In the mid 80’s The Cure anticipated the 90’s shoegaze scene. At the same time, they also contributed to darkwave by building their style with the dreary world music ideas. Once Disintegration hit, they reached the peak of their popularity, expanding certain aspects of Kiss Me while bringing back the gloom of Faith and Pornography to make their most hypnotic and darkly seductive soundscape of their career. So here we are in the 90’s. Wish is one of those albums that masques a dark interior with a sunny surface. Because of its great replay value, you find yourself reanalyzing the album in a way and you start to wonder how The Cure can mask these emotions as such.
Well, if you’ve heard Japanese Whispers or The Top, you should have already concluded Robert Smith is bipolar, or has a very eclectic snowglobe for a brain. This is one of the few albums were you could appropriately use the metaphor “a rollercoaster of emotions”. This being the first album of The Cure’s that mixes things up as such, there’s bound to be a few less than stellar tracks. The ones that come to mind are Wendy Time, Doing The Unstuck, and Cut. Wendy Time sounds like a funk version of Why Can’t I Be You and doesn’t really flow well at all with the songs it’s between. Doing The Unstuck doesn’t work because of place it’s at. After From The Edge… you get disappointed with Wendy Time, and then you hear Robert Smith singing “Let’s get happy!” and you’re like come on! The only problem with Cut is that it sounds like every other song on the record and doesn’t stand out whatsoever.
Noticeable missteps, as most of these songs are easily recognizable and branch out the classic Cure sound even more. High is a calming, upbeat song with the lower pitched lead sections they like to use, and even though it’s rather positive they manage to do it in such an enjoyably nostalgic way, using Smith’s word play to great effect. Speaking of positive, Friday I’m In Love is an old school sounding pop track and nothing more, albeit one of the best songs on here. Imagine if they wrote Push in the 60’s.
If you’re one of the sad Cure fellows, you too are in luck. Apart, Trust, and To Wish Impossible Things are just as brooding as anything on Disintegration. These songs, while troubled in their own rite, are made so much more personal due to Smith’s lyrics. He has an uncanny ability to throw a set of lyrics from his bag onto a new song the band wrote and have them go together so well. Ever since Seventeen Seconds, he’s been developing his format of telling stories with his lyrics. I put the emphasis of this theme on the songs Apart and From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea. Apart is literally the ultimate break up song, going through the slow motions of the inevitable breakdown of the relationship. Everything about this song was formulated to make you cry. From The Edge… sounds like it was constructed around the lyrics, as the music is pretty repetitive for its eight minutes.
And so we watch the sun come up
From the edge of the deep green sea
And she listens like her head's on fire
Like she wants to believe in me
So I try, "Put your hands in the sky
We'll be here forever and we'll never say goodbye... "
I've never been so colourfully-see-through-head before
I've never been so wonderfully-me-you-want-some-more
And all I want is to keep it like this
You and me alone, secret kiss
And don't go home, don't go away
Don't let this end please stay...
Not just for today...
It goes on for a bit longer in the storyteller fashion, with the almost-shoegazey atmosphere the entire time, which might be why it works so well. To put it simply, there are no surprises throughout the album. This is just another solid Cure record, as they intended, and doesn’t trip up aside from the few mistakes I mentioned earlier. I don’t even have to mention how in tune the band sound with each other because they’ve sounded like this for most of their career. You’ve got your pop Cure, you’ve got your post-punk Cure, you’ve got your storyteller Cure, and you’ve got your gloomy Cure, so there’s literally something for everyone. This is also a great gateway record for people unfamiliar with the band, and a welcome addition to the discography. No fan of music should be disappointed here.