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5/7/1996  All Music Guide
Wild Mood Swings

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.

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine

 

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