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Before the great acts of the 1960's, popular music served a vital though less than romantic role in society: pop music as generational identity, but one that was to be expressed through the polished and meticulously framed presentation of individuals reinforcing of cultural ideologies of the time, handpicked for their efficacy in reflecting the "edge" of newly accepted norms of social behavior. Subject matter was relatively uniform; yes, romance was frequently visited, but more as a script/routine than as a genuine expression of passion & sincere longing. With the counter-culture music of the mid-century, popular music was pushed, in large party by demand of the youth, towards a more sincerely expressive and legitimately artistic sphere; unique style, eloquent lyrics, edgy innovation were sanctioned and encouraged: the more sincere the artist, the more they were rewarded by the cutting edge, given place in the spectacle of mass culture as a valuable cultural commodity to be cherished and nurtured. But with the increasing reverence for individual stardom has come a fetishistic obsession with individual celebrity, a perverse concern with the personal life of the artist, not to compare and reflect with the common experience, but instead as a disturbing form of personality cult...the obsession with fame & fortune over talent & artistic expression. In turn, the lyrical expression of the artists has lost it's social worth, it's universal appeal to the common listener: musicians are more representatives of particular lifestyles which are virtually inaccessible to the majority of regular human beings, glorifications of the pointless excesses of celebrity. These so called "artists" have little or no talent; what is important here is simply that they epitomize a "new sound" that can be capitalized and exploited until it no longer excites the easily distracted and quick-to-forget audiences of specialized sub-genres of popular trend. The expression, the music and lyrics of a musician or band, producer or DJ should be for the service of the listener; it should reflect a common human experience: sorrow, happiness, lust, jealousy---it doesn't have to be uncommon, just truthful, honest & sincere---traits which are, unfortunately, the least valued in any artist of modern spectacular obsession.
The Cure were one of the last standing acts of sincere artistic musical expression; their subject content was meant to be recognized and sympathized with, to explicate common sorrow through the outlet of popular music. Their plight was our plight, and vice-versa. When listening to their music, the subject content makes itself known, shows itself shamelessly to be analyzed, thought over and evaluated fully; their music was real expression of real human emotion...not a fetishized 2nd-copy of real experience but a legitimate expression of the band's emotional struggles and philosophical dilemmas. Their success was hard-earned and justly wrought---and their music has stood the test of time because they refused to stray from the path of self-motivated and self-honest life as represented through art---far from the plastic, supposedly niche lifestyle cults & specialized spheres of individual vanity.

Compiled by Francis Englehardt & Paul Nickerson for slow to speak.
Side A. 
1. Other Voices
Side B.   
1. The Figurehead
2. The Same Deep Water As You  
Artist Title
Label Cat.#
Year Format
2008 12"
Additional Info.  

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