Review Summary: A number of great tracks amongst a higher number of near misses
Wild Mood Swings
There comes a time in every music collector’s life when they come to the end of the discography. This happened a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon the Cures “Wild Mood Swings”. Having heard nothing but bad things, and the song “Mint Car” (which wasn’t at all what I expected from the Cure as a first single), I was reluctant to part with the £5, but for the sake of completion, I thought I’d better.
Imagine my surprise when I heard opening song “Want”. This is everything the Cure did well. The drawn out intro, the whiny vocals, the epic synth strings, and the climax at the end. It’s an all around good Cure effort. What is there not to like?
Then, after about 5 minutes, the answer became more apparent.
The album soon goes very below standard for a Cure outing. Second song “Club America”, for one. Catchy guitar lines and over-the-top drums can’t save this. Smith adopts a low baritone voice that just...doesn’t fit with the Cure sound. The vocal melody in itself is rather nice, but the lyrics are nothing what you’d expect from the band, and Robert himself.
Soon, poor song after poor song inhibits the entire album, with the overly cheesy sounds and drawn out sound. Normally, I’m one to love the drawn out simplicity of Cure songs, but normally Smith will have a gorgeous vocal line and heartfelt lyrics to back it up...it’s just not here on Wild Mood Swings. Many of the songs sound rather samey as well, and if it weren’t for the odd intro to the start of some of the songs, it would feel like one long song. Also, Smith finally loses his marbles on the song “The 13th”. What, pray tell, was he thinking? Cheesy brass sections and dodgy rhythms is just not what the Cure do best, and I fail to see how Robert missed it.
The album isn’t without its high points though. Previously mentioned opening song “Want” is a highlight in itself. “Strange Attraction” is another classic, while “Gone!” is a direct hit with the new Cure sound. Here, the childish melodies are put to good use, and backed up by the Smith of old and a basic drum beat. “Round & Round & Round” is another high point, with the whole band in a seemingly comfortable situation over a beautifully honest song.
The album greatest accomplishment is the phenomenal “Jupiter Crash”, often complimented for its choppy drums. The song is the Cure of old, combined with the lush instrumentation from 1992s “Wish”. Robert is on “Full romantic” mode, but the song has its share of new ideas, the bass climbing and descending to give the song a bit more depth, and the classic Cure chorused guitar sneaking its way in there. The song is in the same style of the beautiful B side “Ocean”, and even opens with some ocean sound FX. It is by far the best song on the album.
Over all, the album is far from perfect, but is complete with a few diamonds in the rough that are worth digging out if you have the time.
For the more dedicated fan...
This Is A Lie
Round & Round & Round
Thanks for reading, hope it helps you decide on the album.