In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: As summer draws to a close, we’re featuring our favorite songs about fall.
The Cure, “The Last Day Of Summer” (2000)
I love fall for the most part—I was born in the fall, I’ll probably die in a fall (I’m really clumsy), and I like wearing jackets. But I’m not ready to let go of summer just yet. Maybe I feel shortchanged by this particular summer, which had what felt like the rainiest month ever but apparently wasn’t even the rainiest June on record.
So I’ve been listening to The Cure’s “The Last Day Of Summer,” off the band’s 2000 Bloodflowers album. Even though it’s aptly titled to help me wallow in my post-summertime blues, it isn’t really a tearful goodbye to the hottest time of the year. The chorus—if there is one—describes a summer’s end that’s never felt so cold or old. The verses are made up of classic Cure lyrics and themes, which question the singer’s feelings and despair of a lack of originality.
The song feels like standard Robert Smith fare, and it’s on the record that completed the trilogy of albums he claimed best expressed the band. Fans have agreed to disagree with Smith, instead compiling the unofficial Dark Trilogy. There’s some overlap, as both lists include 1982’s Pornography; Smith filled out his set with Disintegration and Bloodflowers. But many fans would line up earlier albums like Seventeen Seconds and Faith alongside Pornography as the triad most representative of The Cure.
Regardless of how it compares to fan favorites, Bloodflowers was a return to form for the band, with its prominent keyboards and melancholic feel. Smith is especially dejected in “The Last Day Of Summer,” which began as a collection of short stories filled with his own regrets. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, I empathize with his sense of missed opportunities.