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1/1/1981  Unknown UK Source
The Cure: 'Faith' (Fiction)

Ties too tight, trousers too short, too few pints, still scared to dance, where's Keith Richard now, Fidelma? I want to go home all over again, even though I've barely arrived. Things keep getting too complex.

Instilled with its own sense of the dramatic and carrying a phial of melodrama for later consumption in a purple left-hand, enter 'Faith', The Cure's next instalment on the endless route of rock 'n' roll carnage.... 'another pint of Drambui, barman, and send a nubile up to my room with a pint of ether, well, boys, as I was...' Sorry! Seems to be some confusion here.

'Faith' acknowledges and documents the instinctive mournfulness at times of bereavement, of severance, of a collapse in communication. Moulding meticulous sound (the marvellous production of Mike Hedges) with careful words, tones and beats, The Cure attempt to alleviate and illuminate the causes and curses of confusion, but, naturally, defeat themselves because of choosing to recreate. This record acknowledges little more than almost total, utter helplessness.

Discussion as to the desirability of such a conclusion would only lead to... confusion. What is more important is that 'Faith' doesn't dilute or compromise itself or The Cure. It is a record of personality and weakness, but as such is effective, and, perversely, enjoyable. It makes no outlandish claims, merely stakes its territory and gets on with it. One gets the overwhelming impression that The Cure feel all this is largely pointless, and somewhat ridiculous.

'Faith' begins where most records end. It is filled with modesty. Teddy-boys won't like it. It is vulnerable, betraying neither angst nor anger, because finally it is too frightened. The Cure, circuitously and indirectly, lament the loss of innocence and the growth of suspicion, of predetermined attitudes, of 'approaches' and, ultimately, their obstruction of human intercourse - conversational, personal, political and sexual. It could be argued that 'Faith' merely adds to this problem. Its principle is uncertainty and indecision, its words are (purposely) imprecise and selfish, but I disagree. Advice only leads to another cul-de-sac. Finally there's 'nothing left but Faith', as Robert Smith whines.

There remain certain truths and instincts, certain values. 'Faith' does not request a return to the womb, but instead a confidence in simple, basic human gestures. As pop music barks up the wrong tree again, self-obsessed and artificially preened to perfection (?), The Cure retain the ethic of modesty, openness, impossibility of perfection and rigorous relevance.

Pop music is almost invariably a take-on and a waste of time. The Cure aren't.

- John McKenna


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