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I haven't been as excited about an album in years. I've always loved Curve, but honestly, this is a step up from them, if that were eir latest album, the perfect 'Come Clean', highlighted an almost industrial pop feel to it. On this album we see a return to the sweeping guitar lines and polished electronica. More slickly produced, this is one of my favourite albums ever!Title track, 'Gift', is a superb pop song. Sweeping guitar riffs and sing along choruses, what more can you ask for. Kevin Shields(My Bloody Valentine) guests on 'Want More Need Less' and 'Perish'. Both are perfect with the latter shading it due to some smooth electronic patterns and Toni's angelic vocals.'Chainmail' features a superb deep bassline and a rocking chorus. Toni sounds more sexy than ever on this track. 'Fly With The High' at first sounds like a pounding 4/4 techno track but it develops into a chorus reminiscent of, trust me on this one, a fantasy duet between REM and Madonna! 'My Tiled White Floor' is the excellent pop song and it surely deserves radio play. 'Polaroid' features Alan Wilder on strings and is a smooth, electronic track. It all ends with 'Bleeding Heart', a cool bass-led, rock song.Just give this one a try, you'll love it, trust me. If you like Garbage, who were influenced by Curve, you'll like this more.
...At least in the meantime fans were treated to an internet-only release compilation called "Open Day at the Hatefest" which could have easily been called "Pretty Small Pagan" due to its darker atmospheres in several of the tracks. "Gift" showcases nearly every style Curve has used over the years, but with a warmer, more heartfelt emotional theme and what some might call a �lighter� sound (I know better). Especially interesting is their use of unconventional song structure and pacing to hold the intra-track development from becoming predictable. This is taken to the extreme with the latest track, "Bleeding Heart", which seems a small too mild in its neurosis for the topic matter and capitalizes on this fact in the unexpected finale. I'd already heard "Hell Above the Water", "Perish", and "Chainmail" from their website, so I can't say I fixated on those tracks upon first listen of this disk. They're great, but very familiar to me by now. It's nice to finally have them in Red Book CD rather than measly MP3, though. The songs that really caught my attention were "Want More Need Less", "Hung Up", and "My Tiled White Floor", among others. You can hear a significant connection between this album and "Come Clean", but it melds much more of Curve's previous sound than that one did. Then of course there's the near historic happening of Kevin Shields coming out of his cave from working on My Bloody Valentine's newest (mythical?) album (as he's been doing for years) to contribute some layered guitar work. Alan Moulder�s amazing mate Flood (the experimental genius) once again lent his talents on a few of the tracks. Then to take things up yet another notch, "Gift" was perfectly mixed by Ben Grosse (Filter, Republica, The X-Files) and exquisitely mastered by Kevin Metcalfe (Tinstar, Queen, Orbital). The end effect is the softest, fluffiest (if you can really say that about a Curve album), warmest, most un-bright, un-sibilant and sonically consistent album they've released...even more so than "Open Day at the Hatefest", which also had some excessive high frequency spikes in its two most latest tracks (sorry �Master� Alan). Soundwise, it reminds me of a fine TELARC cd. And of course, after all these years Toni still has a breathtaking voice that is now being recorded with more expertise and less processing than ever before. 'Tis a amazing day for Curve fans everywhere! It's a mystery why major record and electronic stores have "Gift" displays listed under the sign "Best Fresh Band". Hello?! Six major releases later and people still have never heard of this group. Go figure.
"The highlight of Curve's gothic, shoegazing rock has always been Toni Halliday"- As the editorial review above notes, this is a beautiful accurate summation of yet another remarkable album by musics most -and wrongfully- neglected band. Of course, gentle listener, what is a "gothic shoegazing rock"- well, that really is the secret of Curve. Seemingly defying the need to fit into a pigeon hole, Curve could just as easily be described as Electronica (for electric beats and sounds), rock ( for guitar based wall of sound), goth ( for Toni's sultry and siren like voice) or shoegazer ( for the combination of rock and goth). Who knows? A band with this sheer level of talent defines all parisons with Garbage are inevitable. Garbage, despite their sucess simply do not have the depth and passion of Curve. Toni Halliday's glorious voice sours through this album, and is exquisite as any female in melody today. Simply put, Shirley Manson cannot sing as well as Toni, and Curve know how to mix and use that is is a standout album. The first track, track number 8 (My tiled white floor) and 10 ( my bleeding heart) are unbelievable songs, with passion in st highly recommended.
I swear, if I hear one more reviewer mention Garbage in a Curve album review, I just might be sick. The groups exist on two completely various levels of music, both in style and in maturity. Let's just leave it at that, shall we? If you are going to compare and contrast, I would really like to hear someone talk about other Curve-inspired groups (like Lulabox or Collide, for example). Oh well. As for Gift, the only thing I can honestly say is "Thank you." I was happy as punch upon picking up the Internet-only comp. Begin Day at the Hatefest, and even more thrilled when Bonus arrived in my mailbox. It truly sounds like the group is again enjoying the art of making music. They've managed to overcome several obstacles (personal, label and management issues), and have emerged with an album to be proud of. Bonus doesn't sound like Curve redone; it sounds like Curve REBORN. Sure, Toni and Dean have created significant changes to their trademark sound...but in a method that gives us a glimpse of the direction Curve is heading in, while at the same time reminding us of what the band once was, and at its core will always be. On Curve's past albums, I had always heard a definite sense of music underneath all that white noise, guitar dissonance, and drum aggression; Curve manages to subtly bring that underlying music to the surface of the songs Bonus contains...and the resulting sound is both more mature and more dynamic. I believe that this may actually be the greatest success of this album. It is unfortunate that Curve will not be touring the US to help this album; I saw them on the Come Clean tour, and to this day have yet to see another group that displays the kind of musical talent and integrity that Curve presents during its live shows. So a lot of groups could and SHOULD learn a thing or two from Curve...not just how to reinvent yourself, but how to do so without destroying what you have already created.Way to go, guys.
It's amazing to see that Curve's record label decided to release "Gift" after all. Despite the pain it took Toni and Dean to obtain it release, the wait was worth the hassle. "Gift" is definitely one of the most interesting albums to have come out this year. Toni Halliday's vocals couldn't sound any better than they did on this album. The dark, industrial beats of "Hell Above Water" and "Gift" are two of the best songs I have heard ever. Of course they are two of my favorite songs off the album. I was just blown away by them when I first heard them. They sound even better with the stereo crankd up loud. "Fly With the High" is another particular favorite track off the cd. I love Toni's polished vocals on this track. Curve's melody in general reminds me a lot of Garbage with their blending of techno/industrial beats with rock music. I would not be surprised if Garbage was influenced by Curve. I certainly would list "Gift" as one of the best albums of 2001 and one of Curve's best albums ever.
After Come Clean I was really wondering what the next Curve album would sound like. For me, Come Clean had a mix of songs ranging from genius to headache-enducing. (Only the mediocre are always at their best, eh?) This album is incredibly strong- I liked it on the first listen and I'm sure I'll be singing along with Toni in no time- the songs are really catchy. Bonus reminds me of a cross between Pubic Fruit (my favorite Curve album) and Cuckoo (my second favorite Curve album) with a small techo dabbed on here and there. It's nice to see Dean and Toni's talent persist and grow. I hope there will be more (and regular) Curve releases in the future...I don't think I could ever obtain enough Curve.
the poor news first. GIFT does not raise the bar at all. there is nothing fresh or special to this album but beyond that CURVE fans should be happy. toni halliday has the voice of an angel. sweet and seductive, like a lover who kisses you with so much passion that you barely message her driving a knife in your back. the melody is centered around ear candy-esque music that is , at times, ragged around the edges. i have to comment to MoonGoddess' review. there is no method in hell garbage is better than curve. curve, not only came first but they set the standered for this style of music. they raised the bar and while you can compare stylistically speaking, it is my firm opinion that while garbage is indeed awesome. they pale in comparison. shirly manson is attractive but garbage do not know how to use that attractive voice as well as curve work the melody and voice together. just my opinion, neither right nor wrong. this is a amazing cd both for the fan and the necomer to curve. sweet and sensual, haunting and brilliant.
This album has Jim Brickman's signature piano stylings and his renditions of familiar Christmas songs are outstanding! You will have fun putting this CD on while visiting with mates and family, having it on while doing other ever, this is more than just beautiful background music. As another reviewer stated, it is amazing melody to contemplate by! Meditate on Jesus, the reason for the season!I especially have fun the first track, Joy to the World, and Hope is Born again, which is sung by Point of Grace. The latest track, "The Gift" is sung by Christian/Country artist Susan this CD and you won't regret it!You might wish to check out my other reviews of Christmas music!
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The CD was great, it contained the song The Gift, which I dedicated to my husband latest Christmas,at my annual Christmas party for all my close friends, he had prostate cancer at that time and the words were excellent for our story, thank God he is now and still is cancer free,but I stil listen to that song and it still brings a few tears to my eyes. The arrival of the CD was impeccable and it meant a lot to me to hear it during Christmas time. I had lost the first CD containing this song and emailed my radio station and told me several locations where to obtain it was one of them and the first I tried to obtain it and when it was in stock it was a true joy to know I will obtain it again. Thank you
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