Music Monday: An Intro to The Cure

As an answer to what I know everyone was going to ask, here is an introduction to what my mom listens to, i.e. The Cure. This (along with a Flock of Seagulls album which also deserves its own article) was what we listened to on road trips. And as a homeschooled family in Tennessee with relatives in California, road trips were quite common.  Thus I became very well acquainted with this group of guys who wore eyeliner and had more feelings than my 10-year-old self was capable of processing.

The Cure got kicked up in the UK in the late 70s. They started out moody but tweaked their sound into more of a new wave style in order to appeal to a larger audience (though they kept the eyeliner). They emerged around the same time as several other sad-ish bands like the Smiths and Joy Division. It was a good time to be a sad Brit.

For those accustomed to moody sounds like The Cure, there is a lot of diversity to be found.  Their style fluctuates just as much as any other group, but because they primarily operate within a certain brand of angst it can be difficult for the unfamiliar ear to discern. They consistently hold to a dark theme and use of space in their tracks, however they tangle with more than just sadness: hope, love, joy, fear, and anguish and delight can all be found in The Cure’s numerous albums.

For those unaccustomed to The Cure however, it may be difficult to engage. Growing up, it helped to already be in certain moods when getting in the car. In order to adequately introduce them, I’ve outlined a few different scenarios in which one should have no trouble listening to some of their tracks, as well as some tracks to started.

Scenario one: You’re 16. It’s a Tuesday and you have just gotten up for school. You remember you have a test, but that should be no problem because you have been studying like mad the past few days. It’s sunny outside with a high of 75 and no chance of rain. It just might be a perfect day. You reach over to grab your phone and see that you have a message waiting for you (probably because you’re so popular). It’s your significant other breaking up with you. You’re very sad and heartbroken.

Cathartic Track: Boy’s Don’t Cry

Album: Boys Don’t Cry

Scenario Two: It’s a Saturday and you’re on your way to the beach. It’s a vacation you have been anticipating for months. Two weeks of sun, sand and no troubles. You’ve even set your ringtone to a Beach Boys song just to always stay in the spirit of the trip. Speaking of which, your ringtone starts to go off.  It’s your boyfriend/girlfriend, no doubt calling to tell you how much they already miss you. You answer. They’re breaking up with you. You’re very sad and heartbroken.

Cathartic Track: Pictures of You

Album: Disintegration

Scenario Three: It’s a Sunday night and you’re at the bowling alley on a double date. Just you and your significant other playing against your best friend and significant other. It has come down to the last frame and the outcome of the game comes down to this bowl. You go once and it looks perfect, until the last second when it shifts to the left just a little too much. You’re left with a 7-10 split. You try to pick it up with your next go, but it’s too late. You’ve lost the game. You turn around in shame and find your significant other looking at you with more disappointment in their eyes than you’ve ever seen…that’s including the time you told your parents you were going to be a mime professionally. Your boyfriend/girlfriend just shakes their head and says that it’s over. You’re very sad and heartbroken.  

Cathartic Track: Close to me (Closest Mix)

Album – Galore

Scenario Four: It’s Friday and you’re in love.

Cathartic Track: Friday I’m in Love

Album: Wish

Use this guide to get you started.  Once you have managed to experience them through one of these lenses, it is usually no trouble to fully submit to their level of emotion and enjoy their tunes.