Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): "All I Want"

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It's been exciting to see how many Cure fans remain among us as this series, since its start, has become one of the most popular features at BlindedBySound. When I named our series Friday We're In Love (With The Cure), I thought of it in terms of the love for this band their music shared by Heather and I. Now I realize it has a broader significance: there are many of us who loved them when we first head them years ago and continue to listen and cherish the songs they've brought to us.

Once again, we are doing something special where Heather and I are both writing about the same song rather than choosing one of our own. I got to pick that song for this edition and I went with an odd, old favorite from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me: "All I Want."

JOSH

It's been a recurring theme in my discussions of The Cure that this band is more of a guitar band than they're given credit for being. Robert Smith has an instantly recognizable manner of layering guitars and a special, distinctive tone on many of the band's best songs.

"All I Want" is an example of the layered approach but what stands out most is the sound of the guitar that carries the riff and how abrasive it sounds compared to other noises Smith has created with those six strings. There are ringing and chiming layers of guitar that adorn that riff but the power cromes from this more aggresive edge. There's something sinister in its sound and the way the chords strike but then when you think the band is about to rock out, waves of high-pitched keyboard float above, counteracting it. The effect of these competing elements is unsettling in all the right ways with sounds sinking us unto the underworld and eithereal tones levatating us above it.

There is mystique in Smith's cadence and a dark sexiness in his words that make a this more than just a great music bed but a complete and alluring song. We are instantly on the prowl  the opening line "Tonight I'm feeling like an animal" and his blood boils by the end of the song where he finds himself screaming like an animal with a vocal intensity to match. He's losing control, his sights set on someone he already knows. Is he chasing a feeling he's felt before or is this an urge to go go new places with someone close?

All I want
is to be with you again
All I want
is to hold you like a dog

There are a number of ways to interpret the imagery of that last line and I've spent a great deal of time through the years considering them. I sense uncontrolled lust rather as opposed to something more cuddly in the context of feeling and screaming like an animal and declarations of losing control. How much more specific or graphic is Smith being? I inhabit the song and allow the ambience of the music to wash over me as the science of my mind and boundless power of my imagination grapples with that question, falling into the seedy underworld and floating with that celestial being I long to be with again.

HEATHER

The intro to The Cure's "All I Want" off 1987's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me is special for a multitude of reasons. One being it could be any riff to any song to this day. Not that it's common or throwaway, the catch is that it's not a current song or riff...it's 26 years old and still stands on it's own. The Cure are that good and more importantly - timeless. Seconds later the signature Cure sound kicks in with its mysical keyboards and bass and it feels like home.
 
Robert Smith's lyrics range from poetic, sexy, weird, seductive, to downright raunchy. If you find that hard to believe because you're stuck on the "Friday 'm In Love" version of The Cure, listen to this song and then come ask me what "All I want, is to hold you like a dog" means.
 
There aren't a lot of lyrics in this five-plus minute song and there doesn't need to be for it to get its point across in the sound and delivery. It's base, urgent, pained and downright sexy. "All I want, is to be with you again." Put it on repeat, turn the lights off (or not) and find someone to hold you like a dog.