2/15/2000 Barnes & Noble Online
For what appears to be the closing chapter of their 20-year career, the Cure have decided to tie things up with a truly sad tale -- an appropriate move from a band that pioneered goth music and resurrected the mime makeup industry. Cure frontman Robert Smith has referred to BLOODFLOWERS as the bookend of a musical trilogy that began in 1982 with the bleak, despairing PORNOGRAPHY and continued in 1989 with the dark, worrying DISINTEGRATION. But while BLOODFLOWERS is indeed depressing, it's never enervating or morose. Throughout, Smith expresses frustration with his relationships, mortality, and, especially, his career: "No, I won't do it again, I don't want to pretend, if it can't be like before I've got to let it end" ("Maybe Someday"). But the woe is revealed over layers of lush textures and crafty songwriting that show just how much the band has grown since its gloomy beginnings. Instead of merely thudding, droning, and whining, the Cure weave echoing guitar layers, delicate piano, and colorful arrangements into the mix. In "Out of this World," for example, the band bends single, quivering guitar notes around a web of pattering electronic drums, delicate strums, and glistening piano, making BLOODFLOWERS one of the band's most musically satisfying discs.
- Jon Wiederhorn