one magnificent, epic album of a crumbling crescendo, my childhood is gone.
share the same birthday, Mr. Robert Smith. Who could have guessed you and
Martin Gore and Bernard Sumner and the almighty Morrissey would mean so much to
me during those messy, melancholy days where I’d changed schools not once or
twice but three times.
say three times is the charm, but I sure didn’t feel like some kind of charming man. Not then.
the midst of change and insecurities and moves and mood swings I clung to the
music. The Cure was one of my four bands.
on this date twenty-five years ago, they released their masterpiece. Disintegration.
actually didn’t love it as much as their previous album.
Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me was the album that
made me fall in love with The Cure. They weren’t instantly likable. Not to me.
Robert Smith sounded like he was wailing, not singing. I couldn’t get it. They
sounded sour and sad and overall miserable. But just like The Smiths, something
eventually clicked. Something major. Something inside of me that opened like
some kind of lock. And then I was not only sold but I was softened. My soul
felt a little better. I understood and was moved and the music meant something.
an ‘80’s teen and I got it.
I embraced it.
so then Disintegration arrived.
Grand. Sweeping. Romantic. Radiant.
can really look at the album as both a glorious goth album or as this beautiful
love letter to the ’80’s.
music scene was about to change. Grunge was going to shake up everything. Music
would never be so sweet and naieve again. Even gloomy rock like The Cure was
sweet compared to Nirvana and Soundgarden.
to hear Disintegration again.
glorious synths covering everything.
slow, steady build-up. Seven and eight minute-long songs with few lyrics.
sliding and sashaying guitars and drums. Strumming along. Like some kind of
slow, steady marathon.
won’t ever make albums like this because this is the pinnacle of them.
was alternative in the ‘80’s.
amidst the darkness and the dour mood, you have this sweet, uplifting, unlikely
simply called “Lovesong.”
later, it still moves. It still means something. It’s real because it was
created out of a real love.
not trying to be a love song. No. It really is a love song. Pure and simple.
by The Cure, it’s magnificent.
years later, those words have even more meaning.
does love mean, anyway?
does always mean?
will always love you.”
song swells and soars. And each song has Robert Smith’s slightly shaky and
unsure voice. The one we love, the one that sounds like none other.
Dylan-esque. Gabriel-esque. Unique. Flawed and unforgettable.
such an abundance of songs here. The quirky one. The doom-and-gloom song. The
love song (literally). The funky groove song.
were building but like all artists who hit it big, Robert Smith and gang found
their groove. And it was remarkable.
funny thing is he and the record label felt like he was committing career
suicide at the time.
first song that sold me, that really, truly caught my attention was probably
the darkest. A song that begins with the sound of a rainstorm. “The Same Deep
Water As You.” Typical Travis Thrasher, I gravitated toward the darkest and
most melancholy of the bunch.
song means as much to me now as it did twenty-five years ago.
guitars sound sorry. The synths sound sad. It’s all this beautiful, bewitching
symphony of doom and gloom. But it’s also hopeful. Because it’s the sound I’ve
heard in my head and my heart too many times.
of loneliness and isolation. Shadows in the dark. Clenched and careful. Sighs
of morning. And mourning.
sort of album can do wonders to some melancholy, romantic soul. Especially if
they’re eighteen years old. And so it did.
it still does twenty-five years later.
is any surprise I named a record store in a new YA series after the song
“Fascination Street”? Of course not.
album builds and builds and then comes to the song it’s named after. Back then,
I thought it was a bit too long, too much.
the song “Disintegration” is just perfection. Breaking glass, breaking hearts,
back and forth. And back and forth. And back and forth.
music works now ‘cause I get it. It’s the relentlessness of life. Life that’s compressed with love and loss and
longing. Life with its broken pieces scattered and shaken and spoken.
miss the kiss of treachery,” Robert Smith sings.
Bewildering and brilliant. And oh so brutal.
kisses. And aching. The stench. The sound. The bended knees. The letting go.
and sounds and sweet darkness softly knocking on your psyche.
the ending would be.”
an ending to a decade. And to a high school. And to a youth.
will always be the sound of my youth ending. My growing up. My teenage years
shattered. My innocence blistered.
the end always is.”
you wonder and think and believe that this is really truly how the end always
young and stupid and so utterly clueless about life so you cling onto these
words. There are other words—better words—more hopeful words—more blessed
words--but these are the ones you lean toward.
teenage boy. Lost a bit in a life. Whose to blame.
the end always is.”
is the exclamation point to your teenage high school melancholy
it’ll just be pieces of memory while you’re coasting in college.
piece. Just this album of songs. Just someone’s rantings and ravings.
into the rush of an adult.
those songs mean something. Where he can turn toward in the night. Where he can
cast out and see the ripples of memory on the surface of the sea. Where the
faces of yesterday blend in with the fires of today.
the worries of the world stretching onto the skin and shoulders and the soul no
longer seize you and no longer break you down. Where they’re held at bay by
another’s begging and pleading in song. When the suffering of another stifles
the suffering of today.
songs aren’t just songs. They are memories with sound. They are pictures with
words. They are films with four-minute-deadlines. They are infinite.
violins hum. The ending is near. The piano continues to pound. A heart played
out on the minor keys. So majestic. So epic with so few words.
ending always comes as this simple, straight-forward sort of song. But endings
are often like that, aren’t they?
usually play it safe. They usually go light and easy. They usually don’t bother
to begin to tell of the angst and the drama that’s come before it.
simple enough to simply say goodbye.
smile and wave and nod and go your own way.
quite said what I wanted to say to you.”
leaving and it’s okay.
journey is everything. Right on.
you, Robert Smith, for sharing your uncertainty with the rest of the world.
teen boy understood.
teen adult still understands.
isn’t a box. It’s not an age. It’s not a mood. It’s not a season.
a box full of colors that you continually paint.
a disc full of sounds you constantly play.
the pictures and the poems of yesterday. And little by little, they make more
sense the older they get.
wine, they only get better with time.
Labels: Angst, Disintegration, Epic, music, Teen, The Cure, The Solitary Tales, Youth