The Cure

Disintegration

Song Review by

Blasting along at a quick, roaring pace but completely drowning in sorrow and collapse while it does so, the title track to the Cure's masterful 1989 album in some ways encapsulates the album as a whole -- accessible but ultimately harrowing destruction. Beginning with the sampled sound of shattering glass that immediately blends into an energetic Boris Williams drum line and higher-pitched bass motif from Simon Gallup, "Disintegration" almost pitilessly portrays a relationship tearing itself to pieces in drama and soul-wrenching grief. Robert Smith's commanding lead guitar lines at once are scaled to epic heights while at the same time buried in the mix, almost as if they're trying to burst from behind the upfront rhythm assault. Roger O'Donnell's keyboards add both extra shade and melody, while Smith's singing is intentionally delivered in a combination of cutting clarity and low resignation, at times further distorted with extra vocal treatments. His depiction of the whole scenario tears into the romantic myth with bile -- "the stench of a love for a younger meat" -- and a key claim that "both of us knew how the ending would be." Relentlessly building to a final, blasting climax, "Disintegration" remains a monstrous, compelling listening.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Disintegration 1989 Fiction / Polydor 8:21
3x3x3 2010 Geffen / Universal 7:07