Today we’re listening to “Mint Car” by The Cure
It's Friday, so we're going with something a little lighter today.
Everyone either goes through a "Cure phase" or knows someone who did. Maybe both. You can often tell someone's age by what record by The Cure is their favorite. Do they like Seventeen Seconds? That's a tell. Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me? That too.
And both of those often glance askance at younger fans whose on-ramp to the band is a newer record like 1996's Wild Mood Swings.
It's not that these later albums are bad—instead, it's more an attachment to a particular era or stage of discography than anything else. And to be fair, The Cure evolved quite a bit from those early days to the timeframe we're looking at here—people just like what they like.
Wild Mood Swings was the band's tenth album and came almost 20 years after they formed. It came out at a time when the band was a bit of an afterthought in the alternative/indie world. And they'd set the bar unbelievably high with the masterpiece Disintegration1.
But having nothing to lose also means less constraint.
I get the feeling Robert Smith would prefer to write sugary songs like "Mint Car" and "Friday I'm In Love" than more gloomy material. Given the reviews the record received, that seems to be what most critics still expect from them—and the album itself can be listless in parts.
But on songs like Mint Car, they hit a groove and shine.
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There are certain albums that have been released by great artists that didn’t quite hit the mark at the time, but as the years go by and with the benefit of hindsight can be reassessed. Seventeen years have passed since “Wild Mood Swings” and we live in a world of digital music and playlists (or, for the old-fashioned, blank CDs) where fans can easily reinvent an album more to their liking. Perhaps that is a heresy of sorts and a violation of the artists’ original vision… but albums, like anything else, are merely snapshots in time of a particular configuration. Perhaps “Wild Mood Swings” would have looked markedly different had the final track selection been compiled a week later, or the day before. Who knows?
Read the rest of the retrospective here.
“Mint Car” by The Cure| Wild Mood Swings, 1996
Click the record to listen on your platform of choice.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this track and/or the record!
Thanks for being here,
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The band’s best record, IMO. In a discography full of good records, nothing comes close.