Varying from ten to eleven tracks depending on which version you get, Cuckoo is the dark and almost gothic release from Curve. The record explores a completely different world from other release by them, an open book of new personal ideas. Available on Vinyl LP and CD and is released on 3 Loop Music.
7/10 Benn Staff review, 04 August 2017
Curve were around for a fair amount of time and Cuckoo is, in my opinion, their best album. Just hear me out.
There is no doubt that ‘Doppelgänger’ was a great album and did far better in the charts than Cuckoo, but just because something is in the charts doesn't make it better. There is some absolute tripe in the top 40 at the moment, and whilst that wasn’t necessarily the case in the 90s when the likes of Nirvana, Blur and Oasis were floating around it wasn't independent reviewers that killed this album. It was the big boys in music journalism that really hit the record hard, and part of me is convinced that that was the reason behind it doing so poorly. In fact, it hit them that hard that in 1994 they disbanded for a short period.
Moving on to the musical content, then. From the very first minute, the record is quite clearly darker, much more experimental and even slightly gothic compared to their first record. Toni Halliday's unbelievably eerie voice makes you feel like you’re in a badass zombie game. About fifteen minutes in we hit 'All Of One' which has a 90s Madchester feel about it. The slow and refined music backing combined with the relaxed and, yep I’m going to say it, Ian Brown-esque vocal style lets this song slot right into any 90’s playlist. I just don’t understand why it got so much stick in the press and in the charts. Halliday herself has even said that Cuckoo is her favourite record, but something somewhere went wrong. She talks about how she and Dean Garcia didn’t really want to tour anymore and that they’d spend a fair amount of time just drinking Jack Daniels.
Look, the record isn’t perfect. As you move through it you do get a little lost and they do sound a little ‘samey’. It isn’t all dark rainbows and gothic butterflies. To a certain extent, I can see why maybe some people didn’t feel the record stood up to their debut album. Saying that, Cuckoo surpasses Doppelgänger in a) musicality and b) experimentalism, and that is worth commending. It really shouldn’t have got the stick it did.
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