The Cure wouldn't be nothin' without Robert Smith, the poster child for every pale, depressive, lonely teenage girl who felt left out of the babysitter's club and wondered if anyone's ever going to take them to prom because, when they look in the mirror, they see a piggy.
Smith's real legacy - far more than his decades-long recording career - is that he made inroads for the non-macho rocker, in the brave new post-punk world of the 1980's. Few of the new breed of Rock star connected with a female / teenage non-aggressor audience quite like The Cure.
Funny thing is, unlike Depeche Mode and some other wuss-friendly artists, The Cure didn't dilute their instrumental style or emotional rawness to meet their testicularly-challenged fanbase. Smith was successful simply because he communicated feelings of betrayal, self-loathing, and good ol' fashioned depression better than most anybody else around, or at least made them sound attractive enough to sell a bunch of records, once his songwriting and sound had developed sufficiently.
Essentially, Smith sells pretty sadness, along with some neat lush guitar playing, and he puts himself forward as a prime example / sympathizer / confidant for anyone who feels like life has turned to shit and no one else has noticed yet.
But if sadness and depression were all there was to The Cure, no one would need to buy anything more than their 1982 album Pornography
. I don't have the original UK debut album Three Imaginary Boys
, which reportedly sucks more than Boys Don't Cry,
which for North American release simply replaces some of that album's material with the singles "Boys Don't Cry", "Jumping Someone Else's Train", "Killing An Arab", and the Wire-y "Plastic Passion".
by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza
(blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct]