In a recent CMJ interview, Robert Smith cited Bloodflowers as one of The
Cure's best and most powerful albums. Longtime fans' eyes probably
bulged with both doubt and anticipation at his lofty statement; it's been more than a decade since Smith and his rotating entourage have made a passionate, poignant landmark in gloom like their 1982 album Pornography or their 1989 masterpiece Disintegration. The works' melancholy musical demeanor and poetic panache allowed the post-punk outfit to achieve icon status in the '80s. On
Bloodflowers, however, The Cure has become formidable once more, shelving the slick pop posture of its '90s material and returning to form, basking in an introspective lyrical intensity that's mirrored by a brooding, gritty, guitar-driven dankness. Familiar themes of lost love, emotional death and personal transition coarse eerily through each long and winding composition, driven home by Smith's downhearted moans and distressed howls. The Cure's maniacal brand of
pop music may have broken the band to mainstream ears, but Bloodflowers' conceptual cohesion and emotional depth approach the top of the group's heap of classic records. Let there be no doubt: Smith has re-endeared himself to longtime fans who've kept (or lost) the faith during the last decade.