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2/22/2000  Atlanta Constitution
Healthy Living: Cure's 'Good Attitude' In Vogue For 2 Decades

IN CONCERT The Cure 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sold out ($35). The Roxy, 3110 Roswell Road N.E. 404-233-7699. The concert will be Webcast at and simulcast on 99X (99.7 FM). An interview with the band will air about 5:30 p.m.

Despite having only three Top 40 hits in 20 years, the Cure's influence is far-reaching. Leader Robert Smith and his ever-changing band helped invent alternative rock.

"The mere fact that the Cure have managed to provide the soundtrack for almost two generations of the paint-it-black set suggests that Robert Smith's formula is a winner: cracked operatic vocals, shameless pop melodies and shimmering, melancholy arrangements with buried, echoey drums," notes Arion Berger in a Rolling Stone review of the band's latest album, "Bloodflowers."

The Cure, which plays the Roxy on Wednesday, gained a large fan base in the United States when the single "Just Like Heaven" hit the Top 40 in 1988; the group had debuted in the States nearly 10 years earlier with first album "Boys Don't Cry."

Jason Tarulli, 25, of Atlanta first saw the Cure in the early '90s. "I just connected with it,'' he says. ''Nobody beats the depth and intelligence of Robert Smith."

Tarulli was among the fans waiting at Tower Records in Buckhead when tickets for Wednesday's show went on sale. Standing about 10 bodies from the window on that overcast morning, he was certain he'd get tickets. Minutes later, the first person in line walked away with two tickets, and the show sold out. "I guess I'm off to listen to the radio," Tarulli said, hoping to win some of the tickets that station 99X is offering. The six-city, small-venue tour that brings the quintet to Atlanta is the band's idea.

"It allows us to explore," says Smith, 40. "It's more intense, and it gets us back to the reasons why we do it." He also admits that "there's no single on the new album. I really paid no attention to the commercial aspects. I felt that (the tour) was the only way to get the music out there. I wanted people to be aware of the album."

Critics, fans and Smith himself have noted that "Bloodflowers" has an air of finality. He says he doesn't feel the need to do another Cure album but doesn't discount the possibility and has plans for a solo project. Ultimately, he hopes to do music for films.

Smith certainly doesn't sound like a man who wants to stop.

"I had every intention of this being the last Cure album, but I've had so much fun doing this," he says. "I think if the young me met me now, he'd be OK with how things ended up. It surprises me that I still get so much pleasure from it."

If this does spell the end for the Cure, though, what would Smith like the band's epitaph to be? "I think what's important to me is the way we've done what we've done," he says. After a thoughtful moment, he declaims, epitaphlike, "They had a good attitude."

- Shane Harrison


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