Thirty years in the music business is no prevention for writers' block. That is the problem facing the Cure frontman Robert Smith, who is struggling to come up with lyrics to some of the 33 new songs

Thirty years in the music business is no prevention for writers' block. That is the problem facing the Cure frontman Robert Smith, who is struggling to come up with lyrics to some of the 33 new songs the band has recorded for its 14th studio album.

The record's release has already been pushed back to May and the group goes on tour in March, so the pressure is on for the 47-year-old, who does not want to his legacy to be an aging band that gradually fades into the background.

"I want them (the words) to mean something, it's not enough that they rhyme," Smith told Reuters in a recent interview. "I find myself stopping short and thinking I've done this before, and better.

"I've given myself a deadline to finish the words before Christmas. If I don't I should be shot," he said. The new album is shaping up to be a mix of mournful songs alongside more energetic and upbeat cuts.

"I tend to favor this option, more in the style of the 'Kiss Me' album, with different things happening instead of being a mood piece," Smith said. "But the art of that is to get it to all hang together."

For the first time in more than two decades, the band has no keyboard player after Roger O'Donnell quit last year. Original Cure guitarist Porl Thompson -- married to Smith's younger sister -- has returned for a third stint in the band.

"There's no need for keyboards when you have Porl playing guitar," Smith said. "He can pretty much create any sound you want. He's brought back a sense of urgency and we've got a rock edge again."

Bassist Simon Gallup, in the band on-and-off since 1979, and Jason Cooper, on drums since 1995, round up the ensemble. "Being a four-piece is getting back to a stripped-down stage look and sound," Smith said. "The fact that we can turn out anywhere with very little equipment and play is the old idea of The Cure. It's less grand than things we've done in the past, but we're still planning to play for three hours."


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