Wild Mood Swings
is a fondly nostalgic yearning for the fucked-up pop-fractured days of The Top
, which to me is rather like having a wet dream about your first root canal.
Just as Wish
was more a collection of songs than a cohesive album, Wild Mood Swings
is more a jumbled mass of different stylistic exercises masquerading as a real live Cure album than, well - a real live Cure album.
Now that I think about it, Smith seems limited to creating about three different types of albums ... first, there's the intense burner - the Pornography
or the Disintegration
(or less successfully, Faith
) - albums of such nerve-laid-bare teeth-gritting gristle that they define The Cure as a 'goth' band.
Then there's the masterful pop excursions, like Head
. Else there's the Boy George albums like The Top
and this one, albums that somehow girlify The Cure ideal into something that looks a lot like Smitty himself ... a fat aging kid with thinning hair and too much messy makeup. They're just not very aesthetically pleasing.
Wild Mood Swings
is maybe one of the more 'difficult' Cure releases. Not difficult like Disintegration
, which was just mind-blowingly intense and beautiful, but just sounding like nothing is coming easily. And when things stop coming easily, we get U2-aping Zooropa
bullshit like "Club America", where Smith does a godawful Michael Hutchence impersonation while the guitars play wah-wah'ed discoteque over a backdrop so ironic it may as well not even exist.
But the fun's only just beginning ... "This Is a Lie" flips the dick with an incessant barrage of weepy glop (this time addressing religion and how Smith doesn't 'get it'). That topic always threatened to lie under the surface of a lot of the superior Cure material that's been released since Head
. Well, this track gets knee-deep in it, and we get to feel the worms crawling over our kneecaps.
by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza
(blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct]