Wild Mood Swings

Rolling Stones
May 1996
Anthony Decurtis

Wild Mood Swings
The Cure
2 Stars

Unfortunately, there's nothing especially wild about wild mood swings, the
cure's first studio album in four years.  In fact, the song remains much
the same: Singer and guitarist Robert Smith continues looking for the
perfect love, swooning when he thinks he's found it, collapsing wrecked
when (inevitably) he's disappointed.

When he's inspired, however, Smith can still make the journey along the
tracks of his tears entirely compelling. 'Want', which opens the album,
renders emotional desolation in gripping terms, making the most of Smith's
ability to conjure a haunting atmosphere from a simple, endlessly repeated
guitar figure.  On the more upbeat 'Club America', Smith borrows vocal
tricks from Bowie and Iggy to evoke the jaded thrills of nightclubbing in
the American funhouse.

But too much of WMS recedes into generic cure styles-brooding meditations
on loss (treasure) and shiny, happy, self consciously cliched pop songs
(mint car).  The horns and strings Smith intermittently introduces to
freshen his sound-most notably on 'the 13th', a lounge-mariachi number that
is the album's first single-fail to make much of a difference.
On WMS, Smith seems too trapped within his own obsessions to know when he's
merely expressed them and when he's transformed them into art.  It can
sometimes be a thin line, but Smith has walked it before with far more
satisfying results.

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

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