You thought you heard the last of The Cure with 1999’s Bloodflowers, didn’t you? Robert Smith did say that it was definitely the last album — and you believed him, you gullible, red-lipstick-wearing goth, you! Lucky for us, our mop-haired hero is back and this time he comes armed with his best work since Disintegration.

On The Cure’s new self-titled release, Smith abandons silly, radio-friendly hits ("Wrong Number" anyone?) in favor of introspective and deliciously brooding songs. In his most wrenching vocals, Smith bares his dejected soul on "Lost": "I can’t find myself / in the head of this stranger in love / Holding on given up / to another under faded setting sun."

Allusions to nature and the cosmos — big themes on many a Cure album — are also sprinkled throughout the disc. On "Labyrinth," Smith laments that "the sun is cold — the sky is wrong / the stars are black — the night is gone." But it’s not all doom and gloom here.

On "Before Three" and "(I Don’t Know What’s Going) On" Smith proves that he can write a love song like the best of them. Meanwhile, "Taking Off" features The Cure’s signature jangly guitars, catchy bass lines and wistful lyrics: "Tonight / so high with you / Tonight I shine with you." Excellent! Just don’t tell us, a year from now, that this is the end.

Grade: A-

The Cure’s new self-titled release is currently available.