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Pornography [Deluxe Edition]

4.7 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Pornography (Deluxe) (US Release) by The Cure
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2016)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino Elektra
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • ASIN: B0007XT8AS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Johnston on April 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
For fifteen years consumers have had to live with muddy-sounding, flat, low-rent mastering of this classic album. Now, finally, we've got something akin to actual hi-fi. The remastering is amazing. I'm listening to it right now on my wife's cheap Panasonic shelf system and can hear at least four new levels of nuance in just about every instrument in the mix. I honestly feel like I'm hearing the album for the first time.

Robert's voice in particular now actually sounds like it's coming through the flames at you, bounding down from his implosive pulpit like a hail of nails. This album has always been billed as the group's most depressing work -- a love letter to self hate and cryptic defeatism. It is. And beautifully so. Much of the current generation of corporate goth rockers (Manson et al) sound positively silly compared to this album.

As for the extras, well, they're a mixed bag. The studio demos often sound like completely different tracks (particularly the Hanging Garden demo which sounds more like something off "Faith.") These are worth the price alone. The live material is certainly inspired but most of it comes from audience recordings. Nonetheless, with live material from this era being so rare, anything is better than nothing.

Overall, I'd call this an automatic purchase for any Cure fan and certainly the preferred format for new fans to discover one of their best albums. Short of the work of groups such as Current 93, absolutely nothing else comes close to depicting the inherent inner-violence of depression. Pornography indeed.
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Format: Audio CD
As each album had been getting progressively darker, there seemed little room for the Cure to go after "Faith", but "Pornography" found something new-- Robert Smith (guitar, vocals, keys), Simon Gallup (bass, keys), and Lol Tolhurst (drums, keys) constructed something dark, edgy, and frightening, taking the haunted mood of the last album and adding aggression and noise. The guitars have become more distorted and louder, and the drums have been moving into a somewhat more tribal pattern. The result is something much more in your face than anything the Cure had done.

Nowhere is this more obvious than the opener, probably best summed by the line "waiting for the death blow", "One Hundred Years" is full of edgy guitars and despondant passion. This sort of passionate delivery is a thread throughout the album-- take the powerful invocation of "I will never be clean again" on "The Figurehead" (over a great tribal drum pattern from Tolhurst) or the plodding but effective "Siamese Twins", rescued by a great Smith vocal.

While the album is pretty dark, it does get fairly varied-- "A Strange Day" seems almost optimistic (if you don't listen too closely to what Smith is singing) and the album does cover a number of moods, from rock ("One Hundred Years") to pseudo-ambient ("A Short Term Effect") to a sort of gothic progressive rock ("Cold"). Start to finish, its a fantastic album, and unlike many albums with a somewhat unvaried mood, this one is quite listenable.

As the rest of the Cure remasters, the sound is fantastic, crisp, clean, showing every nuance of the music and allowing its expressiveness to breathe. Again, the liner notes include a candid and honest essay about the creation of the album and the tour that followed, and a disc of bonus material is included.
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Format: Audio CD
Unquestionably this was Robert Smith's darkest hour. This 8-track release is oppressive in its bleak attack. It deserves 5 stars due to its sheer brilliance and originally; nothing ever sounded like this before or since. But for newcomers reading these great reviews be forewarned - I did not use the word oppressive by accident. Every moment of 'Pornography' is black, despeairing and tortured. If you are on the verge of suicide this could be a rope thrown to save you or it could be a mack truck with a plow on the front driving you further over the edge. If you can get past that then what you will find is a stunningly creative album that creates some of the most sepulchral music ever heard.
The band at this time was stripped down to 3 members: Smith on vocals and guitar and keyboards, Simon Gallup on bass, and Lawrnece Tolhurst on drums. Strangely it may have been Tolhurst's lack of musical talent (an issue that would later get him fired) that created much of the atmosphere. The drumming is very flat and mechanical sounding creating an absolutely dead feel throughout; even sound dies as the stick hits the skins. Smith's voacl sound desperate and often deranged filled with lurid, bizzare imagery. Gallup's bass is potent and overwhelming in a style that only he could pull off.
My favorites are "One Hundred Years" with its sense of desperation and unrequited longing. "A Short Term Effect" is saturated with doom as the characters of the song try to laugh in the face of what may come, "Something small falls out of your mouth and we all laugh". "A Strange Day" is angst-ridden but with soemthing bordering on beauty buried deep within. Finally the title track is an complete descent into madness, as the closer on an album like this should be.
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