It's ironic that the Cure, a band whose albums have always seemed like definitive artistic statements, were at their best as a singles band. On the group's singles, Robert Smith's ideas reached their full potential, since they captured not only the group's off-kilter pop sense, but also the haunting melancholy and wacky humor that interlaced Smith's songs. Galore rounds up the singles from the second part of the Cure's career, beginning with "Why Can't I Be You?" from 1987's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and ending with "Gone!" from 1996's Wild Mood Swings. Between those two are 15 more songs, nearly every one of which is a gem. The Cure were never a repetitive singles band, and there's a dizzying array of styles here, from infectious jangle pop ("Friday I'm in Love," "Mint Car") and monolithic, chilly goth rock ("Fascination Street," "Pictures of You," "Just Like Heaven") to jaunty, clever dance-club pop (the remix of "Close to Me"), eerie crawls ("Lullaby"), neo-mariachi madness ("The 13th"), and even love songs ("Catch," "Lovesong"). There are a couple of missteps along the way — the pounding dance and pseudo-rap of "Hot Hot Hot!!!" sounds dated, as does the ill-conceived Madchester diversion "Never Enough" — but Galore emphatically confirms the Cure's status as one of the best and most adventurous alternative bands of the '80s. And the new song, "Wrong Number," is pretty good, too.