Top 10 Favorite Songs: The Cure

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The Cure is easily my favorite band of all time. I’ve been listening to them my entire life and their music has been a key factor to many of my favorite memories. I even met my wife because of our mutual love of The Cure and have a Cure tattoo. Needless to say, I’m a diehard fan. So picking 10 songs has been almost impossible. This list has changed so many times since the idea to make it came to me, and would probably be different a week after this is posted (minus the top 3, which are always the same). I could talk about The Cure all day, so feel free to leave your list in the comments or hit me up on Twitter and let’s talk about fun Cure things!

 

Number Ten: Six Different Ways

Following a string of darker albums (Seventeen Seconds, Faith, Pornography, and The Top), The Cure released the much lighter The Head On The Door in 1985. Six Different Ways is the fourth track on the album and is incredibly fun with it’s poppy keyboards and Robert Smith’s over the top vocal performance, which sometimes sound like he’s trying to hit notes he can’t reach. This is one of those songs that is impossible to be sad while singing along to. There is also and incredible Peel Session version where Robert sings the last third of the song in a ridiculous falsetto that is amazing.

Number Nine: From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea


Taken from my favorite album of all time, 1992’s Wish, From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea is one of those songs The Cure wrote during their most popular time that straddles that line of being kind of heavy while also being incredibly memorable. The Cure wrote the best gloomy, yet poppy, songs ever during the end of the 80’s and beginning of the 90’s. This song features one of my favorite bass lines from The Cure and what has lately become my favorite Robert Smith vocal performance (“Never never never never never let me go she says/hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days”). The swirling guitar solo in the song is also excellent.

Number Eight: Babble

“Shut up, shut up and let me breathe!” The raucous and noisey Babble was originally released as a b-side to Fascination Street in the US (Lullaby in the UK) and later on the Join The Dots collection. Babble sounds so out of place with any of the other songs recorded during the Disintegration period. It’s angry, fast, and features some of the craziest keyboards in The Cure’s catalogue (rumored to have been played by a dog since the actual keyboardist was passed out). Lyrically, it’s pretty standard drugged out Robert Smith weirdness. This is probably one of the most underappreciated Cure songs, in my opinion. I rarely hear anyone talk about it, but I absolutely love it.

Number Seven: Push

Another one taken from The Head On The Door, Push is one of those songs I can listen to on repeat for hours without getting tired of it. The guitar throughout the song sounds like nothing else The Cure has done before or since. It’s a pretty unique sounding song in their vast catalogue. Lyrically, I’ve seen a lot of debate between fans trying to figure out what the song is about. I’ve always heard it as advice to a woman about leaving her terrible or abusive boyfriend (“push him away, no no no don’t let him stay”), but there are also live recordings of Robert saying it’s “about a train ride” or “about wearing a dress.” Either way, this song is a pop masterpiece.

Number Six: Doing The Unstuck

This has to be the happiest song ever written, right? Another one from Wish, Doing The Unstuck is almost ridiculous at how joyful, positive, and fun it is. The song is mostly about just pushing negative and bad things out of your life. And like most Cure songs, there is a underlying theme of sex throughout (“It’s a perfect day for kiss and swell/for rip-zipping button-popping kiss and well/there’s loads of other stuff can make you yell/let’s get happy!”). Doing The Unstuck also has an equally excellent alternate mix that was released on the Join The Dots box set.

Number Five: Underneath The Stars

The newest song on the list, Underneath The Stars comes from The Cure’s 2008 album, 4:13 Dream.  This song is the standout of the album and feels like it was written for Wish or Bloodflowers. It’s slow, beautiful, epic, and absolutely stunning. Musically, it almost sounds like it could be a sister song to Plainsong at times. The lyrics are as wonderful as the music, portraying a love so deep that nothing else matters. Being so at peace being with someone else that everything else just becomes a blur. This song is absolutely magic.

Number Four: One Hundred Years

The opening track from 1982’s goth masterpiece, Pornography, One Hundred Years sets the stage for the rest of the album. It’s bleak, drug addled lyrics and repetative music would be the building blocks of what eventually became goth music. The lyrics are a poetic mess of hopelessness and feature one of the most iconic opneing lines ever (“It doesn’t matter if we all die!” Robert Smith has stated that he knew who only had two options after their recording and touring cycle for the previous album, Faith, had ended: either commit suicide or get it all out by recording what would eventually become Pornography. You can hear and feel that pain while listening to One Hundred Years.

Number Three: The Kiss


The Kiss is, in my opinion, the heaviest song The Cure ever wrote. Opening 1987’s Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, The Kiss starts off with almost 4 full minutes of swirling guitar and doomy bass that just feels angry before any lyrics come into play. And those lyrics! The Kiss features the most hatefilled words Robert Smith ever wrote (“Get your fucking voice out of my head/I never wanted this/I never wanted any of this/ I wish you were dead!”). The vocal performance just bleeds emotion and intensity. You can feel the lyrical stab with every line Robert delivers. This song still gives me goosebumps to this day. I also have all of the lyrics to this song tattooed on my arm.

Number Two: Disintegration


This fucking song. The title track to The Cure’s 1989 masterpiece, Disintegration is maybe the best song ever written. Nothing I’ve ever heard comes close to the emotinal resonance of this song. The lyrics are so brutally sad and devistating. Lines like “And now that I know that I’m breaking to pieces, I’ll pull out my heart and feed it to anyone” and “It’s eaier for me to get closer to Heaven than ever feel whole again” are so unbelievably dark, yet relateable. This is a perfect song about the end of a relationship and the devistation that follows. Listen and get sad.

Number One: Jupiter Crash

Jupiter Crash is maybe a surprising choice to most Cure fans. Wild Mood Swings in general is a pretty underappreciated album. It’s weird and different and sounds nothing like the rest of their discography. It was an album that I generally ignored until I met my wife. Her favorite song is Jupiter Crash and she made me fall in love with this song and album. Jupiter Crash always makes me think of her anytime I ever hear it. The acoustic guitar is spacey and beautiful while the lyrics are gorgeous and wonderful. It even features what is probably my favorite lyrics Robert ever wrote (“She left to the sound of the sea/She just drifted away from me/So much for gravity”).  It’s a song about love, sex, and longing.

 

Honorable Mentions:

These songs were part of this list at different points while making it. I genuinely love every song The Cure has released and can’t recommend their entire discography enough.

Faith- One of my favorite songs from The Cure’s gloomier period. It’s a bleak and perfect ending to the album of the same name.

Plainsong- Plainsong is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It’s lush and spacey and features some stunning lyrics.

Charlotte Sometimes- Another amazing Cure song that straddles the line between goth and pop.

A Letter To Elise- My favorite Cure single. A gorgeous pop song with dark undertones.

Lost- Lost is a song that builds and builds into a heavy crescendo and features some of Robert’s best yelling vocals. Highly underrated.

Otto’s Band Of The Week: Astronoid

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Massachusetts metal band Astronoid is this weeks band spotlight. Forming in 2012, Astronoid’s music is beautiful, heavy, airy, and often times features dense, extraordinary guitar work. Sounding like a mix of Coheed & Cambria, Alcest, Sigur Ros, and some of the heaviness of Jesu and Cynic, Astronoid are unique and definitely stick out in the metal scene. And with their newly released full length, entitled Air, Astronoid are setting themselves apart even farther.

Air is a masterpiece of thrashy riffs and pop melodies. The vocals are beautiful, the drums are heavy while not being overly blasty, and the three guitar attack creates a dense layer or some of my favorite riffs of the year. Released on Blood Music, Air is a must listen. It also features a song called ‘Up And Atom’, and this site is always into a band that uses references from The Simpsons!

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You can pick up Air from the Blood Music Bandcamp HERE and the rest of Astronoid’s dicography HERE!

Follow Astronoid on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Eye On Springfield with Natalie Kahan of Wildspeaker

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Wildspeaker have very quickly become one of my favorite bands. Their take on hardcore, with a healthy bit of black and doom metal and crust thrown in for good measure, has found a place in my weekly listening rotations since discovering them. The blistering heaviness of Survey The Wreckage has become a stand out and easily one of my top ten favorite hardcore albums of all time. This isn’t hyperbole. I connect with Wildspeaker and what they stand for on a deep, emotional level. And one of the biggest reasons for that connection is because of their vocalist, Natalie Kahan. Her vocals are ferocious and captivating. But her lyrics are what really struck me. Focusing on the idea of nature over humanity and the atrocities humans have committed against mother nature, her words mean a lot to me.

Natalie is also a huge Simpsons fan. I’m very pleased that she took the time to answer these questions and can’t thank her enough for what her lyrics have done for me.

 

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
My first memories of watching The Simpsons begin around age five. When my older sister, brother, and I ate dinner with our parents we would insist my dad roll the TV near the table so that we never missed an episode. I remember at first my parents were iffy about us watching it, but, needless to say, their resistance was futile.
Who is your favorite character?
This is a sadistic question when you ask me to narrow it down to just one. I don’t have a singular favorite, but I do consider one to be a personal best and overall funniest.
I have had an especially soft spot in my heart for Mr. Burns since I saw the “Rosebud” episode with his teddy bear Bobo. I also love “The Old Man and the Lisa” where he is rendered useless when he goes grocery shopping with the “Ketchup? Catsup?” incident. After the Little Lisa Recycling Plant is introduced we see that Burns isn’t all badly intentioned; he just can’t help his evil tendencies getting the better of him. It’s so mischievous and cute to me.
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I admire Ned Flanders and Monty Burns in similar ways. I think they’re some of the most interesting characters when you acknowledge their childish tendencies. Flanders is relentlessly positive, but I love to see when his hilarious temper flares out. Flanders is a lovable punching bag, forgiving, patient, and resilient on his good days. But in his rough moments he is judgmental, furious, anxious, annoying, and stubborn. I’ve probably never laughed harder than at the moment he meets his Canadian Doppelgänger in “Midnight RX.” Here is a link to a 10 minute loop of their nonsense conversation for your pleasure:
 I also love Milhouse so much I named my kitten Millie after him.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
The Treehouse of Horror series tops them all. I have probably re-watched and quoted Treehouse of Horror V more than any other episode. Treehouse of Horror VI has got to be my second favorite. In “Homer³,” where Homer and Bart travel into a 3D dimension is the most memorable segment of all time for me.
The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
While regularly watching, the ones I was most stoked for were Blink 182 and N*sync. Kelsey Grammar takes the cake with Sideshow Bob though. Paul McCartney’s appearance was tremendously important to me because it normalized and shed a positive light to the public about vegetarianism.
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One of my first exposures to vegetarianism and feminist ideas was through Lisa Simpson. Has the show ever introduced you or influenced some of your ideals?
I can relate every single aspect of life to the Simpsons. Its attitudes and humor definitely had hands in shaping my outlook. Laughing through difficult times is probably the most important life lesson anyone could ever learn.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Metalhead comedian Brian Posehn would be a good guest if he hasn’t already been on the show.
What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your work?
Really any of them would be awesome. I think Comic Book Guy would be most likely to come across our music on a Magic the Gathering forum somewhere.
Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
I’d be stunned if I got to hear Blackbird Raum or Pale Robin cover Lisa’s union strike song from “Last Exit to Springfield.” Lisa’s voice gives me goosebumps in that one every time I hear it. “We Put the Spring in Springfield” from “Bart After Dark” is so good it even won an Emmy. I’d enjoy hearing Haley Reinhart and Postmodern Juke Box put their spin on it. She and the band do insane covers of pop songs in big band arrangements.
I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?
I could see Lisa getting into Food Not Bombs volunteering for sure. I imagine she’d get down on Plan-it- X Folk Punk like This Bike is a Pipe Bomb and all the classic Riot Grrrl bands. If I could meet her, the perfect CD to burn for her would be Xrayspex’s “Germ Free Adolescents” because it’s feminist punk and most importantly features a saxo-mo-phone.
I think Bart would dig West Coast 80’s hardcore like The Adolescents or party music like Agent Orange. It was funny seeing him as Johnny Rotten and Nelson Muntz as Sid Vicious in “Love, Springfieldian Style.” (Also I am a huge Buzzcocks fan so I loved that they were included in the soundtrack there.) Comic Book Guy would definitely dig Powerglove.
Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop
watching?
 I never really stopped watching, but I definitely slowed down because jokes started to feel more forced or were lost on me. I will watch whatever comes onto Hulu but I won’t typically go out of my way to seek it anymore. I did enjoy a few newer ones like the Lego episode “Brick Like Me” and I was pleasantly surprised with how the “The Simpsons Guy” Family Guy crossover turned out. I thought it would be a mess but I’ve re-watched it several times.
How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
The saddest part about this question is admitting that I want to see it end. It’s had a massively successful run but unfortunately at this point it’s run out of gas. I have read rumors that it might end on a Christmas episode so that it brings the show full circle. This end would be bittersweet but I’d be pleased by it.
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