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A quality of its own...,
This review is from: Pornography (Remastered) (Audio CD)
This is the Cure's best album, there is no denying that; it also their most impenetrable, especially for the casual listener and to those new to the band. If you are coming to the Cure from their later releases - such as "Disintegration", "Kiss me" or even "Head on" - then you might be in for a shock.
It's hardly surprising that this record appealed to me when I was a teenager. It is loud and filled with a superficial layer of anger and angst that suit persons of the teenage disposition. However, when you strip away these superficial references you are left with a piece of work that is infinitly better than the sum of its parts. This is an album with long term appeal.
The multitude of cultural and political references spewed out within the first track, 'One hundred years', are simply overwhelming. The rigid, martial staccato drum patterns (mostly played by Robert Smith, I understand) set the percussive mood for the rest of the record. The many references to the ultimate political tool are surely not coincidental, and are very relevant in our own troubled times.
The tangible insanity contained within 'Short term effect' and 'Siamese twins' is perhaps the most disturbing element within the first side of this record. This has personal resonance.
Side two opens with the exceptional 'Figurehead', the meaning of which continues to intrigue me over twenty years later. Smith has a wonderfull way of capturing my imagination with diverse subject matter; for instance Chinese art and American girls. The gently applied reverb/ echo effect is also noteworthy.
The closing track 'Pornography' deserves special mention. The subject matter remains distrubing and relentless to the very end and is a million miles distant from images of Perrelli calender girls wrestling in body lotion (sic). A very powerful song.
Although I've highlighted Smith's songwriting, and the wonderfully martial quality of the drumming, I should also direct praise towards Simon Gallup's bass playing - brilliant. Smith's guitar playing; a mixture of (Fender) Jaguar barritone and more typical Fender (tones) equally stands out.
If you already own the Cure's more mainstream recordings, I would recommend "Pornography". However, I would caveat my recommendation: you need to give this record time to get under your skin - you will be rewarded.