Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Disintegration – The Cure [#375]

on August 13, 2015

DIRTY+DANCINGDisintegration – The Cure

Steelrattus here again, with the fourth of my guest posts in this seven day run.

Oddly, I’ve already encountered this album twice in the last week. Firstly, it was mentioned in the latest episode of Mr. Robot. Secondly, it features in a bizarre scene in the film Ant-Man. If I were superstitious I’d probably cross myself with a black cat as this is the third time the album has crossed my path this week. But I’m not superstitious, so I shall just marvel at the coinsequences.

Disintegration is one of the two albums in this seven day stint that I am already familiar with. <Anecdote>1989. I was at Sixth Form College, probably my happiest time while being edumacated. Finally I was surrounded by intelligent charismatic peers. The only problem for this historic recounting is that I’m not certain how I ended up buying Disintegration. I do remember that there was a guy in the year above us who I locked onto, from a distance, as a bit of a role model. He was classic-80s-guy, with a chiselled jaw, and blow dried Don Johnson hair. And I remember him wearing Cure t-shirts, which seemed at odds with his look. So it was perhaps due to this guy and curiosity that I ended up buying the CD – yes, I had owned a CD player for 1-2 years at this point, and this must have been one of a few albums that I owned by 1989.</Anecdote>

I still feel much the same when I listen to the album as I did when I first listened to it all those years ago, and was blown away by the sound. The album opens with the epic and strident Plainsong, with its rumbling powerful sound. This then launches into the heartbreak of Pictures of You, which became a “favourite” breakup song of mine. There are echoes of Plainsong in Closedown, another dark powerful song. This is followed by the much more upbeat Love Song – yes it is, listen to the lyrics – although The Cure somehow still seem to make love sound mournful. Then seemingly back to darkness again with the much more abstract Last Dance. This is followed by the most famous of the tracks on the album, and arguably The Cure’s career, Lullaby, which is more abstract again, and clearly not drug influenced. For me at this point the tracks begin to blend a bit, with the dark sound of Fascination Street, Prayers for Rain, The Same Deep Water as You, Disintegration, Homesick, and finally the close out track Untitled. This is not to belittle these tracks, they are all excellent, but just don’t stick as individually in my mind as those that are earlier on the album. They almost feel like a themed B-side, although I’m not sure offhand whether they would have been the literal B-side to the album.

As a sufferer of depression, Disintegration feels like the quintessential depression album… my quintessential depression album at least. I can’t think of an album that oozes depressive feelings quite like this album, and I have to be careful listening to too much of it, particularly the latter half as it can crash my mood. It’s no surprise that Robert Smith, the lead singer, lyricist, and co-producer, was suffering from depression and a crisis-of-age at the time the album was written. This aside from problems within the band. Despite this though I feel the album is a work of genius from a band that was at its peak.

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