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Wild Mood Swings
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on 21 January 2015
This is a fantastic Cure album, even though there are mixed reviews out there! Its called Wild Mood Swings as it is just that!! I'm slightly biased as " Strange Attraction " is one of my top 10 fave Cure tracks!! Buy it!!
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on 30 September 2010
Before buying this album i read quite a lot of negative reviews on these pages and found the album often derided in other cure album reviews like " its not their best but its not as bad as wild mood swings" etc. Well, i went ahead and bought the album and whilst it may not be the best album by the cure it is definetly a very fine album indeed. The thing is cure fans are one of three types-they either prefer the dark side like Pornography and Disintegration, they like the lighter side like Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and Head on the Door or they like a bit of both, like me. Well WMS is definetly the popier side of the cure and all the more interesting for it. The cure have always been great at doing good pop songs from boys don't cry, the caterpillar, close to me and so on. WMS is very varied and i think that puts the disintegration fans off as it is a bit all over the place but for me its far more interesting a listen. Importantly though it has some brilliant songs and really just a couple of ok songs-tracks like The 13th and Mint Car which were singles of course are fab and Jupiter Crash, Round and Round and Round and the lovely Treasure are some of the cure's best work. Now i know i'm speaking out of turn here but being of a certain age i lost interest in the darker side of the cure sometime after Pornography and so whilst i can appreciate Disintegration, in my opinion song for song it is far from their best album. Lyrically its good and probably its the weakest side of WMS but i can live with that. So if you enjoy the pop genius of Mr Smith and co please don't be put off this album because it deserves much higher praise than it gets on here-buy it and you will be pleasantly surprised.
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on 22 May 2001
After the relatively straightforward pop of Wish, the Cure moved back toward stranger, edgier territory with Wild Mood Swings. Actually, that's only part of the truth. As the title suggests, there's a vast array of textures and emotions on Wild Mood Swings, from the woozy mariachi lounge horns of "The 13th" to the perfect pop of "Mint Car" and the monolithic dirge of "Want." In between the extremes, Robert Smith and the Cure -- which now features a radically reworked lineup, with several key players from Wish now missing -- explore some simpler territory, from contemplative acoustic numbers tinged with strings to swooning neo-psychedelia. But what ties it all together is conviction -- Smith sounds more content than he ever has, but he sings with more passion than he has for a number of years. Of course, the Cure haven't significantly changed their sound -- tinny synthesizers and guitar effects that haven't appeared on an album since 1988 are in abundance throughout the record -- but the variety of sounds and strength of performance offers enough surprises to make Wild Mood Swings more than just another Cure record.
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on 12 August 2011
This album is actually one of my favourites from the cure. It has my all time favourite song, mint car on it. It does have a good mix of both upbeat and happy songs (mint car, return) and sad, emotional ones (treasure, jupiter crash). This is the album that really got me obsessed with the cure and I'd suggest it to almost anyone. At least eight of the songs on the album are superb and the rest are good at worst, not a single song that is bad (but the same could be said with any cure album). Buy it!!
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on 25 October 2001
"Wild Mood Swings", although it has some fine moments, is The Cure completely watered down. They have come a long way since "Faith" and "Pornography"! The album is saturated with brass and strings which makes some of the songs seem like an embarrassing stab at the charts ("Mint Car", "Strange Attraction", "Return"). Having said that, "The 13th" is pretty good and "This Is a Lie" is passable. However, if you have the patience to sit through the whole album you will be rewarded with the two final tracks - "Treasure" and "Bare". Now this is more like it! Both are impossibly sad and beautiful. Shame the same can't be said of this album. Avoid this lazy album. "Wild Mood Swings" - The Cure on autopilot.
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on 7 December 2014
The Cure's tenth studio album and the quality bar is still set very high after the brilliant ninth album wish.

Opening with the most fantastic guitar riff and melody on the first song Want, it continues at a consistently high level through the following 13 tracks.

I feel it's only let down by the choice of singles The 13th and Mint Car - one of these should have been replaced with the fantastic Gone!

This is a Lie, Numb and the stunning final track Bare are all superb as well.

Possibly the Cure's last really great album, although the eponymously titled The Cure from 2004 does come close to the standard set here.

A definite five star purchase.

Very Highly Recommended.
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on 1 July 2002
This album appears as a quite obvious attempt by The Cure to almost make a compilation album made entirely of new songs (if you follow my meaning..?). This is reflected in the albums title Wild Mood Swings, which was to suggest that finally you could hear The Cure's different styles all brought together on one album. What the band seemed to have forgotten is that they had already done that on 1987's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, which happened to be a brilliant album and at 17 songs in length represents far greater value.
Anyway W.M.S. kicks off with Want, which is one of the few really brilliant songs on the album and was in fact quite a taste as to the direction the band would go in for the follow up album, Bloodflowers (2000). The next song, Club America, happens to be in my opinion one of The Cure's best ever songs. This is the sound of Jimi Hendrix if he had used sitars on any of his faster songs (or ANY of his songs) and it's got an excellent bridge with a guitar refrain lifted entirely from David Bowie's Man Who Sold The World. Quite a mix for one song and it's easily the joint-best song on the whole album !
The other joint-best-song, This Is A Lie, follows straight after. A string quartet plays over a sad accoustic guitar chord structure, with lyrics that every person will face at some point in their lives (i.e. the why am I here and what am I doing with my life type questions !!). The 13th follows and was the first single from the album. It's a nice latino tune which sounds like it came straight out of Brazil or Cuba and knowing how much South America loves The Cure it was probably number one in both countries for about 3 years !! It's an amusing story about being picked up by a woman who promises to take him on "another kind of ride" and the triumphant trumpets will have you reaching for the tequila !!
Strange Attraction is where the album starts to fall down a bit. While making this album the band were still on the lookout for a replacement drummer (to replace Boris Williams who sadly quit in 1994) and finally settled on the equally excellent Jason Cooper. Unfortunately they must have recorded this track before Jason joined and instead they've used a pathetic drum machine which doesn't really help this already Cure-cliched song to pick up any. Everybody actually sounds incredibly bored on this tune...
Mint Car comes up next and is essentially Friday I'm In Love version 2. If you've never heard Friday you'll like this. If you have heard Friday you'll be asking yourself "Why did they bother?".
The last really good excellent song, Jupiter Crash, appears now and is sadly at only the halfway point of the album. Remember the meteor's that crashed into Jupiter around 1995 ? Well, that's what this song is about. It's really refreshing to hear somebody singing about something other than love or "we are the kids" crap for a change, although he still has to stick a reference to his wife in !!
Round & Round & Round is another stab at creating a pop moment and it passes over you in a nice summery way, but it's not really something that will stick into your head - other than the accoustic guitar solo which is very catchy and a nice redeeming feature.
Gone! sees an attempted return to jazz (last seen on The Lovecats) and is quite a hummable pop tune, but it's very likely to leave "outsiders" wondering what on earth a guitar band like The Cure are playing at. This songs best potential was realised when they performed it on The Jools Holland show (not yet available for purchase) and Robert was accompanied by two very soulful female backing singers (who do not appear on the album version and who I have recently seen performing with Starsailor). The album version sounds a lot more English !!!
Numb is according to Robert Smith partly about Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and his last days fuelled by drugs. It's probably really touching for Nirvana fanatics to hear, but to be frank The Cure have made better songs that sound like this on Wish and Disintegration.
Return sees the mood swing back to pop again and really all of the previous comments about the other pop songs apply to this. It's alright, but they've done much better elsewhere.
Trap is a strange one. A bit of a light-rocky one that doesn't really sound like it's going anywhere until it gets to the change at the 2:38 mark (there isn't a "chorus" as such). The change sounds really fantastic and as such it relies on what comes before it to make it work, but if you only listened to the first minute you would think it's not such a good song.
Treasure is another song seemingly made without the services of Cooper on drums and it suffers for it. It's also a bit boring and again sounds much too much like other superior Wish and Disintegration tracks. Saying that, you'll probably like it if you're into dippy love-song stuff !!
The final song is Bare and this is a blatant attempt at trying to make a wholesale return to the Disintegration sound. I don't really think they pull it off to be honest, although as with one or two other songs on here it does hint at what would become their great return (i.e. the Bloodflowers album).
To sum up, I would say that if you have never bought any Cure albums before, this would not be such a bad place to start as it does have a lot of their variety on it.
If you do however already own 1 or 2 of their albums then I would recommend going for a different Cure album instead.
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on 18 March 2003
Wild Mood Swings remains one of the Cure's poorest albums- Smith was stretched by chemicals & extra-curricular activities on 1984's The Top & debut 3 Imaginary Boys has some patchy moments (hence the Boys Don't Cry issue).
The Cure had several problems- they'd become huge, a Pink Floyd style brand & so the two projected albums for 1992 were diluted down to one (Wish)- which saw their commercial peak & pretty much summarised The Cure: a slightly schizophrenic band who meshed acoustic pop with gloomy dream rock & existential angst (not to forget the odd psychedelic experiment). Then following the epic Wish Tour that saw some band members leave either temporarily with illness (Simon Gallup) or permanently (Boris Williams, Porl Thompson). & then there was the protracted court case with ex-founder member Lol Tolhurst- so its fair to say Smith was all over the place. Thus Wild Mood Swings is just another varied Cure album- something they had previously perfected on albums such as Head on the Door, Kiss Me & Wish...
Not that Robert Smith wasn't trying- working with co-producer Steve Lyon (rather than Dave Allen) & having each song mixed by different people such as Alan Moulder (MBV), Adrian Sherwood (On U Sound), Tom Lord Alge (Hole) & Mark Saunders (Bomb the Bass). The problem is some of the songs are below par & the presence of different drummers- from official replacement for Boris Williams, Jason Cooper, to others who appear- Ronald Austin, Mark Price & Louis Pavlou.
There are a few great tracks, notably Want- which builds on the guitar sound of The Crow soundtrack's Burn & looks towards 2000's Bloodflowers; the Depeche Mode sounding This is a Lie (reminds me a little of Little 15); the brief guitar rock of Trap & the closing acoustic lull of Bare...Almost as good is Mint Car (great song, if a bit close to Friday I'm in Love-style territory), the bleak Jupiter Crash, the alien downer Numb & the world music-inspired The 13th (I love music like this- see David Byrne's Rei Mo, the last Kirsty MacColl album, Buena Vista Social Club etc- it extends on the territory of songs like Caterpillar & Lovecats- but might have been too out there for a comeback single: Mint Car would have been the best choice)...There are some OK songs- Treasure is a little overfamiliar in sound & lyric, Strange Attraction a diluted take of 92's Halo & sounding too close to the 2nd Chapterhouse album while both Return & Round & Round & Round have the same creative redundancy common to several New Order albums...Worse is single Gone! which is noodling nonsense best consigned to b-side hell & the messy Club America- which just revisits the lyrical territory of Open & doesn't really stick (despite a cool sitar sound that would sit well next to Chemical Bros Private Psychedelic Reel & Cornershop's Spectral Mornings).
Wild Mood Swings is more good than bad- hardly a classic album in the Disintergration/Head on the Door mode; it's notable that after this Smith has focused more on the bleak stuff than the poppy- the Bloodflowers album being more succesful in advancing the Cure's sound than patchy pop filler singles like Cut Here & Wrong Number. Still, this was their 10th official studio album- better to hit problemville here than on your third album (hello Oasis!). Ironically, this album would have been better if it had been shorter- something that can be said about many albums of the 90s- when it became in vogue to pack the CD's duration- reminding you of New Adventures in Hi Fi, Be Here Now, Six & Blur. I'd like to see Smith write great pop songs again, but I don't think his heart has been in them for sometime- better the return to 17 Seconds/Faith/Pornography/Disintergration-style morose downerness...
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on 9 August 2009
For a couple of years 1989 - 1993, in my teens aged 16 to 19, the Cure were my favourite band. But like many intense teenage infatuations it had a shelf life. It's something I've been contemplating since only recently buying Wild Mood Swings. For me the Cure lost huge momentum when they failed to produce an album for four years after Wish. By the time Wild Mood Swings appeared the Britpop hype had gripped the country with a power not really seen by a music scene since punk. Which meant that Smith, a man well acquainted with mourning the passing of time, was no longer cool or in and Smith was by 1996 closer to 40 than 30.

The Cure no longer with the world at their feet found that their fanbase had grown up particularly I would guess their 80s fans and even younger fans like me, who came late to the band at their zenith in 1989, had moved on to discover other artists and eras past and present. Perhaps they could have maintained their fans pouring in by the truck load between Disintergration and Wish and the ensuing world tours better?

But post Wish The Cure didn't really do anything to cultivate their fans or their career. Admittedly with websites, enewsletters and fansites that is much easier now but the point is that Wild Mood Swings is a very fine album that somehow got lost. No doubt it sold fairly well but The Cure could have done so much more in the 1990s instead they let their career slide.

In a way they almost lost interest in themselves which is quite something if you consider how their only real contemporaries - U2 and REM - boomed through the same decade. Sure Porl Thompson and Boris Williams leaving the group must have been a body blow and of course the court case with Lol Tolhurst obviously took a big toll, which is interestingly dissected in the `Never Enough' book. But still it is a perplexing state of affairs of lost opportunity. Why did Smith allow his career to wane? Was he world weary, or simply content to enjoy the fruits of his wealth untroubled by the pressures of touring and band politics?

It is a shame that there hasn't been a better book on The Cure, a Johnny Rogan style tomb. A book to stand with, and do justice to their music, formidable achievements and legacy. But again the general loss of interest in their meandering latter career and dwindling fan base probably explains that to a point.

So what does Wild Mood Swings tell us? Well, I am seriously impressed. It's a real curates egg. But where it's good it is absolutely excellent. I was motivated to write this on the strength of six cracking songs `Jupiter Crash', `This is a lie' `Bare' and `Strange Attraction' `Treasure' and `Numb'. The first three songs in particular are without question as good as anything the band has done. Interestingly their sound, and that of Treasure and Numb, actually moved on to a more acoustic, string based approach with terrific results. This is literate erudite powerful songwriting with a profound emotional punch.

What is so infuriating is that The Cure really had something to offer the Britpop party. Not least an intelligence to counter the scally rock of Oasis, which, as time has shown, is a desperately limited form of rock which reflects, if the truth be told, how limited its authors were and are. Wild Mood Swings is by contrast edifying. It is a cerebral work of an artist and a band which had depth and range and a sound which was futuristic and imaginative not rehashes of a Beatles chordbook. In short it is better than what a lot Britpop groups were producing and stands up well, sometimes astonishingly so to the rigours of time.

On the downside I still can't stand the dumb meaningless artwork. I am also unsurprised I didn't buy the album after hearing The 13th, which was a dreadful choice for a first single and Club America its unremarkable successor. The 13th is a slight forgettable song, easily one of the band's worst singles which offers little to the album. There are certainly too many lightweight tracks on the album Gone, Return and Trap should have been b-sides or left in the can for a rarities album. (And by God Robert the Disintegration/Wish reissues have to contain more interesting morsels than the desperately disappointing `Kiss Me' reissue and moderately interesting Head on the Door reissue).

Wild Moods Swings in many ways accurately reflects its protracted and distracted gestation. Although immaterial now The Cure really should have issued a clear focused album in 1994 possibly of acoustic string based songs and toured it round theatres not stadiums and just done something really different.

In the here and now Smith should pay close attention to Neil Young who he admires. Young has proven that you can still be busy, still drive your career, still do something new and suprise, shock and challenge your audience. Remember Young's Greendale UK acoustic tour or his recent showstopping cover of Day in the Life? There's been a feeling that the Cure are in danger of repeating themselves, the imagery and themes so distinctive in danger of becoming hackneyed - and that simply won't do. They were and are better than that. The last Cure album 4:13 Dream was pretty undemanding though it's encouraging to see the band out there again. Smith is still young enough to come again and should gear himself up for a busy decade - making the kind of music that makes Wild Mood Swings such an at times riveting and extraordinary experience. Seriously moments on here are as good as anything Nick Drake produced.

So come on Robert what have you got up your sleeve beyond playing the hits in stadiums? You have a massive educated audience who want to hear from you as our yesterdays get older. What about that acoustic concert hall tour backed by a string section and a female vocalist? Manchester's Bridgewater Hall is pretty damn good.
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2007
I have all the Cure albums and this one does NOT deserve the bad press it receives. Far from thinking it's their out-and-out worst record I actually think this is one of their better ones! The title says it all - "Wild Mood Swings" - therefore those who expect a cohesive album are in for a shock. Pretty much all styles are given the Cure makeover here and I think that's what puts people off. You can't get into a certain mood and stay there; the album has you bopping, then slitting your wrists and everything inbetween! It's supposed to be like that, hence the title! Besides; The Top, Head On The Door and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me have more or less followed the same formula. It's not their best album but did anyone seriously expect that several decades into their career?? Just because a band releases an album that isn't their very best it doesn't mean that they should split-up! I prefer this to 'Bloodflowers' and 'The Cure' which came after it, if that's any help.
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