The Cure: Bloodflowers (Fiction/Elektra)For the "pale and tragic" children of the '80s, the Cure were the backdrop to dreary autumn afternoons, endless fits of chain- smoking and awkward college make-out sessions, not to mention the creative impetus behind countless pieces of bad poetry and droning 4-track ballads. The Cure's latest offering, Bloodflowers, not only works to stir up all these nostalgic feelings of adolescent brooding, it might just be their best album since, well...the '80s. Bloodflowers builds off the sonic and thematic foundation of '82's Pornography and '89's Disintegration, completing the oft-mused "none-more-black" trilogy. Cure auteur Robert Smith and guitarist/bassist Simon Gallup ingeniously create a soundscape that references their past while also showcasing the kind of control and restraint in songwriting that comes only with experience. This approach is best illustrated on tracks like "Watching Me Fall," where Smith, pushing the Disintegration-esque 12-minute mark, eschews his more classic themes of lost love and chooses instead to ponder on his now lengthy past as a pop icon. Bloodflowers, as a whole, carries on in much the same way, dripping with feelings of both nostalgia and closure. While the mood of Bloodflowers may be a bit of a departure, the instrumentation and overall sound is the Cure's classic mix of curiously dissonant progressions, atmospheric keys, 12-string guitars and headphone rattling fills.
Producers: Robert Smith and Paul Corkett. Engineers: Paul Corkett and Sasha Jankovic. Studios: St. Catherine's Court, Avon and Rak Studio 3 (all in London). Mastering: Ian Cooper/Metropolis (London).