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The Dark Electro-Pop of Levinhurst

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In 1978, childhood buddies Robert Smith and Lol Tolhurst would form the Cure, forever changing the face of modern music. Besides giving birth to the gothic scene, the Cure managed to cross boundaries and introduce dark melodies to the pop industry with commercial success that has lasted over three decades.

In 2003, marking the 25th anniversary of the Cure, Tolhurst (who has been absent from the band for some time), returned to the studio to create a solo project in tandem with vocalist Cindy Levinson and electronic wizard Dayton Borders.

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LEVINHURST: Perfect Life (CD on Full Contact)

This release from 2004 offers 40 minutes of moody and compelling electro-pop.

Sinuous and versatile keyboards conspire with electronically generated instruments to produce lavish and energized tuneage. Percussion alternates between seemingly conventional drums and enhanced E-perc, establishing monumental rhythms that glow with ominous resonance. Surging synthetic basslines generate a dark, subterranean mood that is excellently supported by the rest of the music. Chittering electronics lurk in every sonic niche, lending a nervous edginess to the mix. The overall effect is a haunted sound that expresses assurance and infectious conviction.

Levinson's vocals are ethereal and compelling, ringing with a touch of optimistic angst. While the lyrical topics concentrate on negative aspects of life (sadness, despair, isolation), the conveyed messages stand in opposition to such despondent perspectives, offering light at the end of the tunnel.

There's a definite power found in these songs, a vibrancy that combines the old Cure sound with an injection of modern sensibilities, achieving a rich and evocative disposition. Darkness seethes and swarms, then this thick cloud of sound parts to reveal a glittering presence of salvation through self-determination. This music effectively jump-starts the audience's lagging initiative, forcing on the listener hope and the stamina to do something with that confidence.

This fusion of dark electro-pop milieu with seductive female vocals is engaging and remarkably persuasive, combining apprehension and triumph with stimulating results.

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