In May this year I worked out that I must now have listened to this album over 10,000 times since I first heard it in 1989. And yet the gently persistent windchimes that introduce this album still make my hair stand on end and as they crash into the wall of sound that is Plainsong, I feel the same thrill I did the first time around. Here at last was the piece of music I'd been waiting for! Plainsong manages to be both huge and overwhelming, whilst having the effect of that one person whispering in your ear while you sleep. This deeply personal and emotional album progresses through Pictures of You - the simplest of patterns but sooo effective, Love Song - a wedding present between bride and groom, and the relief and regret of Last Dance. Lighter moments such as Lullaby and Fascination Street lift the mood without breaking the atmosphere, before falling into the dreamlike Prayers for Rain and Same Deep Water as You.
This work demonstrates an intelligence and sincerity rarely found in most commercial releases, and the layered, almost orchestral sound holds your attention ceaselessly. A classical influence can be heard although The Cure's trademark and individual 'sound' is present throughout. The structures and patterns within the songs are never too little or too much, but sound completely natural and 'right'. I have found that the more I Iisten to this album the more things I hear, and if I could only listen to one CD for the rest of my life it would be this one!