THE CURE Disintegration (Rhino
Records) Dig out the black eyeliner; it’s time to get pouty like it’s 1989. That’s the year lead singer Robert Smith and his gloomy, melancholic alt-rock brood The Cure released
Disintegration, signaling The Cure’s return to more gothic-tinged fare after its 1987 saccharine-pop release, Kiss
Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. With the band weathering a tempest of personality conflicts and Smith in self-imposed, hallucinogen-induced isolation during the recording of Disintegration, dread and tension were bound to seep into the music. You’ll find it here, too, especially on the bonus disc of instrumentals and rare demos from 1988 and 1989. It’s a must-have for Cure devotees, and it compensates for the disappointing remaster of
Disintegration included in this three-disc package. With ridiculously increased bass levels and an oversoftening of most instrumentation (especially percussion), the sprawling, echo-y atmosphere of the 1989 pressing disappears, as does some of the dark tone that originally oozed from songs like “Prayers for Rain.” The carrot on a stick for most die-hard Cure fans here is a third CD, Entreat Plus — newly remixed live versions of
Disintegration’s songs arranged in album order that were recorded at London’s Wembley Arena in July 1989. (Most of the songs appear on the 1991 live album, Entreat, but there are four bonus tracks here worth having.) British music journalist Johnny Black’s brief but well-crafted liner notes should have most aging bat-cavers happily cruising Fascination Street once again.