Saturday, March 12, 2011

326. Disintegration. Mopey Dicking around.

Album: Disintegration
Artist: The Cure
Year: 1989
Genre: Pop


  1. Plainsong
  2. Pictures of You
  3. Closedown
  4. Lovesong
  5. Last Dance
  6. Lullaby
  7. Fascination Street
  8. Prayers for Rain
  9. The Same Deep Water as You
  10. Disintegration
  11. Homesick
  12. Untitled

Well this is awkward. I’ve long gone as record as someone who doesn’t like The Cure. I’m no fan of Robert Smith’s voice, or his song writing, or his silly hair, or his silly face or lots of other things about The Cure (including their fanbase). When Disintegration came around I was fully prepared to actively dislike them again. The fact that I really like this album either proves how brilliant it is to get turn me around 180 degrees or else what a dill I’ve been for clinging onto a prejudice for so long.

Disintegration is a gloomy masterpiece. It was recorded at a time when Robert Smith was a bit of a gloomy masterpiece himself. He was depressed about his bandmembers drug usage, depressed about turning thirty, depressed about the success of the band, he was probably rendered inconsolably mopey by weather reports and sombre tones in wallpaper. He was in that sort of mood. He immersed himself in drugs and in songwriting and emerged with a set of songs that sound exactly what you’d expected a depressed drug-taker to write- only better. Pictures of You is a 7 and a half minute ode to feeling broody that takes about two minutes to actually include a vocal. It’s predominantly sparse interplay between guitar synth and drums. Most of the rest of the album follows the same pattern. Smith’s depression is not the hurried kind and it’s not the overly complicated variety either. He’s happy to let his songs evolve beautifully at their own pace and content to let his vocals sit quietly in amongst the mix.

Disintegration is a great album and I recommend it but even better was the recent re-release which contains a live version by the band recorded at Wembly Arena. Already good songs are much better in a live setting.

Either Disintegration is a truly unique Cure album or else it was the tipping point that turned me into a fan. I’m going back now to listen to their earlier works to see which one is true. Wish me luck, I may emerge a fully fledged Cure fan which means I’ll have to hate myself.

Influenced by: Drugs and sadness
Influenced: The Goth movement and eventually Emo music.

Highlight: Pictures of You
Lowlight: Untitled

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: For people in college only.

-Even if this guys whole review is just trolling I still love the fact that there are lots of Americans who can dismiss something as saying it's only for college students.


  1. I kind of wish I was an 80s kids (or is 70s more accurate, since its the 80s I want to be raised in and remember?). The Cure is just one of the many reasons why. I just wish I could have been there to see him and others when they were relevant.

    And... I would like to recommend you a modern band/album, but they're pretty different from the Cure. I don't know, but this entry brings it to mind and I now have to share it.

    Narrow Stairs, by Death Cab for Cutie. Or really, any of their albums from 2003-2008.

    They aren't goth, and weren't ever really successful Top 40-wise, but their music is gloomy, but without the whining and it's kind of pretty. They know how to get into a groove and they know their way around a pop hook without sacrificing any credibility or creativity. The only downside is that you *may* find them dull. Understandable. Here's hoping you try/enjoy it.

    And yeah, people will dismiss a whole lot of... anything, if they feel it's related to or targeted towards the indie/hipster/art-school/college-kid crowd. If you've at all heard about the "emo/faux-goth" style and backlash in the last decade, the "hipster" craze may well be what replaces it.

  2. I'll give Death Cab a listen some time. Thanks for the recommendation. They've always been on my radar because of the name (I'm a big fan of the Bonzo's who originally recorded the song) but I've never actually heard them. I'll have to hunt them down some time.