The Cure
Faith


4.0
excellent

Review

by Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (139 Reviews)
July 7th, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Believe in The Cure…

By 1981, The Cure had reached the mid-point in their gothic phase, with that year’s effort - ‘Faith’ - being the filling, sandwiched between two similarly bleak, angst-filled outings. ‘Faith’ is, as you might expect, just as grim and gothic as its surrounding albums - as grey as the artwork adorning the album cover. It does, however, mark another step-up in quality from last year's effort, featuring a more diverse set of tracks and some of Smith’s most sharply considered lyrics to date.

Although the cover art is a distorted image of a priory suffocated by thick, grey fog, the album’s faith connotations are not as related to religion as they may seem upon the surface, instead representing a struggling battle against faith in humankind - desperately trying to believe in life itself, as opposed to the idea of an omnipotent being that lies beyond. Upon closer inspection, it becomes more apparent that the album is not an embracement of faith, but rather a struggle to possess said quality in the midst of depression - perhaps even going as far as to denounce the idea, with lines like “commit the sin” suggesting a more faithless slant on the world, than one imbued with belief.

The tone of the album is undeniably dark and serious, with thick, stringent bass chords, spidery riffs and airy percussion blending to create a sombre, grave-yard like atmosphere evident right from the crawling opener ‘The Holy Hour’, with its subtle backing of ringing, desolate bells. In fact, the whole thing sounds like a funeral proceeding with words like “death” cropping up, especially present in the crypt-like ‘All Cats Are Grey’. Backed by a beautiful breeze of chilly synth and gentle percussion, Smith gives some of his finest vocals yet, singing gloomy lines like “In the caves / The textures coat my skin / In the death cell / A single note / Rings on and on and on”. Its sepulchral tones are certainly clear.

The theme of death and afterlife continues with the sublime ‘The Funeral Party’. For an album as dark as ‘Faith’, the gorgeous synths driving the song along at a gentle flutter are a much welcomed surprise. They seep into Smith’s ghostly, reverberated vocals, telling an almost fantastical tale of two “pale” ghostly figures, dancing “noiselessly across the floor” at “the funeral party”, making for one of the album’s many highpoints.

It’s not just ‘The Funeral Party’ that changes the pace, as ‘Faith’ has far more ups and downs than the constant, steady stream of misery that was ‘Seventeen Seconds’. It’s still despairing and gloomy, but said emotions are expressed in a greater range of ways than they were a year previous, with blisteringly frantic moments like the furious ‘Doubt’, and the propulsive lead single ‘Primary’ adding more variety to proceedings than last years outing.

Truth be told, there isn’t a single weak track on the album, but it’s hard to deny the grandeur of the title track. ‘Faith’ is where all the angst, doubt, confusion and anger of the previous seven tracks culminates, to quietly epic proportions. Musically, the title track isn’t much different to any of the other slow-paced, plodding moments witnessed earlier, with its minimalist guitar and percussion; but where the song really shines is in Smith’s lyrics - a reluctant acceptance of faith, brought on by the unrelenting bleakness of whatever situation the protagonist finds himself in, concluding that all he has left is hope and faith ("I went away alone / With nothing left / But faith") - it’s one hell of poignant way to close an album. And what an excellent album it is, at that. It may be a slow-burner, but with it’s consistent and varied (for a gothic-era Cure album, anyway) quality and a string of essentials in ‘All Cats Are Grey’, ‘The Funeral Party’, ‘Primary’, ‘Doubt’ and, of course the title track; 'Faith' is simply one of the strongest Cure albums in the band’s 30 year catalogue.



Recent reviews by this author
Metronomy Love LettersTemples (UK) Sun Structures
Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You TomorrowOasis Dig Out Your Soul
Oasis Don't Believe the TruthOasis Heathen Chemistry
user ratings (450)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
PostPunkFan (4.5)
Generally a brooding, atmospheric and sombre album....

NeoOrder (4)
Faith is a brooding album that takes a few listens to truely appreciate...

Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

My fiftieth review! It seems like i only joined this site yesterday...

Acanthus
July 7th 2011


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm going to miss these when they're done, it's comforting to look at the front page and have something reviewed that I enjoy constantly. Congratulations on the 50th sir!

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Acanthus - Thanks, man, really appreciate the support. Who knows? I might start another project when this is done...


Acanthus
July 7th 2011


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

True true, this has a really great ambiance to it so far - dark, but not plodding like Disintegration.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Acanthus - Sure. I love 'The Funeral Party' because it remains haunting, yet it's refreshing because it's a nice change of pace from the stringent bass dominating some of the earlier tracks - keeps the same mood, so it's consistent, but puts it across in a slightly different way.


Acanthus
July 7th 2011


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It really works for them too, I might have to go get a physical copy of this to sit alongside Disintegration.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Acanthus - Sounds good to me. This is a really strong album - gets better with repeated listens, too.


Acanthus
July 7th 2011


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was thinking it might hold it's appeal, glad to know I wasn't mistaken.

Psychopathologist
July 7th 2011


1922 Comments


DANCING AT THE FUNERAL PARTY

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Psychopathologist - Haha, love that tune.


Psychopathologist
July 7th 2011


1922 Comments


best song ever probably

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Psychopathologist - Nah! But it may be the best on here.


Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The Cure - 'Pornography' review will be up tomorrow for those that are interested.

Acanthus
July 7th 2011


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet, heard about it but never was motivated to get it.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Acanthus - It's a fantastic album, but i'll obviously save all the details for the review tomorrow.

Acanthus
July 7th 2011


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool, looking forward to reading it. I've heard random singles by the band and was completely satisfied to only own Disintegration for the longest time.

RagingStorm
July 8th 2011


509 Comments


nice review, it's a pity that only three people have commented on this. the cure don't get enough attention on here at all

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

RagingStorm - Thanks. You know, i was just thinking the same thing actually.


North0House2
July 8th 2011


5889 Comments


Great review.
I found a rarities cassette tape by these guys in my dad's workshop. Apparently, he used to listen to The Cure quite a lot.

Digging: BRNS - Patine

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
July 8th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

North0House2 - Thanks, and nice find, your dad must have pretty good taste in music if he liked a bit of The Cure.




You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy