Wild Mood Swings

Megan Frampton
CMJ
May 20, 1996

Although there is the occasional surprise on a Cure record -- lead vocalist/songwriter Robert Smith sounding happy, for example -- there isn't much that can (or should) be added to the band's essential sound, making WILD MOOD SWINGS not nearly as chaotic as its title suggests. Smith's vocals, as usual, take center stage, his theatrical phrasings and extravagant lyrics never sounding too over-the-top, simply because it's coming from him -- a well-established charismatic, attention-demanding figure. The first single, "The 13th," is a softly melodic tune, slightly Latin in rhythm, and showcases Smith's ever more melodramatic vocal stylings. "Mint Car's " joyous bounce bellies Smith's normally somber pose, which is equally absent on "Round & Round & Round," but "Numb" marks the gloomy Smith's return. In addition to traditional rock instrumentation, there are touches from both a brass and a string quartet, which add another theatrical dimension to the songs. Robert Smith hasn't done much to change his patented sound -- if anything, the additions have lightened his tone a bit -- but with something so distinctive that speak to so many people, there is no reason to do so, and Wild Mood Swings is a fine example of Smith's vision.
Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 20:00:07 CST

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