On My Playlist: Top 5 The Cure songs

The Cure
The Cure

Dark clouds, gloomy weather with sunlight shining onto my skin is the mental image that The Cure’s music gives me. It is raw and unbridled and touches the heart Z whether it is a song with pop sensibility or an alternative, brooding number.
The Cure sure knows how to make music that is filled with emotion and passion and sticks in your head for days. The band is known for its enigmatic frontman, Robert Smith who, at times, looks like a character from a Tim Burton movie. He is the heart and soul of The Cure and his chameleon-like transformation in not only his appearance but also the appearance of his music is a testament to the longevity of The Cure.
Alternative rock is one way to describe their sound but, as Smith has stated, it just sounds like The Cure and nothing else. This 80’s and 90’s band still performs live to this day as their hits seem to transcend time with die-hard fans and new listeners each having their favourite songs. Here are my top 5 tracks from the English band:
Honourable mentions: ‘All I Want’, ‘Cut Here’, ‘Fascination Street’, ‘In Between Days’, ‘Love Song’.
5. A Night Like This
This track gets my attention from the outset with its guitar melody – one of the best the band has ever written, in my opinion. This song focuses on relationships and the regret of letting go and saying goodbye. Smith’s delivery of the lyrics is haunting as it is melancholy as he contemplates his choices. The opening lyrics explain the theme perfectly: ‘Say goodbye on a night like this. If it’s the last thing we ever do. You never looked as lost as this. Sometimes it doesn’t even look like you. It goes dark. It goes darker still. Please stay. But I watch you like I’m made of stone. As you walk away.’ The song’s steady rhythm, chorus and the bridge and guitar solo are other reasons why this song ranks highly in my opinion: ‘I want it to be perfect. Like before. I want to change it all’ – haven’t we all been there in relationships?

4. Boys Don’t Cry
This is one of The Cure’s earlier hit singles that follows an addictive guitar pattern and upbeat rhythm with juxtaposed lyrics about forgiveness, sadness and masculinity in social settings. Smith’s delivery of the lyrics, especially ‘The Boys Don’t Cry’ line just adds to the old cliché that men do not cry and cannot feel vulnerable Z something that Smith showcases here with the lyrics in the chorus: ‘I try to laugh about it. Cover it all up with lies. I try to laugh about it. Hiding the tears in my eyes. ‘Cause boys don’t cry. Boys don’t cry.’ The track has a great sing-along quality to it and is something that any casual listener can get into.

3. Friday I’m In Love
That instantly recognisable piano intro forms the basis of this radio hit that most music lovers should know, irrespective of whether or not they know The Cure. The lyrics are melancholy, to the point and catchy with a brilliant sing-along quality. The song focuses on all the days of the week with Friday singled out as the best day: ‘I don’t care if Monday’s blue. Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too. Thursday I don’t care about you. It’s Friday I’m in love.’ Smith’s delivery of the lyrics and its universal appeal definitely puts this in the top 5.

2. Pictures of You
The elongated guitar melody and sonic feel to the song really stand out from the start as you can immediately experience the atmosphere of the song.
When Smith starts singing you can picture every word of the song as he reminisces about an event where he looks back at his wife and the moment they spent together. The universal lyrics border on loss, heartbreak, nostalgia and dream-like sequences with the main riff in the background serenading the song onwards. The ‘doo do do doo’ part in the bridge is also one of my favourite elements of the song. Credit must also be given to the drum and bass riff that predominates the outro to the track. This number takes you to some kind of kindred and memorable experience in your own lifetime. A fantastic track that showcases The Cure at their very best: ‘I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you. That I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel.’

1. Just Like Heaven
My favourite The Cure track of all time is this gem that focuses on the feeling of love and being loved, where Smith compares his relationship with his wife to heaven. The lyrics are quirky, truthful and emotional and the accompanying synth-based music just makes you feel warm inside. The drums start off the song with the bass guitar and lead guitar riff joining the party. The lead guitar riff and the keyboard solo are two of the best elements of the song and show the great musicianship within the band. Two of the best lyrical passages are ‘“Show me how you do that trick. The one that makes me scream” she said. “The one that makes me laugh,” she said. And threw her arms around my neck,’ as well as ‘Spinning on that dizzy edge. I kissed her face and kissed her head. And dreamed of all the different ways I had To make her glow.’ The feelings of being in love and lovesick are predominant here and showcase the human condition and sensations of being in love.

  AUTHOR
Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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