewhere. I was quite mesmerised by the fact that most of the songs top out at over seven minutes; this is not traditionally how Curve writes songs but it works extremely well on this album. Dean Garcia shines on guitar as well as his trademark bass guitar work and Toni Halliday's vocals have never sounded better. The slinky voice of Ms Halliday has been making me shiver ever since I first heard it back in 1992 and somehow, it has gotten better over time. How did this happen, how I wish I knew. Did I mention that every track on this album kicks ass? Well, I just did, didn't I?
If only this band had the major label propaganda machine backing them up! This album deserves much wider distribution and speaking as a die-hard fan of the band I fully expect them to get it. A gem of an album and one which I would recommend to anybody who has had their fill of what is being passed off as "female-fronted electronica" or god forbid "female-fronted future pop". Curve has balls which would break the collective careers of all those bands. You followers who thought you'd stolen Curve's thunder have been served notice: Give up. The masters are here to stay.