The Cure
Wild Mood Swings


2.5
average

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
July 17th, 2011 | 31 replies | 3,581 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Swings from drab to fab to drag.

What actually makes a Cure record work? What makes it distinct; worthwhile? If you ask me it’s when the band knows exactly what it’s aiming for, be that the pop charts or goth rock cliques. Looking back at Smith and co’s discography, it becomes clear that their greatest accomplishments come in the form of albums like ‘Disintegration’ and ‘Pornography’, which aimed to create intense, morose atmospheres (and succeeded), and ‘The Head on the Door’ and ‘Kiss Me…’ which went, generally, down more pop-oriented routes (and, again, succeeded). But with ‘Wild Mood Swings’, one is transported to those ‘other’ albums in The Cure’s catalogue - records like ‘The Top’ that didn’t really have a concrete mood or sound set in place, and suffered because of it.

What stops ‘Wild Mood Swings’ from ranking up there with the goths best is that, as hinted at before, it doesn’t really know what it wants to be. It flows quite neatly with solid track after solid track but doesn’t really connect that much either. There’s no extreme darkness tying things together, nor is their an abundance of top 20 hit potential that muster a catchy, anthemic feel.

What we have is material that’s fine, and at times quite enjoyable indeed. If the lack of thematic consistency is a negative aspect of the album, then conversely, one thing it certainly does have going for it is its eclecticism. We move from the mariachi horns and Latin-vibes of ‘The 13th’, to sombre, distorted rock (‘Want’), to the pure-pop glory of ‘Mint Car’, and almost everywhere else in-between. With its rather carefree glow and jovial ambiance it feels quite odd considering the bands past, but also works quite well, despite itself.

But, more markedly, ‘Wild Mood Swings’ floats about in the air more than it touches ground. Although it sounds brash, most of the album is rather average and not that memorable. One can’t say that The Cure didn’t try to be creative, with the wide array of styles on offer, but at the same time, that’s what holds the record back. ‘Wild Mood Swings’ really needs that strong distinction of gloom or guitar pop that previous efforts held onto. In other words, it feels like an album without great direction - not gothic, not polished radio-rock, just unfamiliar and unconcerned.

It’s still rather enjoyable upon the first few spins, and despite seeming quite average, it’s not got any ‘bad’ songs littering the disc, per se. There’s no track that’d make you think again about your loyalty to The Cure, but at the same time, there’s nothing that’d make you fall for them any deeper, bar one or two tracks like ‘Mint Car’ and ‘Club America’. Essentially, it’s a middle-of-the-road Cure album - far from terrible, but skipable for all but the devout and those wishing to get the complete picture about this seminal post-punk outfit.



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user ratings (192)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
NeoOrder (3)
A number of great tracks amongst a higher number of near misses...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
July 17th 2011



9506 Comments


Nice to come back and see this, the cover art is strange...

Digging: Symphony X - Paradise Lost

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2011



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Acanthus - Cheers. Nice to have someone actually comment on this, although it is one of the lesser known Cure albums so perhaps that's why it's quiet on the discussion front. You're right - artwork is pretty odd but it doesn't really reflect the album very well - this is pretty famillar ground, more in tune with the most mundane moments of 'Wish', than the gothic stuff of earlier times.

'Bloodflowers' review will be up tomorrow.


iFghtffyrdmns
July 17th 2011



7047 Comments


holy balls tommy the last time I read one of your reviews pretty sure you had posted about 30 of them, you're up to 58!? pumping these mofo's out, quality reads too...well done.

I'll throw Wish on for a spin if I'm absolutely specifically in the mood for it but other than that record I haven't heard much of these guys' efforts, though they do seem marginally rad.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2011



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

iFghtffyrdmns - Haha, good to hear from you again. Yeah, i've been reviewing The Cure's studio discog from the start in the past couple of weeks - check my profile and catch up man! P.S. Defo check out Disintegration - awesome record by these, reviewed it a few days ago, actually.


iFghtffyrdmns
July 17th 2011



7047 Comments


Hot damn well you either are a lot more ambitious of a writer than me or you actually have the gift of FREE TIME, unfortunately the latter is not something I've been particularly graced with haha. Will do though!

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2011



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

iFghtffyrdmns - I don't start University until Sept so it's definetely that latter! So much time to kill and time = boredom and, for me, boredom = a desire to write, hence tons of reviews ; ) I'm gonna try and do as many as i can before i move out from home to campus, 'cos i plan to PARTY lots, come autumn, and won't have as much time to bash these out then.


Acanthus
July 18th 2011



9506 Comments


I was surprised that no one had commented on this as well, at least that's changed eh?

Uranium
July 18th 2011



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

want and this is a lie are coo

Uranium
March 21st 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is really good

what is happening to me



Uranium
March 21st 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and apparently im the only one who has given any fucks about this in 3 years lol



Uranium
March 29th 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is one of their best albums. I'm convinced people don't even listen to this and just accept it as bad.

Rowan5215
March 29th 2014



20001 Comments


Is it really that good? I've never heard it

Uranium
March 29th 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It gets a lot of scorn about being their worst (there are a few off songs) but it is really good actually. I guess cause it's their 'happy album' and people wont accept that.

Check out Want, Mint Car, Jupiter Crash and Return.


by the way thanks for breaking up my 3 year self talk lol

Rowan5215
March 29th 2014



20001 Comments


I've only heard Disintegration, Pornography, Bloodflowers and parts of Three Imaginary Boys but I really want to get to know their discog in full so why not
A happy album does sound like an interesting twist though
You're welcome :]

Uranium
March 29th 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice! I love this band, they have one of the most solid discogs out there.

If you want a darker album you should check out Faith. It's a pre-porno album that is pretty dark and
depressing in itself. Some of their all around awesome albums are The Head on the Door and Wish and
they're both a good mix of happy and sad and highly regarded by most fans. You really can't go wrong
with any album though.

Rowan5215
March 29th 2014



20001 Comments


I might just go front to back one of these days when I have the chance but yeah I was very intrigued by the descriptions of Faith that I heard

Uranium
March 29th 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Faith rules pretty hard. It's their most bass driven album.

KriegdemKriege
March 29th 2014



499 Comments


I love this album. This Is a Lie, Jupiter Crash, Want, and Numb are some of the best songs the band ever wrote.

And this isn't even The Cure's "happy album". It has the perfect title.

Uranium
March 29th 2014



6633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

True but this is just a little bit happier than most. The 13th pissed a lot of fans off right from the get go and soured the albums impression before they even could let it sink in.

KriegdemKriege
March 29th 2014



499 Comments


I used to absolutely hate The 13th, but it's grown on me a bit.

I think your earlier comment is correct. I think most people never really give this an album a chance.



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