Wild Mood Swings

May 1996
Miss Molly

As a fourteen year old, Robert Smith was kicked out of school for wearing velvet dresses to class. For some reason, the image of a teenage Robbie sauntering around a cold, grey schoolyard in a velvet jumper teenage Robbie sauntering around a cold, grey schoolyard in a velvet jumper fills me with inexplicable joy. Mean, thinlipped schoolmasters and stodgy, unimaginative mainstreamers be damned - Robert Smith has always stuck to his own intensely personal vision in spite of it all.

Wild Mood Swings, the Cure's newest release, is their first studio album in years. Co-produced by Smith and Steve Lyon, it comes after the band's amazingly successful 1992 release, Wish. Unfortunately, the 14-track CD doesn't live up to the emotional roller coaster ride that its title would suggest. Robert Smith's personal hysteria, which he has been so adept at articulating in the past - whether it be endless black despair or dizzying,breathless ecstasy - seems a bit hollow on this latest effort.

The tracks are relatively lackluster, with the band seeming to rely on a kind of generic Cure sound for much of the album. That said, there are still some bright spots to be found. There's the powerful, haunting "Want" ("I want blood instead of rain/I want the world to make me wonder"); the lounge-ish, Latin-sounding "The 13th;" and "This Is A Lie" and "Bare," two melancholy numbers that are replete with the rich, beautiful notes of violin, viola and cello.

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

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