Welcome to the new, improved and relaunched BlindedBySound and the resumption of our weekly series Friday We're In Love (With The Cure), a weekly devotional to one of our all-time favorite bands!
For this week's installment of "Friday We're In Love (With The Cure)" I picked my song quickly, wrote it up deftly. and was quite pleased with myself until my ride home from work last night and the song I ultimately chose came on my Spotify and I knew the other song was getting the back shelf treatment.
It's no secret that I love, adore, worship and idolize The Cure and that I along with millions of others consider Wish to be a nearly perfect gathering of their work and sound and a wonderful "Introduction to" for the band which makes it no surprise that both the songs I picked were from that album. While I had "Apart" written and ready to go, the second "To Wish Impossible Things" started with its sweet opening refrains and melancholy guitar followed by: "Remember how it used to be, When the sun would fill up the sky, Remember how we used to feel, Those days would never end" I was putty in Robert Smith's hands once again. I pulled into the parking lot of a park in my neighborhood and just sat back and absorbed this song in its entirety. I honestly believe the nearly two minute intro before the singing could be its own song; it's just so beautiful and moving.
I read once on a fan page that Robert said:" In all relationships there are always aching holes and that's where the impossible wishes come into it." Which to me can be summed up in the perfect lyric:
It was the sweetness of your skin
It was the hope of all we might have been
That fills me with the hope to wish impossible things
Just hearing these words are pretty powerful but his haunting, gorgeous voice injects it with exactly what it takes to know he knows what it is he speaks of. We've all wanted and waited for things to be what they once were or what they never were but we'd always hoped they'd become. There's a certain ache to his voice only the brokenhearted can pick up on and find comfort in. Relationships and people come in and out of our lives on an almost daily basis but only a select few leave that aching hole he speaks of. It's beautiful and tragic and frankly it's what keeps me going each day.
Robert Smith will never be counted among the GuitarGods of Rock & Roll yet he has a patented, distinctive style and tone that is immediately recognizable and it's one of my favorite things about The Cure... so this week I've chosen a song that features some great guitar but not one with that signature sound. What can I say? I'm a contrarian that way.
Smith eschews the liquid tone liquid tone that is a hallmark of many of his mopiest opuses on "How Beautiful You Are" from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me in favor of a chiming, rolling riff that forms the foundation for one of his catchiest melodies. This wasn't a single but it really could have been, this song playing perfectly into The Cure's poppier fare.
In addition to those great guitars and an effervescent vocal from Smith, who sounds practically giddy by his standards, is one hell of a cool bass line. He remains in fine voice these decades later but I doubt he could sing with the same effervescence he does here.
You may not think ear candy when you think of The Cure but that versatility is just one of many things that make them such a timeless, important band and something many critics and casual listeners fail to fully appreciate.
The album version of "How Beautiful You Are" is the best version but if you have the fantastic Join The Dots box set (and no Cure fan should be without it!), there's an alternate take on this song also worth hearing. The differences in the version are subtle but noticeable. In both cases, this is a gem in a deep, deep catalog we will continue to celebrate for many weeks to come!