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Syllabus: Music

Strangeways
Nick Drake Pink Moon (1972, Island) Released two years before Drakes apparent suicide, this haunting final bow has shown enormous influence. Without it thered be no Everything but the Girl, no Belle and Sebastian, no Sufjan Stevens, nor other navel gazers too numerous to list. The albums a mere 28 minutes, but Drakes shy, stark ruminations on heartbreak, alienation, and the pending apocalypse will hook you for life. The Smiths Strangeways, Here We Come (1987, Sire) The album includes two songs with death in the title, a sing-along jingle called Girlfriend In a Coma, and three more tunes about murder (or the mere contemplation of). The band itself even died before the album hit stores! Oh, wellat least the Morrissey-Marr partnership signed off on a high note with this grand ol ber-gay bummer. The Cure Disintegration (1989, Elektra) Sludge-heavy tempos, gloomy guitars, straight-faced love songs as if rendered by Edward Scissorhands. Somehow, the Cures most downbeat effort went on to become the bands masterpiece and a double-platinum smash. Maybe it had something to do with gracious, uplifting sentiments like Ill pull out my heart / And Ill feed it to anyone.
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