Review Summary: The darkest and my favourite out of every cure album.
The fourth album by The Cure is their classic “Pornography”. The first in the trilogy of albums written by Robert Smith that he says best defines the band (not to be mistaken by the commonly associated gothic trilogy in which this album is the conclusion). Whilst this album has come under a lot of attack by some saying it is a work of mediocrity whilst others claim it is The Cure's best album (as I believe) and a classic of the goth music world. This album for me has been one of my favourites in my entire collection since I bought it and has amazed me since every time that I listen to it. Opening with “One Hundred Years” with its haunting guitars playing whilst the opening lyrics for the album “It doesn't matter if we all die” embeds into your mind, and finishing with the title track “Pornography” with the echoing words “I must fight this sickness”. From beginning to end this album has always been a fantastic piece of music and my favourite of all of The Cures albums.
The album has become a blue print in many aspects for many goth and darker styled music since its release 1982. From lyrical content expressing the darker side (or the less pop orientated) Robert Smith that was originally seen in The Cure to many musical aspects (rhythmic yet complex drum beats, bass guitar used melodically and dark atmospheric use of synthesizers) that sets this album apart from a lot of The Cure's later albums and in my opinion perfected what they had used on their previous albums.
One fantastic aspect of the album musically is how each song will flow into each other making the entire album seem like a single piece of music. The music as a whole really makes the album connect together with Robert Smith's guitars and dark keyboards to Lol Tolhursts rhythmic drumming (as well as some keyboards). However Simon Gallup adds my favourite aspects with his bass guitar echoing through the song Cold and adding depth and rhythm in every other song and in addition to his keyboards as well. Whilst the opening line of the album really makes a standpoint on what the album is about it does not offer no meaning as the album progresses into darker territory. The songs “One Hundred Days”, “The Hanging Garden” and “The Figurehead” (which was covered brilliantly by Velvet Acid Christ with the exception of changing the drum beat) are songs that are more memorable to most of the people I have spoken to, for me it is “Cold” that is the piece that really drives the entire album into a classic for me. The synths in the song resonate and mix with the drums and bass creating an atmosphere both beautiful and haunting at the same time. Robert Smith using his recognisable vocal technique to express such emotion makes the song in my opinion is the pinnacle of the entire album.
The entire album as a whole has some fantastic lyrical concepts and lines that stick with you long after the end track has finished. Though the trilogy including their later albums “Disintegration” and “Blood Flowers” did not come to a close until 2000 and the trilogy not played as a whole until 2002 which was released on DVD as The Cure: Trilogy (a must have addition to any Cure fans collection). Whilst the album “Pornography” has been disregarded by a lot of critics claiming it “unmelodic” it is the fans that the album will be a classic for. Comparing “Pornography” to their later works such as “Wild Mood Swings” or “4:13 Dream” would be an exercise in futility due to the extreme musical differences and concepts though a lot of people I know still try. The album of course is not for everybody, being called emo by a lot of people younger than me and unnoticed by a lot of people who are older. This album it seems is a true fans album and it is up to the fans to make up their own mind. To me “Pornography” will always be an album I will play from start to finish and I will love it forever.