The Cure's Disintegration felt like it was going to end with "The Same Deep Water as You." Then, after a long, final-sounding pause, back comes the band with "Disintegration," (the song) and two more... A long, painful ending to one of the greatest mope-rock albums ever.
And that's where Bloodflowers, The Cure's 12th studio album (and third since Disintegration), picks up. Put the two albums back-to-back in a CD changer, and if your changer is quick enough on the draw, you'll have trouble distinguishing where one album ends and the other begins. Comparisons, therefore, are inevitable.
But, alas, whereas Disintegration was a timeless classic (at least to those who wear a lot of black and know what happens when you put corn starch on your face), Bloodflowers is merely good. Disintegration held together well as a unit, but it had some classic singles as well like "Pictures of You," "Fascination Street," and, of course, "Love Song" (which is one of about three Cure songs everybody remembers). Compelling singles, plus mood. Bloodflowers is just mood.
The album's standout track, really, is the title track--a lush, haunting, melancholy, painful number. It's everything we've come to expect from the Cure, but it's not the kind of song you'd play in mixed company. It's almost as if they recorded the rest of the album just to build up to this cascading number. If you ever wondered what 58 minutes of end might sound like, this is it.
What you think of this album will depend on whether you prefer pop Cure or proto-goth Cure. If your favorite Cure albums are Faith and Pornography, chances are you'll like this one too. If your favorite Cure albums are Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me and Wish, you probably won't think as much of it.