When Robert Smith named the Cure's 1996 album Wild Mood Swings, it wasn't only just a commentary on the album itself, but a summary of his band's existence and a forecast for the years to come.
Where Smith's mood lies is often in the land of "god only knows," as his body of work shows a string of erratic jumps from some of the moodiest (Faith's "The Funeral Party") to the zestiest (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me's "Hot Hot Hot!!!") pop songs ever written.
This zig-zagging held off for their last two albums, 1999's brooding Bloodflowers, which capped off the band's well-publicised trilogy that also included Pornography and Disintegration, and 2004's somewhat unenthused, Ross Robinson-produced self-titled effort. And now it appears Smith is smiling again.
As previously mentioned, the Cure kick off a series of monthly-released singles today with "The Only One," the first to be released from their currently untitled 13th album, due on September 13. Sounding like it was born from the sessions that resulted in 1992's rather buoyant Wish, Smith sounds happier than ever, proclaiming a love that travels throughout his body: "I love what you do to my head.../I love what you do to my heart.../I love what you do to my lips.../I love what you do to my hips..." ending with a simple: "Oh I love what you do to me."
Smith's newfound positivity is complemented by his playful squawk and the band's uplifting motions, which include a handful of major notes, handclaps and that shimmering percussion we've come to recognise as their indication that they're having a good day.
All in all, it's sign of good things to come and perhaps even a return to their form that produced so many Top 40 hits throughout their 30 years.
And if you just can't wait till September, I'm sure the Cure will be previewing some of it at their upcoming Canadian shows this week in Montreal and Toronto, and in Vancouver at the end of May:
5/14 Montreal QC, Bell Centre
5/15 Toronto ON, Air Canada Centre
5/26 Vancouver BC, General Motors Place
The Cure "The Only One"