1985's Love displayed a marked improvement over the Cult's early material, and though it remains underappreciated in America (worldwide it was a smash), this exceptional record has actually aged better than the band's more notorious (and equally important) releases: Electric and Sonic Temple. Equal parts psychedelic hard rock and new wave goth, the songs on Love emanate a bright guitar sheen, tight arrangements, crisp drumming, and a command performance from vocalist Ian Astbury, who as usual says a lot more with less than most singers. Overall, the album benefits from a wonderful sense of space, thanks in large part to guitarist Billy Duffy (who is much more subdued here than on future releases), whose restraint is especially notable on "Revolution" and the remarkably uncluttered title track. Duffy also provides compelling melodies ("Hollow Man," "Revolution"), driving riffs ("Nirvana," "The Phoenix"), and even a U2-like intro to "Big Neon Glitter." Also on offer is the near-perfect "She Sells Sanctuary" and the smash hit "Rain," quite possibly the band's most appealing single ever. Considering the musical schizophrenia that would plague each subsequent Cult release, Love just may be the band's purest moment.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia