Review Summary: The Album The Cure should have signed off with
In 1989, as Robert Smith neared the age of 30, he became depressed and took drugs. This was added to his dislike of the band's dislike for their new popularity, and felt an increasing pressure to follow up the album before, "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" with a more enduring piece of work. Mix all these things together, and the result is "Disintegration"
Undoubtedly The Cure's most critically acclaimed album, "Disintegration" was a return to the Gothic/Post-Punk sound of the band in the early 80's (Seventeen Seconds, Faith and Pornography) It was their commercial peak too, with the album reaching number 3 in the UK Album charts and was also a success in the US, where it reached number 12 in the Billboard 200.
Listening to Disintegration is like swimming through water. The water is often cold and deep. For some it might not be easy to listen to. The music is thick. Yet Robert Smith's lyrics float above this group of guitars and strings and pounding drums. The effect is quite hypnotic and joyous in a way.
The soul of Disintegration, for me, is "The Same Deep Water As You." If a lot of the album sounds like you are underwater, this song sounds like you're at the bottom of the ocean, with a storm and thunder raging above the waves. The music and lyrics makes us think of images of physical drowning to describe the feeling of being over-infatuated with a person - to be drowning in them. The song is one of the most dark and haunting songs I've heard - and to some extent, even horrifying, as there is no hint of light at the end of the tunnel.
Another superb song is the title track, "Disintegration" The Cure have a very good knack of making great title tracks, and along with "Pornography" and "Faith", this is probably the best. It lasts over 8 minutes and yet still leaves you wanting to listen to the whole song, there isn't one slightly boring bit in the song:as applies to all the songs.
Most of Disintegration is this way. It doesn't pretend to offer easy answers, and Smith isn't afraid of describing his reality as he sees it. From the album title itself, Disintegration gives an image of falling apart. If you can stand the heavy themes, the music itself is almost perfect. From a musical viewpoint, everything about Disintegration is top quality.
My recommendations for this album:
Recommendation 1- "Disintegration" Just a perfect blend of Smith's vocals, powerful drumming by Roger O'Donnell, the new drummer who replaced the sacked Lol Tolhurst
Recommendation 2- "Untitled" Simply one of the most beautiful tracks by the band. It ends the album perfectly. This should have been the song that The Cure should have ended their time together on.
Recommendation 3- "Lullaby" One of the more popular songs on the album, as regards to the charts: "Lullaby" reached number 5 in the UK singles Chart and is in a way, far less spooky, dark or gloomy as the majority of the other songs.
Recommendation 4- "Prayers For Rain" A gothic classic. The track listing that this song is placed is impecable. Right after the rather playful "Fascination Street" It has the sense that somebody just died and that everyone is mourning that death, on a dar, miserable, rainy day.
I don't think this is THE greatest album ever, but my word, it's definitely one of them.