52 Albums That Changed My Life, Chapter 44: Bloodflowers
I’m sure that certain albums appearing on this list make little to no sense to other music fans or critics but part of the idea is to reiterate the fact that music is very much a personal thing. The songs and albums that influence us may come at different times or decades of our lives than others. Hence why out of all the amazing albums The Cure have put out over the years, it’s Bloodflowers that makes my list.
Don’t get me wrong, Bloodflowers is a great album but it definitely isn’t Disintegration. The main reason I have Bloodflowers on this list is it’s the album that finally convinced me that buying an album by The Cure was worth the money.
My first encounter with the music of The Cure was when “Friday I’m in Love” hit the airways and became The Cure’s biggest known hit. At the time, the song just sounded like so much crap to me. It was light and breezy and what was the deal with dude’s make up? No thank you, I’ll go back to Ministry and Skinny Puppy.
To his credit, my friend Jeremy insisted Wish was a good album beyond that song and pressured me into borrowing his tape of the album. I was unimpressed, at the time I felt it had one good song on it, “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” and that was it.
Ah, the rebellion of youth.
But The Cure would try very slowly to creep into my life. The first shot across the bow was “Burn” which appeared on The Crow soundtrack. Great song but I was still a little leery. This was followed by “Dredd Song” on the soundtrack to the fairly terrible Stallone Judge Dredd film. What really caught me was The Cure performed at Glastonbury and Much Music carried it and I was at home the weekend to catch the performance. They were just so good the few songs that I saw, I vowed to give their next album more of a chance.
Now, I could be wrong but when Bloodflowers came out a few years later, I’m sure The Edge 102.1 played the entire album as a world album premiere. I miss these types of events, it was a great way to hear the album before it came out and build up hype for it. I was pretty much mesmerized from the word go. This band was everything I liked from the goth bands I had grown to love as well as elements of Joy Division but a bit of quirkiness and a sound that made The Cure different than other bands.
On a whole, Bloodflowers is a very good album. I have a hard time describing it beyond saying it sounds like an album that you want The Cure to put out. It’s dark and moody, the songs are well written and nothing sounds quite like The Cure. The best songs from the album are the opener, “Out of This World,” which sets the tone for the rest of the album and “Maybe, Someday,” which shows off how Robert Smith can write something kind of sad and kind of poppy all at the same time. In the murk of the song, there’s a weird jaunty rhythm to it but yet it works perfectly. “The Loudest Sound” is also really solid with the band experimenting a little with some sounds they hadn’t used before and added them to the band’s arsenal.
The one thing about Bloodflowers that you should know before going into it is that the songs are long. This is neither good or bad as the songs are the exact length that they should be but half of the songs on Bloodflowers are 6 minutes or longer.
But for me, the importance of Bloodflowers is that it leads me to reopen my mind to The Cure. From listening to the album premiere, I knew that thematically, Bloodflowers was part of a trilogy of albums with Pornography and Disintegration. Those became part of my collection shortly after with Disintegration becoming one of the more lent of albums in my collection. From there I would go on to revisit Wish which as it turned out was a really good album.
While I love Bloodflowers, the best way to listen to it is to kind of watch it. The Cure performed a concert in Berlin where they played Pornography, Disintegration, and Bloodflowers in their enteritis and in order. Listening to them that way, they have an amazing flow and you truly get how connected the music is from those albums. It’s kind of weird to listen to a series of albums via a television, but trust me, it’s worth a listen.
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If friday i’m in love is your first encounter with the cure you won’t understand their best music