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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Same Deep Water as Always: The Cure Releases Album of Nostalgia

For me, it was 1989, the year things started really pulling together in my life and I finally escaped the exile of the unpopular and uncool. I was a sophomore in high school and free from my awkward phase of feathered hair and acne prone skin, I was accepted at last.

I found myself in the “in” crowd, but not the one most of you may remember. I belonged to the “sensitive artists” as I have dubbed us and we were so cool. We dyed our hair amazing colors (some of us still do) and wore black everything, right down to our torn fishnet tights. We were Goth before it had a name, draped with crosses and handmade beaded baubles, our hands sporting henna stains and chipped Manic Panic polished nails.

We wished we were vampires, children of the night from Anne Rice’s Rue de la Black Pit Of Sorrow and nobody had ever suffered like we did. We hid from the sun and in doing so took our place in history, repeating what every generation of youth before us has done; we rebelled. Of course, we knew more than all those generations before us, so ours was a rebellion of truth.

Some of us acted in school drama clubs, some of us tried to commit suicide (or at least let people think we wanted to die) and some of us buried our angst and sorrow in music and letters to distant friends we called soul mates. Some of us did all three. The soundtrack to these years contained many artists. The most memorable of whom was The Cure.

In their latest release, The Cure finally clues in to the fact that they had a decade or so of success and it is that period of genius we, their loyal minions, will always remember. Just out this month, “The Cure: Greatest Hits” album sent my poor fragile psyche into a feather-spewing tailspin. Greatest Hits? Isn’t this something I used to laugh maniacally at when my parent’s beloved Johnny Cash and Cat Stevens released albums with this subtitle? Could it be that I am old? GASP!

I recovered somewhat. Then, I listened to this album and slipped back to 1989. Chock full of all that is The Cure, this collection of hits covers their most popular songs, with a few additions of unreleased tracks and acoustic numbers, good for studying by on a slow Thursday evening. Including such tracks as “Why Can’t I Be You?” and “Lovesong,” the album tugs at those deep hooks the band set into our flesh when we were still young and tender and threatens to pull little chunks of us off in the process.

The magic that is The Cure, the unseen force of devotion we feel for them seeps from behind the disk liner and washes over you through this double CD set. Worth every penny spent, this album is a rude awakening to our Age gone by as well as our age, which snuck up on us when we were trying to be grown-ups.

Pick up a copy of “The Cure: Greatest Hits” this week and remember what it felt like to belong, even if only to a rag-tag bunch of Shakespearean fairies on roller-skates in March. Although they haven’t included my bloodletting favorite of yesteryear, “Same Deep Water As You,” this album will take you back and maybe help you come to terms with what’s ahead.