Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Cure album review

The Cure
Disintegration: Deluxe Edition
Grade: A+

In 1989, The Cure enjoyed continued mainstream success in America with platinum seller Disintegration, the crown jewel in its catalog and one of the decade’s finest efforts. During that time, singer/guitarist Robert Smith had been viewing various movie rough cuts as a precursor to possible scoring work. Those clips helped inspire the darkly cinematic scope and extended passages on the influential British band’s mesmerizing 10th studio album.

Now, after a lengthy break in Rhino’s ongoing Cure reissue campaign (initially 2004-06), an excellent deluxe edition is finally available as a three-disc set, on double vinyl and digitally. Clocking in at 3 ½ hours, diehard fans will find the wait was definitely worth it.

Smith personally oversaw the compiling, production and remastering process, which is unusual these days. The results make this masterful goth rock work’s dense soundscapes glisten even more. Featuring four modern rock radio hits (“Fascination Street,” “Lullaby,” “Pictures of You,” “Lovesong”), the frequently wrenching lyrics ranged from shattered relationships and paeans to lost love to journeys into the subconscious and beyond.

Interesting liner notes fact: Smith braved a studio fire to retrieve the only copies of his lyric sheets.

A rarities disc - mainly early instrumental demos and band rehearsals, plus a half dozen studio guide vocals - provides a revealing glimpse at the songs’ development. Some great unreleased tunes (“Noheart,” “Esten,” Middle Eastern-tinged “Delirious Night,” Smith’s solo sea shanty-styled cover of Judy Collins’ “Pirate Ships”) are a pleasant surprise.

The “Entreat Plus” disc expands upon a previous concert album from London’s Wembley Arena in 1989 with four additional live songs to complete the full Disintegration performance. All have been remixed, giving them a more dynamic sound.


Robert Kinsler said...

Great review! I also have enjoyed listening to this reissue and everyone should go out and get this immediately. One of the masterworks of the 1980s for sure.

newwavegeo said...

Thanks. I can't believe Rolling Stone gave it less than three stars in the latest issue.