The Cure, "Disintegration: Deluxe Edition"

3.5

The release of the Cure's 1989 album, "Disintegration," sparked a dual watershed moment in pop culture. The brooding, sprawling masterpiece was a commercial and critical tipping point for the English band, garnering praise and platinum sales alike. More broadly, such singles as "Love Song" and "Pictures of You" helped usher in mainstream acceptance of the alternative and goth movements. The three-disc "Disintegration: Deluxe Edition" presents a (virtually undetectable) remastered copy of the album, a disc of demos and rarities. It also includes "Entreat Plus," a "completed" version of "Entreat," the 1989 live recording of the Cure at London's Wembley Arena that constained all but four tracks from "Disintegration." The band's musical unity is evident in the demos; the majority are essentially replicas of the final product. The nuances that Robert Smith and David M. Allen lent the final production--warm tones, balanced tempos, cascading guitars--saved the album's comforting gloom from becoming innocuous. "Entreat Plus" finds the act again carefully preserving each album detail live, the raw sound of the cheering crowd curiously stripped. But Cure fans were never ones to visibly appear too ecstatic anyway. --Christa Titus