One of the darkest albums ever recorded that oddly puts a smile on your face in the end.
The old saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers," welcome to April 2019. Almost 30 years after it's release, The Cure's Disintegration still holds up as one of the more timeless records that still sounds as relevant today as it did when it was initially released. Think about it, as long as rain and grey skies are still a thing, (I'm hoping there will be) Disintegration, with a cup of tea or coffee will always be there to keep you company on the days that make you feel most lonely. Without further ado, lets get into it.
The band's creative leader and ever-so-joyous personality, Robert Smith, the guy that shut down the overly enthusiastic interviewer at The Cure's 2019 Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame Red Carpet, was heavily depressed as he approached his 30th birthday and felt as though that he was under immense pressure to create a masterpiece while still considered a "young talent," in the music industry. Coping with his depression with a high intake of hallucinogenic drugs which would greatly influence is participation in the production of the album.
Disintegration is often categorized by its use of synthesizers, keyboards and heavily flanged, gloomy guitar tone. The album opens up with the track, "Plainsong," which slowly builds up and opens with glimmering chimes, and multiple layers of synthesizers, it perfectly establishes the setting of the record and gives you the feeling putting your hands up with white clouds above your head, filled with glitter slowly shimmering beneath you. "Plainsong," gives you a warmer welcome than any doorman at The Marriott could give you. Robert Smith's trademark, flanged guitar tone comes in and gives you a small taste of what the rest of the record awaits, hold on.
Up next, the true mood of the album and one of the greatest songs The Cure ever recorded, "Pictures of You," the song that truly captures their trademark, "Gloom Scape," sound. Lyrically, the song talks about, you guessed it, pictures of...someone. A fire had broken out at Robert Smith's home and when he was rummaging through the remains, he found his wallet which contained a warped, disfigured picture of his wife. This song can be enjoyed either for its instrumentation or its heartfelt, grieving lyrics... or both!
"Lovesong," is the most commercial song on the album and received massive amounts of radio airplay. It's the uplifting, catchy lead single that every landmark album has to have in order to initially draw people in and give them a taste of what the rest of the album is like in its entirety. Great, uplifting tune with a creepy vibe, but a cool-creepy.
"Fascination Street," a song you'll recognize if you're a fan of the Netflix series, Thirteen Reasons Why. Season one, episode four opens up with the Clay, the main character of the show, sneaking out of his house and riding his bike around town frantically (when was he not on that damn bike?). Anyway, the song opens up with a earth-shrieking, single guitar note, followed by the main riff which continues throughout the song. The song closes out with a very high-pitched, hanging on for dear life guitar fill that gives the feeling of one holding on for desperation in the most dire of scenarios. It's a song that makes you want to find your lover, or the person you've been dreaming about for some time, seeing them in the distance and running up to them and sharing a passionate kiss in the pouring rain together, not having a care in the world of the torrential downpour. Overall a great tune that can easily draw you in through just one listen-through.
"Same Deep Water as You," the song that truly defines the album. Clocking in at nearly ten minutes, it's darkest, gloomiest song on the album with samples of pouring rain and thunder, only validating the claim that it's the, "ultimate rainy day album." Lyrically, it's quite the downer. It's a song that deals with one spending their presumed last night with their long time lover, knowing that this will be the last time they see each other because their relationship has ultimately destroyed them. "The very last thing before I go, I will kiss you, I will kiss you." Total bummer that takes us all to a place we've been to before.
The title track... beyond words, you'll just have to figure that one out on your own and listen for yourself.
"Untitled," the closing song, otherwise known as the song so depressing that it doesn't even have a name. The song filled with grief, regret and utter heartbreak. One that puts every fiber of their being into somebody else and the recipient doesn't reciprocate those feelings, thus driving the protagonist mad, second guessing themselves that they didn't say the right words when they should have, realizing they screwed up and didn't realize what they had initially have, and then when they finally do realize it, it's too late. They’re gone.
"I'll never lose this pain."
While this all does indeed sound horrifically depressing and dampening, it's just something you have to experience on your own, something you have to try at least once. Even if you're not into New Wave or any 80s music, everybody, at least once in their life has to listen to The Cure while its dark and rainy outside, it's just too perfect a match. Here is your starting point.