As on his debut, Tony Joe White's signature sound of swampy blues married to his sultry laidback Southern drawl carries the weight of this, his second album (and his singing is frequently pretty bad here).
And - once again - it's the material itself that's simply not up to scratch. Many of the tracks come across as though they've only been half worked-out, as evidenced by the way they don't so much fade out at their close, as fizzle out due to the way one backing musician just stops playing, and the rest then gradually follow suit, whereupon White just stops singing as well.
The songs themselves are a mixture of swampy 60's-style psychedelia and middle-of-the-road ballads, the former featuring cheesy organ and wah-wah guitar, the best being the opening "Elements and Things", whose delivery and style is strongly reminiscent of Steppenwolf's hit "Born to Be Wild" from Easy Rider
, albeit with a more sluggish tempo. And the ballads are much like on the debut - a case of White covering Glen Campbell territory.
So, as befitting its title, this album is really more of the same as its predecessor, except this material sounds like scraps left over from the first album, such that Continued
amounts to little more than an entire album's worth of filler. Very disappointing. Rated:
by Reviewer: bluemoon
Posted: Tuesday 27th Jan 2015 1:19 AM
Four years was too long to stay away if all Robert Smith and fellows were going to offer was an uninspired retread of their previous record, with added Britpop overproduction. Wild Mood Swings
is a Cure pop album in every sense of the word, which makes it somewhat strange that the two lead singles should be so uninspired.
"The 13th" sounds like every other Cure popsong of a mid-tempo happy nature, all rolled into one. And "Mint Car" just sounds so horribly recorded and mixed, which may well be a big part of the problem with the album as a whole, as the guitars are mixed in such a way as to sound almost embarrassed by themselves. Robert Smith's vocals also leave a little to be desired, as they're too upfront, thus only drawing attention to their deficiencies.
I like the opening track though - it's atmospheric enough and good enough to classify as a decent Cure tune, though not exactly a special one. Otherwise, The Cure seemed to have run out of new ideas, bar making the production glossier. With the procession of songs that follow, nothing seems to happen at all - no different textures, no interesting things to grab the listener. Only the closing "Bare" almost but not quite manages to be beautiful misery.
The modern production touches don't integrate well with the band's sound - the keyboards no longer organically create the bedrock of Cure songs, instead they're just superfluous icing on a not particularly tasty cake.
My feeling is that Wild Mood Swings
would've been a better album if it had been naturally miserable instead of unnaturally happy. Maybe that's just me, but I genuinely struggle to find much to recommend about the album outside of the miserable tunes. The Cure just sound so ordinary everywhere else, to the point of sounding like a weak parody of their former selves, albeit one designed to sell records.Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
Posted: Tuesday 27th Jan 2015 3:53 AM