The Cure: Wished
When I posted my twist on Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, I forgot I’d gone through a similar exercise with 1992’s Wish. As with Kiss Me, many fans responded more strongly to Wish’s B-sides than certain album tracks.
The main problem was the incredibly strong “High” maxi-single, released in advance of the record. Between the slipcase version’s crashing mix of “Open” and the nonpareil pyschedelic bliss of “This Twilight Garden” and “Play,” hopes were out of all proportion for the forthcoming parent LP. The “High” EP seemed to indicate a logical progression from “The Big Hand,” a mysterious instrumental track that played over the end credits of the Picture Show video compilation.
Where Kiss Me suffered less from poor choices than technology—early MIDI sequencing, weak compression algorithms and a surplus of headroom—the problem with Wish is simple: there is no treble response above 8000KHz. It is a shockingly muddy record that sounds like a superior version of itself played through a cotton helmet. The shattering crispness of “This Twilight Garden” and even the slipcase mix of “Open” made the final product all the more jarring. I considerably boosted the high end for Wished, and excited the heavier tracks (I’m most proud of “Doing the Unstuck” and “End”).
Editorially, Wish is not as daunting as Kiss Me but I’ve always felt “Trust” was facile, and never understood why the band beat their heads against “Wendy Time” for two or three years in different iterations. I don’t hear whatever spark everyone else does, and certainly not enough ebullience to warrant pushing either of the “High” flipsides or “Halo” off the running order. This was my imaginary version of the Cure’s answer to expectation, coming off the worldwide success of Disintegration and “Lovesong.”
4. From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
6. Friday I’m in Love
8. A Letter to Elise
9. Doing the Unstuck
11. To Wish Impossible Things
12. This Twilight Garden