Unfortunately, The Cure's latest offering is inconsistent. While it is an improvement from "Bloodflowers," it occasionally falters.
The album begins with "Lost," which, despite sounding like a B-side, is lyrically well crafted, and the music is quite intense.
"Labryinth" is a bad version of "Snake Pit." Why is Robert screaming?
"Before Three," and "The End of the World," are a bit more upbeat and energetic. Great!
"Us or Them" is a thinly disguised critique of global terror's distortion of religion and the U.S.'s (justified) military response. A complex situation cannot be reduced to sound bites or a few poetic lines. Stick to love songs, Robert.
"alt.end" is refreshing. Lyrically strong and musically solid.
Interesting that "Taking Off" could have been on "Wild Mood Swings" or maybe "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me."
"Never" is strong musically. In contrast, "The Promise" is the song that doesn't end. Ten minutes long. It is a rare song that has enough steam to keep the listener for that long. Sometimes less is more.
At times, Smith's singing is brilliant and controlled. At other times, he sounds out of control.
The cover and other graphics must be a joke. It is generally not a good idea to have toddlers design your album; if they do, at least be selective about what artwork is featured.
The "bonus" DVD features the band in their studio recording their album. No interviews, no interaction, no life. Five men playing instruments in a dim room surrounded by candles. It may reflect the overall problem with this album: incomplete and rushed ideas.
The Cure has done much better.