is where Robert Smith learns how to mope again, but he does it beautifully this time round.
Billed as a sort of sequel to Pornography
, this album is more like a collection of all the best slow songs on Head
(more so) and Kiss Me
(less so), layered on top of each other in a lush ocean of warm echo and romantic proclamations. The overall feel of the album is one of overwhelming width ... of big clear skies and multicolored planets making lazy circles around distant stars.
So Smith has found his inner poet - finally - and he makes his impressionist vision available to those who aren't afraid of a few blatant synths or girly platitudes. He creates a landscape of sound here, and fits words just vague enough to be evocative no matter where you may be coming from.
So is it melancholic / desperate / depressive, or is it joyous and life-affirming? Hell, you make the call - there are parts of Disintegration
that sound far more realistically heartbreaking than anything on Pornography
, which is a sledge hammer compared to this album's straight razor. Porno
lacked subtlety and told you exactly how awful you were meant to feel, whereas Disintegration
leaves big spaces to fill in yourself.
In short, this is a gorgeous, deft piece of artistic expression in rock music on par with any of your favorite Forever Changes
, Pet Sounds
, or Automatic for the People
's in eliciting an emotional response without telling you what that emotion is supposed to be.
This album is the first time Smith - the guy who started figuring out what he was about around 1981, began getting excited about it in 1982, then became a good songwriter in 1985 - has finally achieved balance. He'd been trying to figure out the proper combination of noise and melody, accessibility and inaccessibility, and light and dark, for most of the 1980's, and he finally hit on the answer. Here, he's fused his preoccupations into 'The Big Cure Sound', rather than try to graft it in.
by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza
(blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct]