Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Cure: Wish [Fiction/Elektra, 1992]
Maybe they're SoundScan scammers like Vince Gill and Skid Row, reaping unwarranted cred from a revamped accounting system. Or maybe they're cool alternatives like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, poised to prove the sales appeal of self-dramatizing pessimism. Maybe they're even riding the actual-hit "Friday I'm in Love," which actually sounds cheerful, though by Sunday it's over, actually. In any case, let it be noted that these new wave survivors, a specialized taste of undiscriminating undergraduates for years, have just now scored their biggest album ever, a redolent 13 years after they didn't actually kill that Arab. I ask you, where were the Moody Blues after 13 years? (Riding their second--and final--No. 1 album, since you didn't know.) C+