My song choice this week may seem like a bit of a throwaway however, this song has more going for it than you might initially think. "Lovesong" was first released almost exactly 24 years ago, I remember hearing it on the radio and being captivated. The music was the usual somber fare, and the driving guitar, pleasing keyboard and more succinct, clear vocal delivery was a nice contrast. Overall the album it appeared on, Disintegration was a dark, depressing collection of gorgeous tunes. "Lovesong" gave it enough balance to avoid the record being dismissed as depressing, gothic fodder.
"Lovesong" was written by Robert Smith for his longtime love, Mary Poole, who is now his longtime wife and the muse for many of his songs and videos. This is a nearly perfect, romantic, sexy song with lyrics like "Whenever I'm alone with you, You make me feel like I am home/young/whole/fun again." Hearing and being influenced by The Cure at a very early age I have no doubt they helped form my feelings on romance, love, and even how to conquer the sad and moody times or just let it envelope you sometimes which is necessary for working through the muck every so often.
I love the dichotomy of someone looking one particular gothy way and having this sweet, dreamlike voice wishing for forever togetherness and harmony. It's almost like he was plucked out of a Shakespearean play, he doesn't seem real or of this world. So whenever I confuse and confound men, which I'm wont to do, I can send them to Disintegration and let them see why. "Whatever words I say, I will always love you" is perfect because it acknowledges that our lives together are long and uncertain but regardless of things that happen and are said... the love is and should always be there. The Cure... keeping families together since 1977.
I was frightened the first time I heard the opening lines to the closing song on Wish:
I think I've reached the point
Where giving up and going on
Are both the same dead end to me
Both the same old song
It sounded like the beginning of a suicide note to me, the anguished pleas of someone at their breaking point. You can read it that way but after several listens I realized the despair is real but the desperation is different. This is ambivalence, not a death wish. Doing something and doing nothing may take him different places but they feel the same in the end.
We are finite beings in an infinite universe and whether it's joy, pain, love, fear- we reach a place we can no longer distinguish a higher or lower threshold. Things can always get worse (or better) but the mind, soul, and spirit stops counting. Our narrator has reached an uncomfortable numb or as he says it in the second verse, "a tired, disguised oblivion is everything I do." Nothing masks the pain or stimulates the pleasure center of the brain.
The mindset of the man established, we now watch through his eyes the decay of his relationship. It's difficult to tell what he feels for her but it's obvious he feels nothing from her. Her wishes for him, for things from him, feel like empty words and games. The hope she has for him and them turns him off to the point he implores her to stop loving him because he's not who she thinks he is. The unhappiness of a relationship no longer feeding him and one he is failing should make him unhappy, and it does- or it would... if he could feel it.
The suffocation our narrator feels can be heard in the music with the hypnotic drone of a circular melody. Rarely does the tension escalate or retreat, rarely does the music vary. He is stuck in this place and Robert Smith chooses to end the song and the album without letting us off the hook. He offers no hint of redemption or ruin, or does he? Does the title give it away?