Robert Smith goes all out here to create an album intended to be a 'fuck you' - who that was directed at remains unclear from the lyrics, but they're consistently dark and death/murder obsessed.
It's difficult to say Pornography
is an album to be enjoyed, but then that was true of Faith
and Seventeen Seconds
as well. It's clear however that the path Smith had been pursuing had reached some kind of end with Pornography
. Well, perhaps not so much an end, more of a crossroads - no devil waiting though, as the devil was inside Smith's own mind.
So it's easy to see why Pornography
was latched onto by hordes of similarly-minded souls, the darkness is comforting when the light seems too taunting. "Cold" for example could be the soundtrack to a suicidal soul, a distant relative of Joy Division's "The Eternal", it could also be a big Robert Smith hug for the lonely.
And "One Hundred Years" is utterly brilliant, the jerky drum pattern and synths are perfectly in tune, and the guitar is suitably doomy. Again, could The Cure have created it without Joy Division's Closer
- the shadow of that band hung heavy over early-80's alternative music in the UK.
The first half of this album is flawless. After the stunning opening track, "A Short Term Effect" contains genuinely sinister guitar noises and a rhythm section that sounds almost funky in contrast. The best-known song "The Hanging Garden" is the only tune that could be described as even slightly cheery, and it does provide some variety.
The album naturally enough isn't for everyone, The Cure apparently having abandoned any notions of being populist right from their debut, since then carving out their own niche. And Pornography
cemented that niche quite spectacularly. Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews