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Friday, July 13, 2007

“Close to Me” by the Cure VS “The Caterpillar” by the Cure

posted by on July 13 at 8:00 AM

The thing is, I never really liked the Cure. Or maybe I was turned off by their fans. I guess I thought I couldn’t outwardly like them because I’m not into eyeliner, black dyejobs, lipstick on men. I’m not, you know, goth. But I’ve always thought “Close to Me” is—and I rarely use this word when describing music—amazing. And I’ve always thought the same thing about “Caterpillar.” I fall strangely but whole-heartedly for both songs, so they both get the BSE(TW) treatment today.

There are so many awesome elements at work in “Close to Me”: Robert Smith’s queasy, breathy vocals; a great horn line (plus a kickass sax-vs-trumpet solo in the middle); that dinky keyboard/percussion accent; that quietly humming organ that swells beneath the whole thing; and most importantly that badass breakbeat that’s actually totally funky. It all comes together in a masterful arrangement that will stay with you for days.

Smith warbles about that excruciating, intoxicating moment where the mere proximity of love, just the potential for it, is enough to pop your eyes out of your head. It’s an universal human emotion that this song conveys perfectly. I believe Smith would rather long for love than have it—which is an alright outlook, if you think about it.

“Caterpillar” is similar in that poor Robert still refuses to tarnish the object of his desire—this “caterpillar girl”—by actually obtaining it. “You flicker and you’re beautiful, you float inside my head”—that’s as close as he’s gonna get. She changes willfully, habitually, more than a guy can keep up with.

And the song—it’s all about that chorus, that beautifully sung chorus and its gorgeous, gospel-ish melody. It’s one of the most uplifting, almost spiritual melodies I’ve ever heard in a pop song. An acoustic guitar strums underneath, a clean conga tap keeps pulse against castanets and keyboard chords. The beginning, too—that weird violin and scratched piano strings. It’s the sound of butterflies flocking, or maybe the sound of metamorphosis. The whole thing is another exquisitely arranged gem.

Both of these songs prove that goth got soul and the Cure is quite fucking good, which is why they tie for The Best Songs Ever (This Week).

RSS icon Comments

1

They're not breathy vocals, they're just thin. Kyoto Song is the best song on Head on the Door.

Posted by vegetable lasagna | July 13, 2007 9:19 AM
2

The video for Close To Me is one of my favorite videos ever. Playing a comb in a wardrobe!

Posted by alicia | July 13, 2007 9:42 AM
3

So loooove Close To Me!!!

Posted by racheal huffman | July 13, 2007 10:06 AM
4

Anything that Robert Smith does will always be amazing...

Posted by Pineapple Princess | July 13, 2007 4:30 PM
5

"Close To Me" has always been one of my favourite Cure songs.

Posted by bunnypuncher | July 14, 2007 2:25 AM

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