I have to confess one thing... first off, I heard "A Forest" when I got 'Staring at the Sea' years ago, & then only heard this album in its entirety later. I actually didn't see what all the fuss was with "A Forest" (please don't throw anything at me!)... at the time. Then I heard it in a club (80's night, of course) & thought...almost motionless.... "whoa... this is a really awesome song...", & it still is. Keep in mind a couple of things: I had only recently purchased Staring at the Sea & really hadn't heard the song enuff... & only in my 20's at the time & still in my 20's, I had only grown up with The Cure during the Disintegration/Wish era, so this was a going-back-in-time "discovery" phase... which still hasn't ended, as I still haven't heard everything they've ever done, but surely getting there!
So while someone who's listened to The Cure since its birth could say they like their earlier material best, I'm gonna naturally have a different perspective. I have my personal favorites... yah, "Disintegration is the best album ever!!" (heh, yah,
think that South Park episode with Rob), Pornography is darker than some people can stand but I love it anyway, & Wish has some memorable songs that remind me of high school...So where does this one fit in? After 10 Cure (counting 1 live, 2 best-ofs & mixed up), ok, then make that 6 albums I've owned before this one, it's not my favorite, but it's still a must-have for fans of the earlier darker material. I agree with couple of other reviewers, this definitely makes for a good winter afternoon listening... like it is now. Besides the 2 I heard on 'Staring at the Sea', I also really like tracks 3, 8 & 10. I still haven't heard the 2 albums that came before this... so I still have some homework to do.