Robert Smith and his mates in the Cure have never needed to follow trends to remain vital. Here are 16 gems by one of the most influential bands in modern rock- In Between Days; Why Can't I Be You; Boys Don't Cry; Let's Go to Bed; Close to Me; Just Like Heaven; Love Song; Friday I'm in Love; Mint Car; High , and more-plus two new songs!
As Greatest Hits
--and particularly the busking pavement jazz of "Lovecats"--reminds us, the best Cure singles were very often tangential exercises; they offered a goth-free playtime divergence from some of the weightier studiousness of those early albums. Or, as smudged frontman Robert Smith says of this 18-track collection, "Songs that are sung with a smile." This wasn't always true--witness the refrigerated fogginess of the classic "A Forest," the Blair Witch Project
of its day. What this compilation does is focus attention on the Cure's perennial unpredictability--the breathless claustrophobia of "Close to Me," the New Order-lite of "The Walk," the brass- section embellished thrust of "Why Can't I Be You." Oddly, chart-wise, the Cure's lost weekend began immediately after "Friday I'm in Love," their most ebullient melodic moment and the ultimate "clocking-off to kick those heels" anthem. But at least the inclusion of two new songs, "Cut Here" and "Just Say Yes" (with Saffron from Republica), indicate that the Cure remain a healthy, ongoing concern. --Kevin Maidment