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Customer Review

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The shock of what was new, 6 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Pornography (Remastered) (Audio CD)
It's a shame in a way that nowadays this album seems to fit in with a vast amount of similarly aggressive and agonising music. On it's release it was the first of it's kind and to describe its impact as harrowing would be a serious understatement.

Seminal it undoubtably was but where other bands strive to achieve the same effect they fail because 'Pornography' is so sincere. Only Nirvana reached the level of outright desperation that brutally stabs out of this recording. But cacophony in itself is not enough. These are really great songs produced by a man who was driving himself way too hard.

In amongst the relentlessly attacking sound, evidence of a great songwriter emerges in moments of astonishing beauty. This is why the Cure's more recent releases fail. Smith was still discovering his ability and wrote as a man in some kind of genuine purgatory. Now, he's wealthy and comfortable and no matter how hard he digs, the well of desparate memories and wondrous revelations have run dry.

So considering it's utterly uncompromising sound it's not surprising that this shocking album didn't sell on release. It left people either stunned (like watching someone having a nervous breakdown at a party) or alienated, after all, it's predecessors were low key and fanciful in comparison.

It marked a change in Smith's life. Although the following album had it's moments of crushing beauty he moved firmly into the land of the 'Lovecats', commercial success and some kind of weird happiness. And unlike Kurt Cobain there really was a happy ending.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jan 2013 02:30:02 GMT
Beautifully put - agreed!

HelwynX

Posted on 2 Dec 2013 17:36:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Dec 2013 17:38:37 GMT
mancheeros says:
You say: "On it's release it was the first of it's kind..."

That's not quite true. Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures' blazed the trail for this kind of bass-driven, dark and cavernous recording style. Anyway, like 'Seventeen Seconds' and 'Faith', 'Pornography' is a magnificent album. Thanks for the review.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2013 19:20:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Dec 2013 19:23:47 GMT
Great to get a response but I think you've mixed me up with the header review 'cos I never said it was the first if its kind, though I do agree with much of what Vitamino says. I think Unknown Pleasures has a very different vibe to Pornography and so I don't think it's a precursor, though I agree that the influence of JD on early 80s' music is profound and can't be overstated. Helwyn
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