Monday, June 21, 2010

25 Records That Mean Something to Me, #1

I wanted to do some blogging about some of my favorite records, and 25 seemed like a good number. So here’s the first in a series of 25. I’ll be doing entries about other stuff inbetween as well. I’ll try and keep each one relatively short…wish me luck.

The Cure-Disintegration

I figured I’d start with this one because I just purchased the recently-released 3-disc deluxe edition. I first heard the Cure when I was 14, and the first Cure record I bought was a cassette of “Standing On A Beach-The Singles” (titled “Staring At the Sea” if you purchased the CD version). “Standing” was a pretty good introduction to the band, since it contained every single they’d released up through 1986 or so. It made me a fan to some degree, but I really didn’t learn what it meant to truly love the Cure until I heard “Disintegration”. It had been about 6 or 8 months since my initial purchase, and I had heard just enough of the band’s 1989 opus at a youth group event to get really, REALLY excited about buying it.

This record, to me, is a 70-something minute demonstration of the word “atmosphere”. I think it applies in several different ways, one certainly being that the whole record has a vibe that’s as thick as molasses from start to finish. Also, though, I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s maybe the best rainy day record EVER…when there’s activity in the physical atmosphere, “Disintegration” gives plenty of corresponding atmosphere in the emotional sense. The composition, arranging and production are phenomenal…one of the things that’s always blown my mind about “Disintegration” is how on every song, every time you think they’ve finished adding parts to the mix, some new melody or motif comes in and takes the whole thing up another notch. Some characterize this record (and much of the Cure’s other music) as “depressing”, and I suppose that, emotionally, it’s definitely not an upper, but I think that short changes its value. It may bring you to a melancholy place, but sometimes that’s a place that we all need to go.

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