It’s raining. I’m at work. The servers are down, meaning no actual work to do…
So what should I do?
Listen to Disintegration by The Cure, you say? Well, if I must…
Plainsong has a bunch of pretty chimes, very chunky keyboards, very big drums. Robert Smith’s guitar playing is immaculate and ethereal as always, though I don’t understand a word of what he’s singing. It sounds like it’s probably super meaningful though. Something about cold and death and the end of the world. The usual.
The glittery shimmer effect makes its first appearance here. It’s always ridiculous. It fits.
More shimmers for Pictures of You, which is a million fucking minutes long. It’s about that time Robert Smith’s house killed itself (with fire) and he found some pictures of his wife afterwards. Or something. This marks one of the few times in history anybody has ever known what a Cure song was about.
It’s around this point where you start to think that Robert Smith is probably playing all of the instruments, apart from the drums. Everything is very… Robert. The drum sound is almost your typical EIGHTIES DRUM SOUND, but on closer listening sounds more or less like natural drums if they were played in a deep well. Very poetic.
Closedown continues similarly. Instrumentally it’s really quite stunning, with the wettest bass I’ve ever heard and a return to the chunky keyboards. Mmm, chunky. There are words in it somewhere, I think. It’s safe to say that they probably don’t live up to the music though. This is the Robert Smith problem, but I forgive him. Maybe you can too.
Lovesong is, according to Wikipedia, one of the more cheerful, upbeat songs on the record. Like fuck it is. It is, as the name suggests, a love song… but a remarkably desperate one. Cheer up, you bugger.
Last Dance sounds like elevator music. It’s dreary and murky and not very exciting, like Doncaster. Boring. Just… fucking boring. Thankfully, Lullaby is next. You know this one. It’s the one where Spiderman is taking Robert Smith for dinner. It’s good and plinky, and occasionally you get a nice cold sweep of synth. What a shame there was such a shit song before it.
Fascination Street follows, with the best (only) extended bass intro you’ll ever hear. This is one of the few songs where it sounds like there’s somebody else playing instruments as well. Lots of nice guitar interplay while Smith sings like he’s driving his car too fast. His voice seems to serve as a reminder that it’s totally not murder if you die at the same time.
It’s a good song.
Prayers for Rain. Mope. Fucking mope, Robert. Unfortunately, the band decided to set their Yamaha to a sound that can only be described as ‘bass duck’ for the backing. How distracting. This song did not need to be six minutes long.
The Same Deep Water as You is nine fucking minutes long. That’s fucking ages. For fuck’s sake, Robert. I said I’d listen to your problems but this is a bit much. It’s good, but perhaps not nine minutes good. Seven minutes good. It’s all a bit dirgetastic. Maybe it’s symbolic and all, like Robert Smith is having a funeral for his fucking heart or something. Jesus. It rains at the end, like he prayed for.
Now it’s time for the title track! Yay!
Eight fucking minutes. I’ll be a fucking grandparent by the time this album’s done. Thankfully, this song has more in the way of progression and is also a bit faster. I swear I almost heard a gospel choir backing around five minutes in. Clearly I’m going mental.
Anyway, title track… lyrics about ‘the end’… should be the last track, shouldn’t it?
Nope. Bonus tracks for CD. You lucky vinyl bastards.
Homesick. Seven bastard more shitting minutes.
You know what? It’s great. It’s a real mid-afternoon hangover of a song. It brings with it a nice atmosphere of possible redemption. Maybe it’s because Robert is feeling better, maybe it’s because this fucking album is nearly over, who knows?
Untitled is a short track at only six minutes. It’s more or less a straight continuation of Homesick, thematically speaking. There’s a nice loooong fadeout at the end, leaving us with some synth accordion. Lovely.
Far from being superfluous, these bonus tracks serve to finish the album the way it ought to. Robert Smith deserves to be happy, as do all of you.
BONUS REVIEW – ENTREAT
It’s all the songs from Disintegration – apart from Plainsong, Lovesong, Lullaby and The Same Deep Water as You – played live in concert.
While the arrangements aren’t radically different, the songs do benefit from having the studio murk stripped away and the missing songs help to streamline the whole experience nicely, turning a 70+ minute slog into a neat 40 minute joyride.
The live sound is better for some songs than others. Last Dance is no longer so fucking boring, but Fascination Street loses some power. I can live with it though.
Prayers for Rain suffers the most, as bass duck is now one of the most audible elements of the track. Thankfully, it’s a full two minutes shorter this time. Thanks, Rob
All told it’s pretty straightforward, but a nice thing to have if you can get it for £2 like I did. I hear that the super-deluxe edition has the whole Disintegration album live. I’ll let you decide if that’s a thing you want.
Disintegration track list:
- Pictures of You
- Last Dance
- Fascination Street
- Prayers for Rain
- The Same Deep Water as You