Some hero – Robert Smith
Hello, after a seemingly long period of nothing but overwhelming Gabriel Bruce posts with lack of actual musical musings I have returned, well as much as you can between dodging college, writing for sites better than my ever descending one here and attempting to find photography work as you can (speaking of which, anyone in the area that happens to have a double bass -maybe even some horns- they dont mind posing with in a field, you would be very very useful) but anyway I am back and after spending half my life these days on trains thinking about musicians and such, I figured a new feature on such ramblings and dissection was in order.
I know, i know at least one of you that’s paid enough attention (maybe two tops) is now going,there’s only been 2 For The Records why another? well fear not kiddos because i am intending another tomorrow, after this and my Tribes review is done FTR will make a glamourous return, Alexander O’Neal or Placebo, there’s the question.
Robert Smith is the man in this question today though. I have come to the conclusion he undoubtedly has to be the best singer I can think of, The Cure may not necessarily be my favourite band, but that’s just the way it stands.
I’m open to dispute but this is definitely their best song whichever way you look at it, not many bands can keep me interested in every lyric/riff for 9 minutes but From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea excels at that and I’ve spent the past week trying to work out how to explain why it’s just so effective and have concluded it purely comes down to the vocals, yes the guitar’s haunting and the bass is ace but not one person on earth can sing like Robert Smith, if you find someone that can, tell me now because i’ll probably fall in love, but til then the statement stands.
I can say from first hand experience with one too many shopping trips and college encounters with the lovely folk of crawley that it’s not accental either (you heard it here first, Robert Smith is not a chav) It’s genuinely just pretty damn lucky. And that luckiness comes from the fact whenever he sings he sounds like he’s crying, that’s my revelation anyway, it’s been tried and tested on every song they have and it seems to work, the raw emotion in every single note seems to be because it sounds like he’s drowning in his own tears again – even the happy ones – and nobody else seems able to capture that with their voice which is why he is so great. Now whether you’re into the whole emotional singing thing is another story but if you listen to a Cure song eg, Exhibit A above, and don’t connect there must be something wrong with you because it’s purely on a human level.
Granted, when you go through Three Imaginary Boys, it’s not so much obvious but by 4:13 Dream, it’s a skill that’s been honed into incredible, the live performances of pretty much anything they’ve done emphasise that massively too – the main reason I admire him quite so much is because his voice has not changed badly one bit, it seems to have reached a point in the 80s and stayed like it eternally, seeing them at Reading astounded me purely because of that – you take anyone from that era and it’s not the case, I love Morrissey but listen to him now, it’s got older, equally Sumner, I was watching their performance of Blue Monday in Hyde Park for the Olympics a few days ago, it’s all sort of faded, but Robert Smith is exactly the same, in a completely brilliant way. He may look more and more suffocated by his wispy hair and drenched in black layers these days – even some midlife sparkles – but his voice along with persona and prescence is completely still there.
I could ramble on for much more time about it but i think you’ll get the point by now, there’s my justification take what you will of it, it may appear stating the obvious quite a lot but these things never really appear to get said and explained much – also it’s nice to write about something important rather than some dull indie band that are probably ripping off Rob & co. anyway- so there ya go. Since this was such a big one the “heroes” – if you will, i hate that word but “legend” or “rock god” is ten times fucking worse- will get more and more obscure and need some explaining – I hope it’ll be interesting and make you like them too but with people you never can tell.