Wild Mood Swings

Drum Media
May 1996

It's been a frustrating four years for most Cure fans since the release of Wish. Porl Thompson and Boris Williams have left, court battles have been fought, and the always immediate threat of breakup was on the cards.But finally we've got something new in Wild Mood Swings. This record, the band's 10th, is definitely what the title hints at, with themes as diverse as joyous love, drug abuse, and love gone very, very wrong. And musically it ranges from the sombre to the surreal. Wild Mood Swings begins with Want, a song along the lines of Disintegration with its long atmospheric swirling guitar and strings intro before Robert Smith begins to song desperately about useless hedonism.Club America is a little lighter but still has that immediate moody edge. And in This Is A Lie, mood turns to melancholy with sombre strings and lyrics like, 'Why each of us must lose everyone else on the world'.

But with The 13th The Cure snap you out of it, with a lively brass Spanish rhythm and Smith's vocals gliding all over the place. Strange Attraction is one of those pure Cure moments of joy and happiness with it's rollicking keyboard rhythms and Smith's carefree vocal runs about love which eventually goes wrong with the woman humorously asking, 'Can I use some of your lipstick'. And in Mint Car, Wild Wood Swings has its Friday I'm In Love, making love sound perfect with lyrics like, 'The sun is up I'm so happy I could scream'.

Musically, Gone!, like The 13th, shows The Cure continuing to experiment,this time with its cool jazz rhythms os keyboard and muted trumpet solos as well as staccato vocals from Smith.

But if you know The Cure, you know you can't stay 'happy happy' for the rest of the album, with Numb's sombre portrayal of drug addiction, the sad lament of Treasure, and the nine minute epic of Bare, which somehow makes you question those dream-like versions of love earlier on.

After so many albums it's hard for Wild Mood Swings to be particularly groundbreaking, but it's still a mighty fine record and very much essential to all Cure fans.

Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 15:00:07 CDT

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