The Cure - The Only One

Miss Fliss 22/05/2008

Rating: 3/5

With the Wish era Porl Thompson back in The Cure, the band have made a return to the sparkling jangle of High with their new single, The Only One.

The Only One starts off dramatically gorgeously well, but overall I can't help feeling the song resembles a Cure B-side - which is no bad thing, since The Cure are mavericks at quality B-side songs. It simply doesnt have the trademark soaring chorus that their singles traditionally ring out with. Musically, it's a very pretty delight, there are plenty of little shimmery bits to love about it - moreover, it kicks every other modern band into the ditch with its breezy, bright brilliance. But there is something distinctly missing in the vocals, for me. You can't bring yourself to sing along as you would so passionately with even more recent singles such as Taking Off, which make this newest effort seem a pale mimic in comparison. Plus, Robert seems to be pastiching every vocal nuance in the book he has used, with little mews and coos and extended "eeeee" vowels, and that grates a bit.

For a long-time Cure fan accustomed to the band consistently being about exploration and experimentation, leading to fresh re-invention, I'd hoped for something more exciting but this breaks no new ground. I've also grown used to the immediacy of heavenly pop highs with The Cure, so that could be a problem too, but after a dozen listens, it's not a certified grower. I feel really awful for not liking it, as I get the feeling the swell of new fans will lap it up, but then their experience with the band has been different, and so expectations will be.

The Cure are to release one single a month until September, so maybe the next run will include the semblance of a surefire pop hit to the senses. I'm hopeful about the album as a decent whole body of work too.

Release date: 13/05/08