Review Summary: Generally a brooding, atmospheric and sombre album.
Whilst The Cure had already released two albums prior to Faith, released in early-ish 1981, it had a very different feel to what both 'Three Imaginary Boys' and 'Seventeen Seconds' had had on listeners. Considered to be the mid-point of the band's 'Dark Trilogy' (Seventeen Seconds (1980) and Pornography (1982) were the other two) and is just an album which just seems, well not quite as dark and depressing as 'Pornography' was, but had more of a feeling of sorrow, regret and loneliness, but with a hint of raging anger in the 6th song on this album, the riproaring 'Doubt' (a recommendation for this abum)
In fact, you can already guarantee the album will be deep and mysterious simply because of the album sleeve, a view of Bolton priory taken in foggy weather, it fits perfectly with the bleakness of the soundscapes produced throughout the album.
The album was the first which featured the band's bassist, Simon Gallup, play a 6-string, and throughout the album, the effect it has on the sad, greyish music is superb. This is most apparent in the album opener 'The Holy Hour', a personal tribute from vocalist Robert Smith to the legendary, and at the time, late Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, as well as 'Other Voices' and the album ender, 'Faith'
As I wrote just above, 'The Holy Hour' was the opener for the album, and is a great tribute to Curtis, the song sounds quite similar to a Joy Division song, especially 'Wilderness' Gallup's bass leads the way for the rest of the band to come in, and that's when the drummer, Lol Tolhurst, comes into play. In 'Seventeen Seconds', Tolhurst had become well known for his minimalist drumming, and in this album, he enhances his drumming, even more minimalistic than their previous album, which beautifully reverberate around the music, in my opinion, his finest effort as part of the group.
But then, we haven't really discussed Robert Smith yet. In the entirity of this album, he ensures that the mood remains gloomy and this is incredibly effective, as we all at some point in our lives, feel the emotions that Smith was feeling throughout the album, proving why he is seen as one of the finest songwriters out there, along with 'Disintegration (1989) is his greatest effort lyrically, there are too many fine examples of his lyricismy in this album, so I will save you the trouble of having to scroll through numerous examples of his lyrics in this review (you'll thank me!)
After 'The Holy Hour', comes the album's only single, 'Primary' As outstanding as the entire album is, it could have been ever better had this song been removed from the album. Yes, it is a good song, but it should have been released as a non-album single, as it's just sounds too upbeat to fit in with the album, but that's my opinion, so it's up to you what you think of it.
Before, I recommended to you that you listen to tha album's sixth track, 'Doubt' Here, I will give youall recommendations, including 'Doubt'
Recommendation 1: 'All Cats Are Grey' A stunning song, which will entrance you on first listen, the drumming by Tolhurst here, is exceptional.
Recommendation 2: 'Doubt' The track what should have been a single. Youcould use this song as time machine, to take you back to The Cure's original punk roots. Smith seems in an exceptionally bad mood in this song, makes a great listen.
Recommendation 3: 'Faith' or 'The Funeral Party' Undoubtedly the two most depressing songs on the album. 'The Funeral Party' is more synthesizer-oriented, whilst 'Faith' has a larger focus on Robert Smith's flanging guitar.
Please, please, please make sure that you listen to this album before you die, it gives you a huge life lesson that the world is never always happy, and we will all at some stage, feel as sombre as this album makes people feel. The fact this only reached number 25 on the UK singles chart in 1981 is an absolute insult, the album should have been a guranteed number 1. In my opinion, I think this is The Cure's most important album, as it was the band's first truly great album, and quite sadly, they never touched on this kind of sorrow and misery until 8 years later with the album 'Disintegration'