The Cure

Prayers for Rain

Song Review by

Arguably the most extreme song on an extreme album, "Prayers for Rain" more than anything is the heart of Disintegration, an evocative, wounding portrayal of emotional desolation as gripping as any the Cure ever created. Indeed, in some ways it's the flip side of "The Drowning Man" from Faith or the song that immediately follows "Prayers for Rain," "The Same Deep Water as You." There, where the overriding metaphors were being crushed in watery depths, here the absence of water becomes the chief image. Robert Smith's guitar work takes prominence here, he and Porl Thompson amping up and treating their work to heavy duty flanging, delay, backwards-run tapes and more to set the slow, moody crawl of the track. Boris Williams' slow, start-stop drum work makes everything even creepier, while Roger O'Donnell adds both a prominent bit of doomy string synth and subtler, soft moans and notes throughout the mix. Smith's heavily echoed vocals at once spit defiance and bemoan existence -- "I suffocate, I breathe in dirt and nowhere shines" -- at the hands of a particularly cruel other. The phrase "savage torpor" probably couldn't better be applied anywhere else than to this song.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Disintegration 1989 Fiction / Polydor 6:08
3x3x3 2010 Geffen / Universal 3:00