July 12, 2004 12:00 PM

The Cure

CRITIC’S CHOICE

This is shaping up to be the year of the comeback for ’80s pop icons. First Prince, Morrissey and George Michael returned with their best albums in years. And now The Cure is back with a CD that will be just like heaven for fans of Robert Smith’s goth gang. Following two disappointing studio discs, 1996’s Wild Mood Swings and 2000’s Bloodflowers, The Cure has found the remedy for its creative woes on this effort (which comes 25 years after the group’s debut, Three Imaginary Boys). The band sounds reinvigorated by working for the first time with an outside producer, Ross Robinson (Korn), who brings a harder rock edge to tracks like the venomous “Us or Them.” The Cure shifts between dark, dense soundscapes like the 10-minute epic “The Promise” and more pop-friendly fare such as “Taking Off,” a giddy rush in the vein of “In Between Days.” For his part Smith still has the same mournful wail and morose lyrics. “I can’t find myself/I got lost in someone else,” he sings on “Lost.” But with this disc, the Cure has found its groove again.

ALT-ROCK

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