But he wasn't satisfied. He wrote an album of great heft, both literally — it's 72 minutes long — and thematically. Disintegration was a bleak but heartening collection of 12 tracks, heavy on long, gloomy synth passages but also some of Smith's most beautiful lyrics.
Disintegration by The Cure | Classic Rock Review
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the band perform the album in full across five nights at the Sydney Opera House this month. We figured it's as good a time as ever to revisit this brilliant piece of art and consider whether Robert Smith really did make that masterpiece. Audio Player failed to load.
Play Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. MP3 Share Facebook Twitter Mail Whatsapp. Robert Smith wanted to make a masterpiece. Allen and did the songs and overdubs alone.
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Allen with Richard Sullivan and Roy Spong engineering. Smith has always rebutted the claim stating that all the members of the band contributed significantly to the sound and feel of the album, including Tolhurst who was credited with the flute sample on Homesick.
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Upon the playback of the finished album, the band knew they had a remarkable record. Fiction their record company did not agree. Fiction kept delaying the release date and sent a letter to Smith stating that the record as recorded was commercial suicide for the band. They accused Smith of being willfully obscure. The record executives pushed for a more radio-friendly sound, but the band stayed committed to the songs and the album in its original form. The gamble taken on the album would give The Cure their masterpiece.
Roger O’Donnell and the making of The Cure’s Disintegration
Today Disintegration is a perennial on numerous best of best lists. What made the record the masterwork many today consider it to be? It was a magical alloy. All of these multiple layers created an astonishing album. In contrast, Disintegration is pure concentrated emotional grandeur. Among the many reasons it became so popular was its ability to accompany whatever emotion you were feeling.
The album was in turns beautiful, horrible, sardonic, sublime, seething, morose, wistful and ghostly. Each of the songs reaches down into the listener with a directness that could never be forgotten. It was an album that demanded your full attention. None of the songs could be accused of being short, but as a listener you found yourself wishing they would never end.
The discordant wind chimes and heavy plodding, deep droning guitar effervescently exploded out of the speakers. In a few notes, all doubts about this album were laid to rest. Plainsong is a swirling cathedral of a song. Pictures of You segues perfectly from Plainsong. It is slightly lighter in feeling but just as plaintive.
The crystalline feeling of the song provides a pure rush of crisp iceberg coolness. Smith eloquently paints the picture of the shard of ice being forever placed in the heart of a broken lover.
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It alludes to the period during recording when he shut everyone out as he faced his demons. It is majestic, swirling and arresting. It is the most lighthearted moment of the record, occurring at the perfect moment in the playlist when things were getting a bit too maudlin. The synth and guitar accompaniment perfectly sets the mood of the song.
Lyrically Smith lists all of his issues and how being alone with Mary fixes them. Last Dance is a weak song lyrically to me. The music, however, more than compensates for any disappointments lyrically. The song unfurls over a wide soundscape conveying all the emotion of its intent.
The Cure: Disintegration review – album set flatters to deceive, and then prolongs the pain
The subject matter deals with the timeless betrayal of growing up and away from childhood love. Ahh, Lullaby I have loved this macabre song since the first time I heard it. The slow waltz-like track with its terrifying nightmare imagery is done with such innocent relish, that it is no surprise it went to 5 on the US charts. This was also a song so rich in imagery it made the easy translation into a captivating award-winning video. Fascination Street is a spine-tingling pop song. The screaming guitar at the intro and loaded beat gave every indication that the band had not forgotten how to write a radio-friendly song.
Robert Smith creates a lush landscape that listeners can revisit throughout their lives
Smith stated that the song was inspired by the club scene at the time on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The musical accompaniment is satisfying and again Smith is pitch perfect with his delivery. The two songs for me are the emotional backbone of the record. The droning guitar, glistening piano and keyboards build to this amazing crescendo. There is a counter positioning of the escalation in the sound to the descent of the dark lyrics. It is atmospheric and hypnotic. Drowning never sounds so painless. The majestically moody ambience makes for the most mesmerizing song on the album.
It is the climax of the disc. Disintegration is like coming out of the dream woven by Same Deep Water. Here Smith is facing all the neurosis and fear of his life. On display are all the treachery, greed, duplicity, depression, abandonment, lovelessness and death that were haunting him throughout the recording sessions.