The Glove: Blue Sunshine (1983)

The Glove were a one-off side project from The Cure's Robert Smith and Siouxsie and the Banshees' multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Steven Severin.  Given the artists' roots, the album they recorded is unsurprisingly goth-tinged post-punk new wave not too different from their main gigs, but infused with a more retro-psychedelic vibe (hence the Yellow Submarine-based band name and artwork).  Apparently contractual issues prevented Smith from allowing his vocals to be used, so they recruited a woman named Jeanette Landray to sing, and I have to say that her vocals are the one thing that keeps this from being as great as it could have been; she's not bad, but a little non-distinct and at times a little off, almost like someone trying to sound like Siouxsie Sioux but without the darkly emotive range.

Smith did sing two songs on the album, and these are the clear highlights.  "Perfect Murder" is a catchy but haunting tune, dark and poppy in a way that makes it fit comfortably within the Cure's playbook; "Mr. Alphabet Says" is a bit more odd, but again would have worked fine on contemporaneous Cure albums like The Top.  The balance is still interesting, psyche-tinged baroque goth, with a few stand-out tunes like the fast-paced "Like An Animal" (with a guitar sound that would later pop up on Cure tunes like "In Between Days"), the hypnotic groove of "This Green City," and the Yaz-like synth ballad "Punish Me With Kisses."

The deluxe CD release paired the original album with the original demos, which feature Smith vocals.  While lacking the psychedelic studio polish of the final album, the demos play like the great lost Cure album, definitely worth having in their own right.  Alas, it does leave you wishing you could somehow mash these up into finished versions of the entire album with Smith on vox.

Here's a lyric audio rip for "Perfect Murder":
...and here's "Mr. Alphabet Says":
Here's the deluxe version, with the original album plus the Smith demos (and additional bonus tracks):