by Zane Ewton
When one of our writers
suggested that we feature the Cure in the next Classics, something funny
happened. No one could agree on which album deserved the honor. So we decided
to do something different and for the first time in Classics history we
are going to feature a series of Classics reviews from different reviewers
telling us why their selection deserves the distinction of being a classic.
During the next few weeks we publish these reviews of different Cure albums
and you can decide which ones are classics to you! Zane kicks us off with
his review of Disintegration
Disintegration is arguably the
Cure's finest hour, as well as their most recognizable album. Not just
a moody little band from England, the Cure had grown into worldwide arena
rock stars. The band had always been pigeonholed as "Goth rockers", despite
the pop hooks and danceable beats of so many of their best known songs.
It is Disintegration that leans closest to the idea of a gothic
album. Somehow it is able to be stark and lush at the same time, romantic
but distant, accessible but difficult.
Few albums have that quality of being able
to be so much at one time. The atmosphere is cold but your insides are
warm. More than anything, Disintegration shines with a murky beauty.
The record begins with silence for several seconds until chimes creep into
the elegant "Plainsong". For many of the songs on Disintegration
the band allows the songs to unfold and breath before Robert Smith makes
"I think it's dark/and it looks like rain"
is the first words Smith whispers on the album, quickly and simply setting
the mood for the whole album. While "Pictures of You" is one of the many
hits that this record unleashed, the full album version is vastly superior
to the single version. How each song flows in and out of one another only
adds to the atmosphere of timelessness.
"Love Song" is the black sheep of the record,
a straightforward testimonial to a loved one and probably the wedding song
for Goths everywhere. "Lullaby" sits in the middle of the record sounding
like a tongue-in-cheek telling of a nightmare. "His arms are all around
me / and his tongue in my eyes". More can probably be read into the story
of a spider-man eating a sleeping boy alive but that's up for the countless
interpretations that can be taken away from this endlessly deep record.
The record hits an emotional high on "Fascination
Street", a driving track that turns up the sexual energy. The frustration
that builds through the first half of the record is released as Smith squeals
"let's cut the conversation". The swagger doesn't last as "Prayers for
Rain" slow simmers while Smith chokes out the words "I suffocate / I breathe
in dirt / and nowhere shines".
Disintegration only gets heavier
through the next 20 minutes that is "The Same Deep Water as You" and the
title track. that stands as the cornerstone of the album. The latter detailing
the dissolution of a relationship that was doomed from the start, with
the drama turned up to 11.
"Untitled" ends the record in they way
it had to be ended, in a sea of quiet regret. Disintegration is
such a cohesive album, each track builds and pulls so much from each other
that it is astonishing that so many of the songs could have been pulled
and become chart hits. Therein lays the genius and essential status of
the Cure. They are a band like no other and are able to create masterworks
of albums but can also write the catchy 3 minute pop song. Arguments can
be made for several of the Cure records to be regarded as essential albums.
The fact is each album offers so much; it would be a shame to limit the
language to just one album.
CD Info and Links
The Cure - Disintegration
and Purchase This CD Online
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