2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Icy Majesty, emotional splendour,
This review is from: Disintegration (Audio CD)
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.