Review Summary: "It Doesn't Matter If We All Die"- Robert Smith, One Hundred Years, 1982
What's wrong with this world? Mainstream music. I will admit, some of my favourite bands first "underground" went on to be successful i.e Echo And The Bunnymen, or New Order, and for this instance The Cure. I never listened to Three Imagenery Boys and I didn't intend to after listening to 17 Seconds. After Faith, I chnaged my mind about The Cure, and soon I took the time finding Pornography. I mean, i couldn't ask my parents for "Pornography On My Birthday Please!" coz they would take it the wrong way. So, i took the patience to actually go to a record store and buy it. What had i got myself into?
Initially i hated it. I mean, i could take Faith just about. But Pornography? Darker? It was like the goth's guide to death when i first listened to opening track One Hundred Years. I couldn't even pass the first line: "It Doesn't Matter If We All Die" and soon i turned it off. But i couldn't resist the temptation. So i listened to more songs. And more. And buy the weekend i had memorised all tehe songs, especially The Hanging Garden, viewed on 1980's television as a music video. I saw them during the golden age of The Cure: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup and Los Tolhurst. That was always the lineup to me. I saw them in London and they were brilliant. I listened to it again and again and again. So anyway track by track.
As i said, the opening line of One Hundred Years sums up the album; usually it gets lighter but not The Cure! This song is basically a description of everything wrong in the world ("Sharing a world of slaughtered pigs") and ultimately at the end Smith describes him and everyone around him "dying one after the other" and "waiting for the death blow". As for music Robert Smith bends the strings to get that up and down tone of the song, while Los is on keyboards, with a drum machine doing the work for him while Simon creates a creepy atmospheric bassline, and endulges your way to the next few tracks.
Songs like A Strange Day and A Short Term Effect seem to chronicalize the end of the world while others like the title track make use of television and sampling. Howeve, every dark album has to have a playable, hit song, this one for this album is The Hanging Garden. And how it ended up a single i don't know, seeing how the song to Robert is about "animals ***ing" as he put it politely. A song about nature and facing up to the fact of things natural e.g animals killing as he states in the line "cover my face as the animals die". If that wasn't dark for you, enter Siamese Twins and The Figurehead.
Siamese Twins is basically showing sex as a thing of sin, with Robert whaling "is it always like this?" at the end. A fan favourite live, i know since i saw them to a brilliant verson of this song, it touches your heart with that little magic intro. As i said this wasn't only dark. Enter The Figurehead, an extremely dark song with dark things galore and Smith claiming "i could engage myself in Chinese art and American girls" and ending with the cruel statement "i will never be clean again". Perhaps my least favourite is Cold, maybe coz i'm not too big on keyboard; i prefer Cure on guitars. But anyway, to the last track, the eponymous Pornography.
A 3 minute intro of a bbc news report on pornography is reversed over this track as tribal drums similar to The Hanging Garden kicks in, while Smith goes crazy on his guitar. Opening lyric is "Something from your mouth, A life spills into the flowers, We all look so happy, As we all fall down". A pretty violent song to end the album, with Robert stating "One more day like today i'll kill you, A desire for flesh and real blood, I'll watch you drown in the shower, Push my life through your open eyes" and the ultimate sign off "I must fight this sickness, Find a cure, I must fight this sickness!"
This album is a classic, and wrongly slated by critics on it's first release. After several years, it has gained a reputation as a classic and though Disintegration was a return to the dark form, it still isn't Pornogaphy. Unfortunately, because of a fight, this was the last Cure album with the original lineup. Smith and Tolhurst would continue on as The Cure on a more pop turned basis but luckily they still play these songs live today. And so they should.