The Cure
The Cure
/geffen; 2004/

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I didn't think The Cure would release another good album again. Of course I knew they had it and that they could do it, I just thought it wouldn't happen. Bloodflowers wasn't bad, a bit too long, a bit too monotonous, with impressive songs and less impressive ones, all scaled down by bulldozer production.

Press reports claim that they (that is The Cure and producer Ross Robinson) wanted to do the ultimate Cure album, gathering all the kinds of songs Smith and his soldiers were able to do throughout their carreer, the gloomy ones, the poppy ones, the rocking ones, the slow "oh I love you so" ones and the epic "we can stretch this riff over 15 minutes without you noticing it" ones. They came close to making this ultimate Cure album, but it was clearly too big a task from the start. Instead they succeeded in making the perfect final album, summing up their career, what they were and what they meant, as well as introducing a revigorated band, still able to write impressive songs and to make us feel like they believe in what they do.

The album starts with the band's best song in ages, "Lost" a dark, oppressive song Trent Reznor would love to steal, in which Robert Smith sings "I can't find myself" over and over again, putting more heart in it than in the band's last two albums. "The End of the World" -the album's first single- is an impressive Cure pop song -with handclaps and ooh ooh oohs- catchy as hell and will stand shamelessly near "Boys Don't Cry", "In Between Days" and "Close to Me" on the next Cure best of. "Alt. End" is a bit darker but still catchy, it sounds like a perfect summary of Bloodflowers. RS sings "I don't want another go around /I want this to be the end/ I don't want to start again/ I want this to be the last thing we do" and even though The Cure is as likely to be the band's final album as the three previous ones I can't help but feel like he means it this time. Maybe that's Robert Smith greatest success: keeping on having us believe in anything he says, no matter how many times he fails us.

The album keeps on exploring the band's different eras, "Taking Off" sounds like it's out of Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me while "Promise" sounds like a lost jewel from the Wish recording sessions. When I take the headphones off I'm selfishly happy to see that I was right after all, they still have it, and even though this is the perfect time for saying goodbye, I find myself waiting for their next farewell album, hoping it will be as exhilarating a listen as this one.

-Barbara H

/aug 1st 2004/