“Lost” opens with a sound similar to cans being knocked together. Robert Smith soon sings, “I can’t find myself” over minor guitar chords. You soon come to realize that The Cure is back. Yeah baby, they are back and they are starting to rock once again.It’s been about 25 years since The Cure began as The Easy Cure. They’ve made a progression from punk to goth to radio darlings to has-beens to elders of the music industry. They’ve had more changes in personnel than Cher has had plastic surgery. But through it all there’s been Robert’s voice – he’s literally the only member to last 25 years.
“Lost” opens up their seventeenth album, and for a lack of a better title, The Cure finally decided to do a self-titled album. By calling the album “The Cure” you get the sense that this is actually The Cure. These five guys seem to be in it for the long haul; the current members have been together since 1996’s “Wild Mood Swings.”
In the past few years The Cure released “Bloodflowers” and the single “Cut Here.” Both the album and the single are really good, but something was missing and I didn’t know what that was until I heard track three, “Before Three.” The Cure has lacked hooks and catchy melodies. There is not a song on “Bloodflowers” that would make me want to dance around the room like a fool pretending to be Robert Smith. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Cut Here” and I love songs on “Bloodflowers,” but none of them get into your blood like “Before Three” does.
Another pop gem follows “Before Three,” the poorly titled “The End of The World.” This song is the lead single and is a great pop song, but titling it “The End of The World” makes you think of the depressing Cure. This song isn’t depressing; it’s pure pop bliss. Next follows “Anniversary,” a slow downer of a song that seems right out of “Wish” era Cure, but sadly it doesn’t soar to the heights of past songs. And you can’t forget the perfect pop songs “(I Don’t Know What’s Going) On” and “Taking Off.”
“Us or Them” is a near-total departure for The Cure. This is their first political song since their debut single “Killing an Arab” in 1979. (By the way, most albums containing “Killing an Arab” contain this statement on the cover: “Killing an Arab has absolutely no racist undertones whatsoever. It is a song which decries the existence of all prejudice and consequent violence.”) Though not as shocking as “Arab,” “Us or Them” exclaims “There is no terror in my heart” and tells America “I don’t want you anywhere near me / Get your f—— world out of my head / I don’t want your us or them / I don’t need your us or them.”
Again Robert and The Cure call for a coming together of people in love and respect, not in fear, terror, and discrimination. Sometimes a Brit has a better idea of what to do with America than we do.