Release Date: May 1989
Genres: Post-Punk, New Wave, Alternative Pop/Rock, Goth Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
It's fitting that "Disintegration" was their commercial breakthrough, since, in many ways, the album is the culmination of all the musical directions The Cure were pursuing over the course of the '80s.
unregistered, on june 26, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The album itself is a very 80s art/gothic-rock-esque album. The album is very heavy (as a whole) on echo and tends to be more high end oriented in the guitars and drums; however, Simon Gallups basslines are low mid oriented due to his pickstyle technique and bass choice. In all, very cohesive on sound, which can be tiring, but there are moments they break free of the heavily processed sound on the whole two, such as the relatively dry "Lullaby" and "Untitled". Robert Smiths vocals seem relatively low for a rock album, blending in more as another instrument rather than just a topping like many rock albums (Def Leppards Hysteria, anyone). // 7
Lyrics: The lyrical content is quite dense in some areas ("Same Deep Water As You", "Disintegration") when it's appropriate, while in others ("Lovesong", "Pictures of You") it's still artful and such, but takes on a "lighter" tone (if there is such a thing on this album). The music doesn't overpower the lyrics and, in fact, seems to compliment them quite well. As for Robert Smiths skill as a singer, he works well with the band. He might not work as well in other contexts (even though the duo era of the Cure was a more electronic style), but on this album I think he was at a high point. His vocal inflection is subtle enough so that you have to really listen for it, but it really adds to the song. They add more complexity and dimension to the album as a whole. Examples: "I've been looking so long at these pictures of you/That I almost believe that they're real/I've been living so long with my pictures of you/That I almost believe that the pictures/Are all I can feel," Pictures of you. "Whenever I'm alone with you/You make me feel like I am young again/Whenever I'm alone with you/You make me feel like I am fun again," Lovesong. // 8
Overall Impression: This is amongst my top ten albums (others include "Master of Puppets", "Jaco Patrious", "The Inner Mounting Flame", and "Stadium Arcadium"). It compares to all of these as a work of art, and although not perfect, I don't believe there is a "perfect" album. The sound may initially put off a few listeners, but it's an acquired taste that I have grown to love for it's flaws. The human element of the music is substantial in regards to the overall work. The only real problem I have with this album is a fairly minor one. Some of the songs don't really seem fully developed lyrically or emotionally through the music itself (mainly just "Lovesong" and "Last Dance"). Otherwise, the album (synergistically) is quite well planned and very carefully made. As I said before, a personal favorite, which I luckily have stored on both my computers amd a backup external hard disk, so while it might get stolen, I wouldn't have to buy it again (except maybe for the cover art). // 10
iamok, on october 17, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is often regarded as The Cure's masterpiece and I can understand why. I am a recent fan of The Cure so am not in a position to rank this as better than, or the best of theirs or whatever. What I can say is that after owning this for 6 months I cannot stop playing it. It covers many moods - not just gloomy - and is a real soundscape combining typical R Smith guitar hooks, poignant lyrics, teenboy type singing, and composition with layered synths, driving bass and sparse but cutting drums. Most of the album has heavy and full sound, with catchy hooks layered over Cure type simple chord progressions and structures. I am really impressed how they can make simple sound so good. On a good setup the sound quality is fantastic. // 9
Lyrics: Smith covers everything on this album from doom to gloom. Sorry not quite true! It is not an "up" album by any stretch, take "Pictures of You" and "Lovesong" as pretty up, pretty lovey, but with a typical Smith twist. Who really hasn't thought to themselves at least one time "there is nothing in the world that I ever wanted more/than to feel you deep in my heart"? Delivered in typical angst/emotive voice. Great vocals throughout, especially "Pictures," "Fascination St" and "Disintegration." I saw a Smith interview once where he said every song is about (wife) Mary. Slightly tongue in cheek but points out that it's all about the relationships, the emotions and the separations for him. // 10
Overall Impression: There are 12 tracks, 9 I would rate as excellent - "Plainsong" (prepare your eardrums for the opening bars - amazing!), "Pictures," "Lovesong," "Lullaby," "Fascination St," "Same Deep Water as You" (despair!), "Disintegration" (try this one when you are right up against it), "Homesick," "Untitled" - 5 of these outstanding. "Sidebar" - I am really enjoying playing bass and jamming along on the 6's with this album. Bonus.
This is now in the top 3 of my favorite albums of all time. I like all genres with good composition and performance from classical to country and all in between, so this ranking is outstanding. Highly recommended for fans and newbies, and great for a 72 minute driving accompaniment. // 10