Wild Mood Swings

May 1996
Alison E. Poggi

The Cure 
Wild Mood Swings
*** 1/2

	Four years is a long time to hold your breath... and that's 
exactly what fans of The Cure have been doing since the release of Wish 
in 1992.  So, now that The Cure has a brand-new line-up and a shiny, 
happy image -- What to say?  From the sweeping crescendos of "Want" to 
the sweet strings of "Treasure,"  the Cure have evolved with musical 
integrity intact.  Wild Mood Swings is an example of what happens when 
something unexpected gets thrown into the mix.  
	Though it is easy to compare "Want" to "Open," (from Wish) or 
"Treasure" to "Trust" (also from Wish), it is more accurate to say that 
everything old is new again.  Robert Smith's world-weary "Club America" 
voice brings "Harold and Joe" to mind; but the sound of the former is all 
power-driven guitar, not tepid dance beat.
	As usual with The Cure, some of their choicest offerings occur as 
B-sides (to both versions of their latest single, "The 13th").  And while 
familiar themes surface in the lyrics of the new material, the best songs 
spin gorgeously out into their own space.  
	"This is a Lie" is a return to the muted, introspective side of 
the Cure, though a major thematic digression for Smith.  Rather than 
writing from experience, he explores a scenario totally foreign to him:  
a questioning of the need to "choose... one special friend, one true 
love."  But just when we've been plunged into reverie, the members of The 
Cure expose the flip-side of their talent with the brash brassiness and 
funky flamenco of "The 13th."
	"Strange Attraction" is a whimsical poem of a song.  "Mint Car" 
continues the trend, promising to be a summer crowd-pleaser.  (Somewhere 
in the dark, candle-lit rooms of this world, scads of die-hard Cure fans 
are snickering:   "This is the one that's going to put them over the 
top!" ...or chanting angrily, "Down with 'Friday I'm in Love, Part 2!'")  
Also a favorite at 1995's Glastonbury Festival and a hit with The Cure's 
audiences in Brazil this past January, "Mint Car" is slated for release 
as single #2.  
	"Jupiter Crash," another festival favorite, also conjures lyrical 
remembrances of Wish.  It begins and ends with the sound of the sea, and 
discusses idealism and disappointment:  "Was that it? / Was that the 
Jupiter show? / Kinda wasn't quite what I'd hoped for you know?"  "Gone!" 
is a lazy, jazzy number about not wanting to get out of bed.  And 
speaking of everything old being new again, Robert sneaks in something 
familiar to B-side purveyors:  "It's got to be jazz / That's what she 
wants..."  Cure-ious!  
	"Treasure" has an innocent sweetness -- it's a lullaby of sorts, 
though not the "Lullaby" Cure fans have grown to love.  "Treasure" also 
boasts one of the more memorable lyrics of the album, "It's better to 
forget / Than to remember me and cry".  Finally, "Bare" provides a lush 
soundscape and a brilliant end to the album.
	What about the Cure, though?  Are they done, too?  Robert Smith 
and the boys aren't saying.  But before another wave of wondering if this 
is really "the end" begins, one need only look back at the past 18 or so 
years of The Cure to realize that they will always be with us...  "And it 
feels goooooooood!"

Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 15:00:08 CDT

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