on 28 June 2002
This is one of the best and most haunting albums I have ever listened to. The dark, almost hopeless lyrics blend with the fantastic melodies to provide an amazing collection of classic goth songs. Robert Smith's voice accompanied by the famous flanged guitar sound are unique. Neither before nor since have The Cure captured the magic and energy of this album.
on 15 September 2000
Way back a few decades ago many of us aged hippies were spellbound by 'Seventeen Seconds' which launched The Cure into the hall of fame. I can never understand why 'Faith' (which followed 'Seventeen Seconds') was never raved about that much. Did anyone listen to the words, or submerge their souls into those rarely visited realms of ecstasy and oblivion?
A much quieter and more melancholy work than 'SS', it showed the spiritual depths of exceptional talent. The slow unveiling of 'All cats are grey', the plaintive reaching out of 'Other voices' and the relentless passion of 'Faith' serve to make us very aware of life's pains and sanctuaries.
To me, 'Faith' remains one of the most beautiful, haunting and spiritual messages of all time. And the Cure's untouchable masterpiece.
on 1 December 2004
Let`s be clear from the start, "Faith" is not that accessible for the first time listener.
I`ts very,very, far from being at all "Jolly!" & could happily be played from start to finish,at any given wake!
Having said all that,It is still my favourite Cure album.
It has a more Orchestral feel than anything else they have done & truly flows, as each song blends the next.
Robert Smith is at his poetic best here,linking seemingly unrelated sentences into songs & offering subject matters that only he really understands, but we all can somehow relate to.
His lyrics paint pictures that are mostly tragic, but always beautiful.
This album was & is, perfect,"End of the party music"
No individual hit singles here,
But a beautiful offering as a whole.
on 6 August 2005
There are a finite number of similies for 'brilliant' and 'expresive', and I daresay they've all been used to describe this album by The Cure in some form or another. I'd almost forgotten how good they were until I heard this again; it's feel-good music. Perfect for falling asleep to, not because it's so dull it has a soporific effect, but because the music is so charmingly soothing it's difficult not to. It's layered and textured and achingly beautiful. And typically, I think it's much more about the music than the lyrics.
on 30 December 2008
I cannot recommend Faith too highly; exitstential obliqueness, stark emotional terrains of bleak lyricism and poetic sketchings on the absurdity of the human condition. Quietly disturbing and infused with a subtle melancholy, the album evokes a cool still calm that is both soothing and contemplative.
Haunting, desolate soundscapes that evoke images of walking through a mist filled forest at midnight, of monolithic buildings and wispy, stick like figures, floating in a swirling fog. Faith is an album that will take you in and out of yourself.
Strange, beautiful, otherworldy music that stirs the imagination and awakens the soul.
Sublime and profound.
on 28 September 2011
All credit to The Cure for making being glum into an art form. Of course no-one at the time called this 'Goth'. I doubt I even heard that term before 1983. But with The Cure's albums of 1980 and 1981, the popularity of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Joy Division and, on a lighter note, The Cramps, there sure was something melancholic and morbid in the air in early 80s Britain. Hip kids of the time thought a good night out was reading Kafka novels by a full moon in the local cemetry (and that's a fog-bound Bolton Abbey pictured on the LP sleeve in case you were wondering). Had i-Pods been around "Faith" would have been the perfect soundtrack to some late night crypt kicking (actually they were; we called them Sony Walkmans).
"Faith" starts on cue with the toll of church bells and ends with the line "I went away alone with nothing left but faith" and in between you get, er 'party favourites' such as "The Drowning Man" and "The Funeral Party". Bring your own razor blades. There's a continuation here of the dysfunctional mood music of their previous album "Seventeen Seconds", only to these ears the tracks on "Faith" have more sophistication and contrasts and a nice atmospheric use of layers of synth. This time the music is more emotionally engaging. There's a haunting sadness to it.
Although "Faith" sees The Cure sleepwalking further into depression, it was the album that followed, "Pornography", that was the real dark one. There's no epic here like "A Forest" on "Seventeen Seconds" but to me "Faith" is a more satisfying listen; I can hear the progression. And yes the music is mournful but it doesn't actually drag you down. I was 17 when this came out and, along with a mountain of similar musical miserablism, it chimed perfectly with my self-pitying adolescent self. Now I'm older and with real reasons to be angst-ridden listening to "Faith" is almost comforting, like a soothing, slow motion aural soma. Odd how The Cure can be a real tonic.
on 11 August 2006
Described in a recent NME article as one of the most miserable albums of all time (in a good way), Faith makes for an extremely bleak and unsettling listening experience, something akin to slivers of razor sharp ice gently piercing the head and ears.
Less atmospherically playful as earlier material such as Boys Don't Cry, Faith saw The Cure further developing the blueprint for goth, and whilst the music retains much of the compressed rythms and brittle, serated guitar sound of Robert Smith and cos earlier efforts, the overall atmosphere is much icier, sombre and echoey, like trudging through an empty graveyard in a snowstorm.
Where earlier tracks like 10:15 Saturday Night and A Forest burst forwards with a kind of skipping, if subdued, relentlessness, tracks like Holy Hour, All Cats are Grey and the stately, doom-laden masterpiece, The Funeral Party, take the form of slow and ponderous dirges, whilst remaining musically and lyrically expressive enough not to become tuneless, sluggish trash. By keeping the disc focused at a short eight tracks the album never wears even the most cheerful listener down, even at its blackest and most despairing.
All in all Faith ranks amongst The Cure's finest albums, if not THE finest (Pornography is the one). For those who enjoyed the Cure's more famous singles and want to move on to something heavier, for any fans of the dark stuff, and for those sickened by the doleful whining masquerading as poetic melancholy served up by privileged fakers such as Thom Yorke and the rest, this is well worth buying.
on 28 August 2005
Memory, it is said is a terrible liar; it takes everything out of perspective and, if not kept in check, can convince one to make the most alarming assumptions. Don't' worry, there is a point to all this rambling and the point is that I knew I needed to own "Faith"; I knew I needed it for a number of reasons, because it was The Cure, because I had last heard it several years ago and, most importantly, because I had completely forgotten what the album was like. What I didn't realise; for these very reasons what an outstanding album it was and, indeed, still is!
It is to easy to refer to any album as a classic by definition of its age and durability; but the true definition of a classic album is one that may not appeal immediately, but improves each time it is heard. I am afraid the clouding of time caused me to relegate this album to my things to buy list for far too long - and the cost was mine. This is a superb album, because it is quintessentially one of The Cure's finest albums; it represents the transition from the stark brilliance of "Seventeen Seconds" to the even more imposing and sublimely dark Gothic masterwork that is "Pornography", as the Three Imaginary Boys stand alone once more.
I did myself a great disservice by not buying this album before, but the Delux Edition carries with it the wonderful chance to listen to rarities and unreleased tracks, including the most delightful Charlotte Sometimes (I met a girl called Charlotte "Sometimes" at a N-I-N gig in July - Hi, Charlotte), this song being a personal favourite of mine.
I do not believe it is possible to identify a single Cure album as being a "Classic" because they are all classics in their own right - and this album is no exception.And, as I have found, I enjoy it more each time I listen to it (quod erat demonstrandum).
on 12 February 2015
One of the most breathtakingly beautiful albums of the twentieth century, make no mistake. I have always felt that it sits as the midway point of a trilogy, between "17 Seconds" before it, and "Pornography" immediately after, each exploring a segment of a descent into the bleakest parts of the human condition. As the 'bridging point' in that journey, it's exquisite sound evokes the texture of impossibly smooth silk, paired with brutality cold hard stone. The poetry of Smith's lyrics and the power of the music combine to instill an insight into an uncommonly profound sense of despair, somewhere far beyond indulgent melancholy. It's an incredibly personal piece of work which is somehow accessible to us all.
An extra insight into what lies deeper inside this album:
Some 30-odd years ago, after listening to the album a few thousand times, I took the uncharacteristic step of writing to Robert Smith to ask him "if you wrote this album from first hand experience, then how do you carry on? In what do you put your faith?". No reply. Years passed and I forgot I wrote that letter. Then, about three years later, I got a postcard from Japan, on it, a picture of John Wayne, who had recently died, as cowboy hero. I was baffled at first as it was signed 'Robert' and I know no one by that name personally. And the message seemed so disconnected, and almost threatening. Then the penny dropped! This was Robert Smith, then on tour with Sioxsie in Japan. An answer after all this time! Then it all made sense. In his reply he said simply "In death I suppose. Like this?" In my interpretation, a reference to 'Big' John Wayne and the fate of the hero, for what that was worth. We come into this world, and leave it, alone. In the space between life gives us occassional reminders and previews of that infinite isolation. Listening to this incredible album sets you down, lost and alone, in that singular place, when you truly have nothing left, but faith.
on 18 August 2012
Remasters are sometimes a bit of a disappointment - typically the treble is boosted to increase "detail" but the result is hard to listen to. This remaster has focused on the bass and the level of detail is very involving and draws the listener in. If you know the album well I'm sure you will be delighted to hear it on such firm foundations, if you are new to The Cure, and have formed a taste for their quieter more reflective work then buy without hestitation.