Friday We're In Love (With The Cure): "Torture" & "Want"

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Okay, so we missed a week... we are getting better, though, at making our weekly love letter to The Cure, you know, weeky...

HEATHER

This week's song for Friday We're In Love (With The Cure) comes courtesy of 1987's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Which subsequently helped put our beloved band on the mainstream map in America, becoming their first album to reach the Billboard Top 40. I chose "Torture"  because the song title alone covers most areas of my life right now without even getting into the lyrics. My daily grind job has been a source of torture as of late, leaving my progeny to go to said job is torture, dealing with certain people in my life... torture, not getting the one I want... getting the one I don't want... you get the idea.

Robert Smith leads us off with...

"I'm in the room without a light
The room without a view
I'm here for one more treacherous night
Another night with you"

...which anyone who feels stuck in any situation they'd rather not be in can relate to. You're not where you want to be, but, why don't you leave? Delicious torture is the answer. This song is fabulous from the sultry intro to the haunting lyrics to the jaunty horns; which seem to be in juxtaposition to the song's content.

This song has always been a mystery to me, never really grasping if it's a bad relationship, if he's alone and singing about himself or it's a fun little S & M romp we're hearing about. With lyrics like:

"My body is cut and broken
It's shattered and sore
My body is cut wide open
I can't stand anymore
It tortures me to move my hands
To try to move at all...Hanging like this
Hanging on your back
I'm helpless again"

are oddly sexy and made my 13-year old brain swim with the possibilities. Torture isn't always bad my friends and sometimes we seek it out, some of us more than others. Now go listen to this gem of a song and lose yourself in the darkness that is Robert Smith's brilliant brain.

JOSH

It probably took me a week to get all the way through Wild Mood Swings because my mind was blown by the lead track, "Want" and it simply refused to let me listen to any other song. I'd get to the end, tell myself I'd let the CD roll to the next song, and quickly hit the button to start this all over again. I love Wish and will never say a bad word against it but it wasn't until I heard "Want" that I realized what was missing from that album. This. The opening, chiming guitar notes with the distinct Robert Smith sound wrapped themselves around me and held me hostage. "Want" can still captivate me that same way all these years later.

In addition to the return of the brilliant guitar sound and sweeping keyboards are lyrics that made sense to me in 1996 but hit even harder and resonate more deeply now as I approach 40, firmly esconced in middle age terrain. Robert is restless, desperate to feel alive, and nothing is satisfying- at least not for long. Pursuing pleasure in the form of hedonistic highs leaves him empty, more tired from the pursuit and haunted by the elusive happiness. Not only is he fighting the malaise, he hears the clock ticking louder, moments of his life falling away and trailing behind him.