The Lovecats (Fiction/Sire 20161)
Not quite sure what got into Robert Smith on this release, The Cure's "jazz" EP my guess is that it came in powdered form. Dispensing with the moody moans that had characterized his prior few releases, Smith here goes a little nuts, producing one of his best all-time singles and a couple of frantic b-sides in the same vein (or nostril, as the case may be).
"The Lovecats," of course, is sui generis, hilariously so, with its sarastic walking bass and wild similes that would make Lorenz Hart call 911. I'd love to hear Tony Bennett cover it he's about the only person on earth who could and get away with it.
The b-sides, "Speak My Language" and "Mr. Pink Eyes," up the tempo and pump the piano more ferociously, producing not anything like Smith's best, but certainly offering a lot of jittery fun.
This EP was probably the first real indication of the Cure's "madcap" side, and thank heaven they let it out I wouldn't want a whole album of it (that is, The Top), but three songs' worth is a nice bump, if you know what I mean.
Review by Marvin Straight