The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE CRITICS’ CHOICE -


I still count The Cure’s Disintegra­tion as my favourite record, as an al­bum that has both changed my life and has kept me com­pany through decades and moves and travel and lone­li­ness, bore­dom, heart­break and late-night drives, high school, univer­sity and adult­hood. I fell in love with it when I was a mo­rose 15-year-old harpist and nerd in Shelby, North Carolina, a small, con­ser­va­tive town in the south. I ini­tially got to know The Cure in gen­eral through the cooler older broth­ers of close friends – Gail’s brother Miguel, Chris’s older brother Chad, who left scrap­pily cu­rated mix­tapes around for us younger kids to steal and dig in to. Disintegra­tion came prob­a­bly through Pic­tures of You on one of those tapes.

I think the record, be­sides trans­mit­ting a se­cret in­sider mes­sage of un­der­stand­ing to one’s in­nate melan­cho­lia, has a gor­geous se­quenc­ing, each lushly ar­ranged song spilling into the next. Its in­stru­men­tal pas­sages are even more af­fect­ing than than the ones with lyrics. It has in­flu­enced my own work in my at­tempt to make im­pres­sion­is­tic sounds that can con­vey a lan­guage and hu­man con­nec­tion with­out us­ing words, to chan­nel emo­tion through a lyri­cal melody line, through both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive space, both de luxe and min­i­mal.

Disintegra­tion has been a friend to me for 20 years, and I think I have ev­ery inch of it mem­o­rised. Lis­ten­ing to it now feels like it’s a ve­hi­cle to in­dulge in the nos­tal­gic side, the sen­si­tive side, the vul­ner­a­ble side that’s so beau­ti­ful about be­ing a hu­man be­ing – flawed, messy, lay­ered. In this time of too many screens and ter­ri­fy­ing news, ter­ri­fy­ing lead­ers, ter­ror, ar­ti­fi­cial in­ti­macy, it’s nat­u­ral to steel against things by get­ting colder, and this record al­ways re­minds me that it’s okay to dig in and to un­apolo­get­i­cally feel. NIALL BYRNE

Mary Lattimore sup­ports Kurt Vile & the Vi­o­la­tors at Vicar Street, Dublin, onNovem­ber14thand­TheLime­light, Belfast,onNovem­ber15th

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