For American ears only, in the years before a new deal with Elektra finally granted the Cure the access to the airwaves that they'd all but given up dreaming of, …Happily Ever After is nothing less than a two-for-one repackaging of the band's second and third European albums, the brooding gloom of Seventeen Seconds and the affirmative darkness of Faith. It makes for discomforting listening, both for newcomers to the sound of the early group and for fans more accustomed to experiencing the two records in separate sittings. Together with the band's fourth album, Pornography, the two LPs here were the sound of the Cure racing to distance themselves not simply from their early reputation as a moody power pop band, but also from any of the other comparisons, compadres, and contemporaries that the post-punk scene could throw at them. Seventeen Seconds, one U.K. review famously remarked, was the sound of the band sitting in a dark room, staring at clocks. Faith was what happened when those clocks stopped.