The Cure

Much like a lover who keeps threatening to pack up and leave but never pulls the trigger, the Cure's Robert Smith has suggested that the band's albums/tours would be its last so many times that fans have little reason to even bat an eyelash anymore. But, as the band hits the States for the first time in four years, anticipation for its concerts is predictably high. Arising out of the same '70s musical climate that would see punk cook itself down to a fertile pile of New Wave ash, the Cure essentially became the world's flagship prototype goth band, although Smith himself rejects the term. With good reason too, as he has always more than amply demonstrated a knack for pushing the band in new creative directions. Recent albums like 2000's Bloodflowers (their last "last" album!) and 2004's The Cure show Smith lifting the band's trademark swirl of thick guitar and keyboard layering to new heights. Though Smith continues to mine the old well of heartbreak and despair that he can never seem to get away from, he has inexplicably managed to evade self-parody. He's good at reinvigorating the music when it needs a jolt, and it's what helps the Cure both epitomize and transcend the "mope-rock" tag favored by both sympathetic critics and detractors alike.

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Saby Reyes-Kulkarni