sábado, 21 de abril de 2012

Disintegration: review

I can surely say this is one of my all time favourite albums because it is genius, and simply beautiful. Every single lyric, chord, melody in it is beautiful.
Disintegration's cover, released in 1989
As Plainsong's intro starts to play, you get the feeling you're on top of a mountain or a hill, while the wind gently caresses your face and dances with your hair. The chock of the guitars, drums and synths when they suddenly reproduce their sound feels like the rain, maybe a thunder screaming out loud, angry. The whole combination of the instruments starts to soften, and each and every one take their place, take their routine in the song. The storm is calming down. But wait, Robert Smith's voice enters, and plays the part of the wind. The smoothness of his voice while singing lyrics that speak his frustration on life and ageing slowly make you want to embrace the whole environment of the altitude of the mountain.
A new dawn rises after the storm, after the mist of frustration and sadness of the rain. Pictures Of You starts to play, and a lighter melody fills up your mind, reminding you of old memories, sweethearts, your old young love which you recall because of some pictures you have found. They take you to a better place, such a wonderful place in your mind, somewhere hidden from all of the misery of your current life. You sing words of the spontaneous love you once witnessed, once felt and you want it back. You regret a few words you have said, that broke your heart and your loved one's. And all of those memories make you feel young again, in the peak of the moment, warm in a place covered up with snow, despite of the temperature.
And then, Closedown, a continuation of the previous song, but in a much more powerful way. It is heavier, stronger, louder. The drumming sound breaks throughout all of that nostalgia you had in mind, and screams out for a better future, for the future that's about to end in little time. You've got only a few years, not many. This song makes you demand for a better future, for the extreme ecstasy and euphoria and demands that all of the pessimism should go away. You try to kick all of the awful feelings off of your heart, but you can't. They stay. They remain glued to your soul's walls and occupy the space on your heart where there could be light, where there could be stillness, where all of the agitation from your life would not exist. But no, they remain there, laughing at you because your efforts were in vain. Although, there is still a little space where hope inhabits in your heart.
Oh, and the desperate love that enchantresses you like a poisonous and beautiful snake. You sing words of love and worship to your true loved one, only he/she can make you feel alright. However far away, I will always love you, however long I stay, I will always love you. The love you feel is pure, like no other feeling you had felt. Singing these words of salvation and comfortableness to your beloved makes you, somehow, feel better about everything else, even though you're far away from one another.

The vision of someone in the past reaches your mind quickly, as quickly as you play Last Dance. It sort of haunts you, but it's a type of haunting you feel glad about. It's not scary, it's not awful, no. It's beautiful, and you longed for the moment of that haunting. Even though you know it's only an illusion, a memory, you feel as if it was real, as if it is happening.
Robert Smith talks about a girl, that is now a woman, but no matter who he's talking about, you can't help but thinking of someone you know, you used to know, that you miss but it faded away from your life. And now this vision gives you the opportunity to clarify everything that was left mystified. Once again, you know it's only a dream, but you don't care. You were looking forward to this, and you go on and do what you need to do.
Lullaby is clearly a song that talk about fears. Robert Smith said he made this song thinking about the tales that his father told him when he was younger, where he'd stay terrified for the rest of the night, scared of the Spiderman. Somehow, this "Spiderman" is the personification of Robert's deepest fears, and can be ours' too. A song where your fears take over you, where they win and you get eaten by the Spiderman.
The Spiderman is always hungry. In my opinion, this lyric is a sort of metaphor to the control that your fears can have over you. They are never fully satisfied over your misery.

And, as sorry as I am for skipping over a few songs, the next one in my list is Disintegration. A song where Robert sings out his tears and suffering in a kind of a "FUCK IT" way. He sort of mocks out of it, and turns it into something not so negative, contradicting with the whole album. There is something that I particularly love about this song (I love all of the songs that I skipped, but, my reviews on it wouldn't be relevant), where I can almost connect to Doing the Unstuck, from Wish album, released in 1992.
There is so many power in this song, it tears apart the whole atmosphere of melancholy and decay of the rest of the album, where it burns out these little pieces torn apart of melancholy and nostalgia. And it laughs out loud, really loud, as it watches those little pieces burning. Sarcasm, irony and mockery rules the lyrics, Oh I miss the kiss of treachery the shameless kiss of vanity the soft and the black and the velvety up tight against the side of me and mouth and eyes and heart all bleed and run in thickening streams of greed as bit by bit it starts the need to just let go my party piece. 
You have to admit that the whole combination and mixture of the lyrics and the rhythm and melody makes you want to say "JUST FUCK IT", to your life/personal problems.

Now that i know that i'm breaking to pieces I'll pull out my heart and i'll feed it to anyone crying for sympathy crocodile cry: The little pieces of frustration and disappointment, along with your own polluted and decaying heart, are going to feed someone hungry for anyone else's fall down. It doesn't matter who.
I have to admit the lyrics are pretty much genius, and Robert Smith kind of taught me up how to make your suffering into irony.

The following tracks are the return of nostalgia. They close down the album with a excess of melancholy and sadness, but it's somehow a pleasant sadness. You can't help smiling or crying when you listen to Homesick and Untitled. Because you whether cry or smile when you listen to the softness and delicacy of those melodies. They might break your heart or just touch it really deep. Now, it depends on the situation you are currently going through.

Personally, every time I listen to these tracks, I imagine myself in a field, under the Summer skies and temperature, and I'm running through the wheat field (since I live in a mediterranean country, wheat fields are very very common). Running or walking, in my Summer vacations away from every teenage angst problem, at least a social teenage angst problem. And the sun covers my skin like a warm hug, and the wind blows as your eyelashes tickle your eyelids when you close your eyes. A thousand thoughts come up to your mind, knocking on it's door, but you don't want to let them in, you just want your mind filled with the sound of these two tracks. Nothing else. So, you expel those complicated thoughts of your head, and you are left in peace with the calmness of summer time, and with the beauty of The Cure's artwork.
Disintegration's back cover. In my opinion, the artwork matches the songs perfectly

Remembering The Legend

Robert Smith of The Cure, c. 1984

Since today fans all over the globe are celebrating the birthday of one of the most legendary man of the history of mankind (admitting I'm one of them), I shall wish a marvellous day to the wonderful Robert Smith, who turns  53 today.

To those who do not know who he is: you should be ashamed. No, just kidding, you actually should, but, he is the lead singer of the alternative/new wave band from the 1980's The Cure.
Smith with his beloved wife, Mary Poole, c. 1985
If you want to know more about them/listen to some of their material, I'll recommend you their 1989 album "Disintegration". A true masterpiece. But, if you're more into brighter music, I recommend "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me", released in 1987; "Wish" and "The Head on The Door" are one of their lighter/less-melancholic albums.
Anyway, have a good day, Mr. Smith, and you too, lovely reader!
So, I will leave you a few pictures of this amazing poet and musician.

Robert Smith live with The Cure, c. 1984