"There are really 2 kinds of Cure albums: The "thematic" and the "versatile." By thematic, I mean that several Cure albums (usually those preferred by the hardcore fans) tend to be more consistent (i.e., very few upbeat "pop" songs), slightly less daring instrumentally, and laden with darker, harsher lyrics. (Bloodflowers, Disintegration, Pornography and Faith). These are beautifully written albums, though, and can more easily be listened to over and over. "Wish" is of the second type. It is "versatile;" like Head on the Door, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, and Wild Mood Swings, it has much greater range, and like those albums, contains most of the hit singles that casual fans are familiar with from the radio. Of these albums, Wish clearly stands out as the best. The album contains such giddy songs as "Friday I'm in Love," "Wendy Time," and "High," and another which is probably the best song the Cure never released as a single, "Doing the Unstuck." This album was completed by one of the strongest of the ever-changing Cure lineups, and the guitar on this album is many, often and harsh. Songs like "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea" and "Open" are classics now for concert goers; "Cut" is a quickly-paced scathing commentary on failed relationships, and "Trust" is a beautiful opus of hope and optimism. Fans will also recognize "A Letter to Elise," a beautiful single that might have been accurately called "Pictures of You II." The album closes, appropriately, with "End"-a majestic and thickly layered guitar romp that was supposed to signal this album as the last by the Cure. Luckily for us, it wasn't. I would comfortably say that this is one of the three best albums by the Cure (along with Disintegration and Bloodflowers), and probably the one most likely to be labeled a masterpiece by both hardcore and casual Cure fans alike."
The album I was wishing for
Matthew Taylor | Rockville, MD USA | 12/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably The Cure's best selling album to date, and deservedly so. While those who remember The Cure when they were a relatively obscure band with a small but loyal following in the United States may find this album's popularity annoying, the artistry here is something not much seen in previous albums. The music is classic Cure, not breaking any new ground, with driving rhythms and jangling guitar. I guess it is the lyrics that set this album apart. This is an extremely personal album for Robert Smith. He goes beyond the typical melancholy of his usual songs and reaches to depths that produce pure heartbreak. With "Open" he discusses his drinking problem, and "Apart" and "A Letter to Elise" appear to chronicle a failed marriage. And while "Elise" and "Friday I'm In Love" received a lot of airplay ("Friday" I think even cracked the Top 40, a rarity for The Cure), the most underrated song on the album is "Doing the Unstuck". Getting past the goofy name, it is a perfect rendering of those emotions one feels when your life seems to be going to hell and all you wish for is that one perfect day with someone you love to forget all your troubles. Thank you, Robert, for daring to share your wishes with us. It is amazing how, with all our differences, people all wish for the same (sometimes impossible) things."
The last, good Cure album
Brad Torgersen | Seattle, WA, USA | 12/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hard to believe it's been 10+ years since this album was released. I first purchased it on cassette in 1992 and later on CD when the cassette literally wore itself out. To me "Wish" is the last, really good album by this group, with later efforts like "Wild Mood Swings" badly missing the mark. Often mis-classified as a Goth band, I rather think Robert Smith and The Cure simply tap into the quiet veins of sorrow and tragedy that run through every human life. It's not a bad thing, it's not a Goth thing, it just is. And while "Wish" is punctuated with occasional uppy songs like "Friday I'm in Love", the pieces that really soar are (of course) the sad ones: "Apart", "Letter to Elise" and the epic "To Wish Impossible Things". I once told someone that The Cure is the greatest break-up band of all time, and I stand by that assertion. "Wish" is a grand demonstration of everything that makes The Cure great, right before things started to go downhill. I've since heard rumors that The Cure are no more, that "Bloodflowers" is their last hurrah. If so, I choose to remember "Wish" as their last, best effort."
Out of the shadows
loteq | Regensburg | 08/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With this album the band broke to remarkable commercial success, and "Friday I'm in love" was 1992's summer hit in Europe, receiving massive radio airplay. The Cure's throng of hardcore fans didn't like this song and even Robert himself said, "people who bought this single are not real Cure fans", but I think it's a great tune and one of the best pop singles of the '90s. The most notable shift The Cure made was getting rid of "Disintegration"'s epic keyboard arrangements in favor of a more guitar-dominated alternative rock approach. Although "Wish" contains a few happy songs in contrast to its predecessor, "Friday I'm in love" is not representative of the album's prevailing tone. "Open" with its nagging, feedback-powered guitar sound is one of the most despairing songs Robert has ever written. "Apart" and "From the edge" are also pretty bleak, so there's really no reason to believe that Robert has lost his depression. The happier songs, "High", "Wendy time", "Doing the unstuck" (which says, "Kick out the gloom"), and "Friday.." are certainly great, but in the album context these songs seem to be a little misplaced. "A letter.." is a solid ballad, and "End" closes things on a more aggressive note. There are a few nods to earlier songs -- "Wendy time" is very similar to "Why can't I be you?", and "To wish.." duplicates the opening riff of "Lullaby" -- and a few subtractions wouldn't have hurt the 66-minute length any, but on the strength of the album's singles, "Wish" is quite a rewarding and enjoyable affair. The CD-single releases of "High", "Friday..", and "A letter.." are also very worthwhile: Each disc contains two non-album tracks and a remix of the title song."
The Last Truly Great Cure Album (as of Sept. 2004)
Rich Latta | Albuquerque, NM - Land of Entitlement | 09/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WISH brings the eclecticism of KISS ME, KISS ME, KISS ME but pushes the emotions to radical extremes. Robert Smith's lyrics are more straightforward than ever before, using a style which will eventually burden some of his later work (IMHO). But it serves him well on WISH and the songs cut deeply. Some ("Open," "End," "Cut," "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea") are easily among the heaviest songs in the Cure catalogue. Probably the best line-up of Cures ever (and they were great live on this tour - Washington D.C.,'94). Like many of my favorite albums, WISH tells a story from beginning to end.
"Open" - a nightmarish account of what could be a typical weekend night for a typical anti-social angst-ridden Cure fan. Sounds like an acid trip that becomes painfully introspective. Powerful stuff. *****
"High" - This exuberent slice of heaven is a radical departure from the previous track. One of the happiest songs from the Cure or anyone else. ****1/2
"Apart" - plunging once again into the depths of despair, this morose song chronicles the singer's disillusionment as the feelings about his relationship unravel. A beauty, the rhythm section is superb and Smith delivers one of his best guitar solos ever. *****
"From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea" - The star-crossed lovers of "Apart" take doses. Smith explores one of his major recurring themes, the futility of quenching desires. ****1/2
"Wendy Time" - Smith rejects another girl and further explores feelings of detachment. The tune is conversely upbeat and playful. ****1/2
"Doing the Unstuck" - This song represents a fantastic triumph over the drudgery of life. I find it truly inspiring. *****
"Friday I'm in Love" - an irresistable pop masterpiece even though it tritely recites the days of the week. A blast! *****
"Trust" - sweetly melancholy with a beautiful string section. ****
"A Letter to Elise" - another unsustainable relationship, another pop gem. Regardless of what you think of his voice, Robert's vocal melody is simply gorgeous here. *****
"Cut" - On "Cut," the tables have turned for Smith. This time it's his romantic interest who loses that lovin' feelin'. Smith rages through his feedback-laden guitar throughout this howling, harrowing cut. ****
"To Wish Impossible Things" - This sad dreamland sweetly sums up the album's theme of hopelessness in the face of transitional happiness. Wonderous and wonderful. ****1/2
"End" - a crushing testimonial about the pointlessness of life - Smith confesses to feeling only hollow and numb inside and that "giving up and going on are both the same dead end to me." This swirling miasma is a soul-shredding masterpiece and a shocking counterpoint to "Doing the Unstuck" with its message of hope. *****
An aside: Robert Smith has hinted that he might like to do another album trilogy like he did with Trilogy (DVD). If you haven't seen this back-to-back concert performance of PORNOGRAPHY, DISINTEGRATION and BLOODFLOWERS yet, log off NOW and check it out. Anyway, I think THE TOP, KISS ME, KISS ME, KISS ME and WISH would also make an excellent thematic trilogy. "