One thing that a loving relationship typically requires is faith: faith that through thick and thin, things will always work out. When that principle is betrayed, serious pain follows. The Cure never shied away from these sort of pains, and this record was certainly no different. The Cure met their tortured pain in Faith, their 1981 record that saw them try to cope with the pain of betrayal.
As is true with most of The Cure's music, they face pain with fake optimism. On the surface, the music comes across warmly, as if nothing is wrong; but when you look just a little deeper, you'll see where the real pain is. Opening track 'The Holy Hour' begins the record with a brooding intro before its warm guitars kick in. While the instrumental may sound comforting, the lyrics are anything but, Robert Smith singing of trying to make sense of prayer: "I kneel and wait in silence as one by one the people slip away into the night / The quiet and empty bodies." The separation of Smith and the idea of prayer puts into perspective how impossible it feels to find comfort in this situation, as there's nothing even a higher power could do. Tracks like 'The Funeral Party,' which is a mourning track for Smith's grandparents, bring a calming atmosphere as if to try and help ease that pain, while other tracks like 'Primary' can't help but let out anguish.
An element of self-hate makes Faith even more haunting; not only can nothing save you from the pain, but nothing can save you from yourself, either. 'Other Voices' is full of self-contempt, Smith blindly hoping for someone to return while knowing he's only bringing himself pain in hoping: "I taste your scent / Distant noises, other voices / Pounding in my broken head." 'All Cats Are Grey' is similar, haunting yet riddled with a pre-disposition of the world wanting to see Smith fall. 'The Drowning Man' is oddly hellish, the backing vocals seemingly screaming out in such a tortured way that it's at times hard to swallow. Closing track 'Faith' perhaps captures the whole record in one pained movement, the dejected melodies and riff documenting a lifetime of pain, self-doubt, and blind hope, the record ominously ending with a sad, echoing cry of "I went away alone, with nothing left but faith."
The Cure met their tortured pain in Faith, a broken and blind record that set out to try and come to terms with loss. From broken hearts to a broken mind, Faith channels it all, with pain that runs deep in the veins of the music and Smith's past. There's an almost inescapable cloud that comes with this record, but also some comfort: even when all you feel that you have left is blind hope, you're not alone.
Favorite Track: Faith
Least Favorite Track: The Drowning Man
Rating: 77 / 100
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