Fortunately for us, the Cure don’t really make bad albums, not by normal standards. At their worst, they’re merely strange — interesting diversions rather than life-changing experiences. At their best, they’re fucking brilliant. It’s hard to picture a band more evocative of unique textures and emotions than the Cure; the songs practically exist outside of time. There’s an intoxicating, tangible strangeness at work — the atmosphere sets you up for the hooks, which open the door for the lyrics to work their way inside your head. Listening, you’re pulled into a glimmering, twilit dreamscape: someplace imaginary, but almost real; the kind of place you’ve always known but never seen. The songs feel so specific and personal it’s hard to believe they work on such a universal level, but therein lies the magic.
The order here shouldn’t surprise anyone, and the “best” album should be obvious before you even read the article. Still, Lariviere’s point stands. Even The Cure’s worst albums — *cough* Wild Mood Swings *cough* — contain more interesting moments than most bands are able to pack into an entire discography.