Depression is a demon that lies beneath the surface. Like a shadow, it lurks in broad daylight, always following behind you and only escapable when you let the darkness overcome all else. Those who have faced depression know the burden of it, and also know the seeming impossibility of understanding it. It's not easy to swallow, nor is it easy to cope with.
When feeling depressed, one of the most hopeful feelings is when you don't feel alone. But that's hard to come by; there are sympathizers, but few you can turn to who really know the pain. Music is an avenue that really can understand you. Countless artists have gone through it and found the right words to explain their emotions, in hopes of both releasing their own feelings and giving comfort to those feeling similarly. The Cure is known as one of the band's who's sound is that of depression, and it's no mystery why. The Cure's Disintegration is an ode to depression, capturing its essence in more ways than one.
The music of Disintegration mirrors depression in a lot of ways. The most distinct way is how the mood parallels going through depression; bright on the exterior, but hurting on the inside. Many of the songs The Cure has released have a happy or upbeat tone to them, though it distracts from the powerful, broken messages each song has. It's very present on Disintegration (though the album does delve into total sadness at times), especially on tracks like 'Lullaby.' The song has a perky instrumental that gives it an almost warm mood, but the lyrics tell a different tale. It's a song about fear, and the severity of that fear really comes through in the lyrics: "And I feel like I'm being eaten / By a thousand million shivering furry holes / And I know that in the morning / I will wake up in the shivering cold / And the Spiderman is always hungry." 'Fascination Street' is another song with a pretty upbeat sound, great melodies making the track very appealing. The song is about the incredulousness of searching for a perfect moment, knowing all too well that the moment will never come. It's hopelessly optimistic in such a sad way.
"Hopeless optimism" is a theme that plays throughout the record. Final track 'Untitled' takes it out in such a way, Robert Smith singing about missed opportunities he wishes he would've taken, in regards to love and all else under the sun. 'The Same Deep Water As You' might be the most intensely depressed song on Disintegration, the nine-minute track progressing somberly, each chord calculated as if it took a million thoughts to process the action of making it. The slowness mirrors the lack of motivation you face when depressed, and the way it slowly fades out into nothing has it feeling like an end, as if the pressures placed on the song are swallowing it. Title track 'Disintegration' picks up after it, crying out and longing for a feeling of belonging. The loneliness resonates through you.
Disintegration isn't just a sad record - it's a sad record with some amazing music. The Cure didn't take any liberties here; they were at the mercy of their emotions. 'Pictures Of You' towards the beginning of the record has an upbeat vibe to it, but sings of horrible heartbreak and confusion, the lyrics sadly crying: "Crying for the death of your heart / You were stone white / So delicate / Lost in the cold / You were always so lost in the dark." The lyrics are what really ties the entire album together, making it dark and powerful all at once. The words hit you like knives, and the dissonance of their sobering truths and the happy melodies piercing your core. The beautiful guitar and piano work of 'Homesick' give a dreamy atmosphere to it, the slow and beautiful energy giving you a feeling of being trapped by the realm of what could be possible, but is only just out of reach. Every moment of the record is so perfectly constructed to match emotion, it can take your breath away sometimes.
Depression is a demon many have faced but find difficulty to control. Music is always there to help us understand not just the nature of our emotions, but how we can deal with them ourselves. Sometimes, we can find comfort in knowing we're not alone in our pain. The Cure's Disintegration is an ode to depression, capturing the hopelessness of it in a perfectly parallel form. It understands pain, becoming its own cure for its sorrows. Perhaps it'll be your cure, too.
Favorite Tracks: Homesick, Pictures Of You, Lovesong, Fascination Street
Least Favorite Track: Closedown
Rating: 84 / 100
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