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by Zane Ewton

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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

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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 any utterance.

"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.


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The Cure - Disintegration

Label:Elektra

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