The Head on the Door review by The Cure

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  • Released: Aug 13, 1985
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9.4 (16 votes)
The Cure: The Head on the Door

Sound — 8
This album is widely regarded by many as the Cure's finest moment, and I would probably agree its a very good album, with some real highlights, but on a few occasions, in my opinion, it falls short of being an outstanding album. The Cure have crafted they're own unique sound that influenced many, and on this album they manage to experiment with that sound to create an electic album, but never a too experimental album that the record could fall into the category of progressive. It is very mych an indie album, with most songs featuring jangly guitar parts, melancholic keyboards and Robert Smiths trademark, haunting vocals. The tracks that best show the classic Cure sound are, Push, The Baby Screams and A Night Like This (the latter featuring an unexpected but great saxophone solo). But the Cure can not just do melancholy, half this album is upbeat, like the singles In Between Days and Close To Me, and the quietly beautiful Six Different Ways. The Cure expand from the stock, guitar, bass, drums line up of many bands, utilising keyboards, saxophone, piano, violins and flamenco style guitar on The Blood. The bands sound also differentiates on songs like Kyoto song, which sounds almost oriental and the most 'rock' song of the album Screw, which has a pumping bass line and sharp guitar hooks. This is definitely not an album for people who only want, no frills rock n roll, as there really aren't any 'rock' songs on the album, but it does provide what fans of jangly indie, or new-wave fans want.

Lyrics — 7
Robert Smith still writes about the same topics as on most Cure albums, mostly love on this particular album. The lyrics are not exceptional, but Robert Smith has a unique and interesting voice that fits the music well, and he sings the vocals with a lot of emotion. For the lyrics of Close To Me he sings about being smothered by someone and not having any room, apart from this song its pretty hard to tell what he's singing about. Overall I wasn't too impressed eith the lyrics, and on a couple of occasions, Robert Smith sings a note out of key. But for the most part he fits the music well.

Overall Impression — 8
This could have been an outstanding album, at times its uplifting, others its haunting, certain songs inspiring and you can really hear where bands like Bloc Party got their influence from. Unfortunately though, the album has a tendancy for repitition, it can be hard to tell a few songs apart from each other, and the spanish guitar of The Blood is not to my taste. Apart from these downfalls, the album is pretty solid the way through. The best songs being, In Between Days (with its instantly recognisable acoustic riff), Push, Close To Me, and Sinking. If your a fan of the Smiths, New Order or Bloc Party, you should try this, nut if your just a no frills rock fan, steer clear. If it were stolen/lost I would buy it again because it does have some very good songs on it, that I listen to regularly, but I reckon I could live without a copy.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love this one. It is no Disintegration or Pornography but it is wonderful just the same. I love "The Blood" and "Kyoto Song" the best.