on 31 August 2000
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!
on 22 February 2012
Disintegration rightfully takes its place as one of the very finest albums ever made. Robert Smith has poured his heart and deepest thoughts into this classic disc and it shows. The dreamy, trippy chiming intro to "Plainsong" has been many an opener for a Cure concert and unfolds in a glorious, sweeping epic track (albeit with very few lyrics) which sets that seal for an immortal album. The charming "Lovesong", a dedication to Robert's wife, shows where his heart is, and is accompanied by paranoic nightmarish visions about spiders, paralysis and coldness in the catchy but creepy "Lullaby". The beautiful but tragic "The Same Deep Water As You" shows a majestic poetry that few artists can match.
This album really needs no vast wordage. The proof of the album is in the listening. Even if you aren't a Cure fan, this is a very interestingly dark, deep work with haunting, despairing and also uplifting themes running wild in its content. To anyone who honestly hasn't heard this before, take some time out and listen to this one deeply with no distractions. It shows just how brilliant The Cure really are. Is it worth it? Every single penny.
on 25 November 2000
Looking back at this album ten years on, it is in my opinion the Cure's finest moment. Never again did they scale the hights of beauty and sorrow so masterfully over the course of a whole album. Subsequent albums had their moments (eg. Trust on the Wish album), but none could match the sustained feeling of this masterpiece. From the opening crash of the incredibly breathtaking 'Plainsong' to the final funereal notes of 'Untitled', the only discordant note is the single 'Lullaby' which I tend to skip anyway. This is an album to be listened to right through, dim the lights, open a bottle of wine and succumb to some of the most beautiful melodies ever recorded by a 'pop' band. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
on 2 July 2002
This album was described by a character on anarchic cartoon show South Park as being "the greatest album ever made". Well I happen to think that The Cure's Wish and Bloodflowers are equally as good, so that must mean this is one of the three greatest albums ever made.
The sleeve of this album tells you to "Play This Music Loud" and it's recommended, if only for the shock you get when the windchimes of opening track Plainsong fade and the song kicks in proper !
Despite The Cure's reputation, there are no "heavy" rock songs on here (apart from one song mentioned later), so the shock of Plainsong's introduction is based on it's power rather than the volume of the instruments.
The song is driven heavily by a synth section, which includes the main riff and a "bass" synth part played by bassist Simon Gallup (there is no bass guitar on this song). Like almost every song on Disintegration, Plainsong plays once through the whole of the main section and plays once through the whole of the "change" before going back to the main part where the lyrics begin. This is an excellent opportunity to hear The Cure in an instrumental fashion, and it's testament to the quality of all of the songs present that it's actually really really enjoyable to listen to the songs playing for a good 3 minutes before a single word leaves Robert Smith's mouth.
Pictures Of You is the first of 4 really long songs coming in at 7:27. This, like several of the songs, takes several minutes to build up, with additional guitar or keyboard parts coming in at the end of every few bars until finally going back to the start again. Again as stated, this is enjoyable and actually very trance like. The nice thing about this song is that the bassline changes completely into something else when the vocals begin, while managing to stay in the same key. A nice trick, made all the nicer as it changes again for the end section of the song.
Closedown sees a return to the thunderous tom-tom style of drumming that covers the earlier Pornography album, although this song is all grown up and mature - a far cry from the substance-fuelled psychoticness of Pornography.
Lovesong (a No. 2 hit in the US and most played song on US radio in 1989) and following song Last Dance keep up a feel of maturity, covering the same topic of relationships as the opening two songs. Lovesong has a bit of an "adult rock" feel to it, although the irony is that it actually blows away all that sort of stuff !!! Last Dance for all of it's mature lyrical content has a very gothic feel to it, with it's spooky keyboard line and moody guitar effects.
Lullaby up's the goth quota immensely ! A weird accoustic guitar riff, spiky plucked violins and scary keyboards, topped with haunted-house lyrics about a spider ! Don't play this to your 6 year old before putting him/her to bed ! On second thoughts do, your kid may grow up as weird as their Cure loving parents !!
Fascination Street is the one rock song on here, again very much in the goth style although without the bats and blood nonsense that 99% of goth bands waffle on about. The bassline is the greatest in the world and that's all I need to say.
Prayers For Rain and The Same Deep Water As You go back to Closedown and Last Dance territory all having the same guitar and keyboard sounds. If you're not used to The Cure it might not sound very good to hear that the same sounds are being used throughout an album. With The Cure, and this album in particular, it is very important that a certain mood and theme is achieved and the best way to do this is by having a particular sound running throughout. Believe me it works and sounds great. Each song is so different from the last in terms of structure and what each song actually does but the similar sounds keeps your emotive state at the same level, so that by the end of the album you can truly state that you have just had an awesome listening experience over the last hour.
Title track Disintegration is the fastest song on the album and is placed perfectly towards the end of the album, helping to build toward a nice crescendo. "Looping" the same part throughout songs is the order of the day on this album (I don't mean electronic or sequenced "looping") and Disintegration's repeating phrase is a nagging bass guitar line which commands the whole of the song. Again, moving keyboards come in at key moments building the emotion, the subject matter of this song being about leaving your partner (what lovely topics he chooses!!)
Homesick sees a piano and guitar playing in tandem, often crossing over into the same notes making them almost sound as one. This keeps up the same mood of the album, but it's actually got quite a late-night piano-bar feel to it, the piano and Smith's voice getting quite funky at moments, almost threatening to break out of the confines of the album.
Finally Homesick sees a bit of a happy ending for the album, at least in terms of the music - as the lyrics stick to the same gloomy territory (which is a good thing). A nice accordion plays on this track and there's some quite jangly guitar on there. Even the way the gloomy lyrics are sung is quite happy. It leaves the album feeling complete and goes out on a high note after the trauma of the last hour.
If you are into alternative rock music, this is the absolute essential must have album and is rated as an influence by the majority of alternative music acts.
on 28 May 2010
I've never bought a Cure album before (apart from the greatest hits collection) & was curious to know what a complete body of work by the band would be like.
I ordered this after reading the excellent reviews (well, most of them are excellent!) & I was not disappointed. What a great intro for me to get into The Cure's back catalogue - this album is great! Stand out tracks for me already are Prayers for Rain, The Same Deep Water as You & Disintegration - fabulous!
I will be checking out further releases now to increase my Cure collection.
There are times in our lives when certain pieces of music act as a trigger to memories of that particular time. Disintegration does this for me...
You have to be of strong, sober mind to listen to and enjoy this CD. If you are feeling angry and/or depressed it can drag you further into the depths of despair, such is its power.
The tracks are long and multi layered and they draw you in bit by bit until you become a part of the music. The lyrics too of some of the tracks are so agonised it's hard to describe and they send shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes even now, nearly twenty years later.
If you want an introduction to The Cure, then I'd suggest you look elsewhere. Once you have a few of the easier ones in your collection, then buy this and bathe in its dark beauty.......
on 6 January 2009
I am something of a Cure-virgin, having only really ever been aware of their more famous 45's (Love Cats, the one with the days of the week in it - you're getting the picture).
However, I've been really bowled over by Disintegration. On first listen it seemed rather maudlin and self-pitying (Smith's unashamedly emotional delivery needs some getting used to in these days of arch, eye-brow raised, ironic pop). Repeated listens have revealed that there is something rather more complex and beautiful going on.
If I had to come up with some vaguely pretentious metaphor to describe the experience of listening to this record, I would say that it is like wandering around some vast, snow-bound ice citadel, which despite its apparent bleakness, is somehow radiating a soft inner glow of warmth.
The musical backing is generally vast, cinematic and cathedral-like, with booming drums, spectral bass and some of the most beautiful chiming guitar (check out the final track, Untitled, for an especially exquisite example of this), all of which festoons Smith's voice which hovers between sounding wracked, resigned and downright plaintive.
No one song particularly stands out (although I do particularly love 'Untitlted'). Instead, this is one of those albums whose tracks all seems to blend and bleed into one symphonic whole, so you end up asking yourself "haven't I just heard this one?" as another piece begins. Obviously that can work in a bad way (i.e. on albums that are just plain samey), but it's not the case here.
I particularly like the way the slow, vast and more atmospheric and cavernous/billowy sounding tracks alternate with the snappier, more rock-based songs; despite the uniformity of sound, this is an excellently sequenced album.
At first I thought the slower songs just dragged on too long and seemed a little interminable, but repeated listens have revealed that this is entirely deliberate - the band are inviting you to surrender yourself and get lost in all that swirly, icy majesty, without giving into the nasty, neurotic, ipod-generation urgency to "get onto the next track".
Really I can't say any more about this album other than that I really do like it a lot, and look forward to sampling more of The Cure as soon as I possibly can.
on 1 August 2004
Disintegration is by far the best Cure album. The first three songs, Plainsong, Pictures Of You and Closedown, are so emotional I can't listen to them without crying. Lovesong is a really gorgeous song written by Robert Smith as a wedding present for his wife. Last Dance is very mysterious, as is Lullaby. Fascination Street is one of the darker songs on the album, and Prayers For Rain and The Same Deep Water As You both have a sort of quiet and subtle desperation, whereas Disintegration is a much more obvious, tearing desperation. Homesick and Untitled are quite gentle songs that round off the album perfectly. If you are a Cure fan and you don't have this, what are you doing without it?! I'd recommend it to any Cure fan.
on 24 August 2010
Okay, not the most original best album but such is life. In 2007 I started playing this album obsessively for a few months (after playing it obsessively for many many years after release). At that time I made the momentous decision that this album was indeed my personal favourite of all time. It's barely dated after 21 long years and now the heavens have parted and the duluxe edition is incarnate.
Disintegration could never be enjoyed fully without it's little sister, Entreat. For instance, the live version of Disintegration (the track) is much better than the album version in my opinion. The intensity comes out so much better with the faster tempo. I'd give my right bollock and perhaps my left one too to have been at Wembly that night. Oh well.
And now we have Entreat with four more tracks. Hallal-farking-uyah! Life is good!
For a long time I've wished that Amazon allowed reviewers to give their products half or even quarter stars -- so a really amazing album could be allocated 4.75 stars. Well, this one deserves the full monty - it's truly a five star effort.
Getting older isn't always huge fun but I'm happy that I was 17 when I got into this album. Life wouldn't be the same without it.
on 29 September 2006
Great album. Not one for the novices out there, who should buy the greatest hits collections and work from there, but a great slice of Cure for the fans. I love the 'feel' of the album, a sweet melancholy that winds through the tracks, with some great lyrics. My personal favourites are 'Pictures of You', 'Lullaby', and 'Fascination Street'. Robert Smith is as good as anyone at conveyancing genuine emotion in his singing, and the Cure's image always got in the way of them being recognized as genuinely talented songwriters, and sensitive ones at that. Look out for the deluxe edition out soon! Recommended buy.