Thursday, May 23, 2013

#380: The Cure-Why Can't I Be You? (Top 500 Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)

(Top Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)
Song: "Why Can't I Be You?"
Artist: The Cure
Release Date: April, 1987
From the Album: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)

Quick Hit: "Why Can't I Be You?" built on the college radio success of the previous album's "In Between Days" and "Close to Me," just barely missing the Top 40 and laying the groundwork for the mainstream pop success of "Just Like Heaven" and "Love Song." Reverting to the antic, herky-jerky new wave pop of earlier singles like "Let's Go to Bed" and "The Lovecats," "Why Can't I Be You?" has the remarkable ability to be simultaneously incredibly catchy and frankly rather annoying, the latter quality primarily due to the willful shrieking of Robert Smith's lead vocal, which in a couple of places ("Everything you do is simply dreamy...") goes for trills not heard since the heyday of Tiny Tim, or at least early Morrissey. That hectoring lead vocal aside, "Why Can't I Be You?" has all of the pop suss of the Cure's singles from the preceding couple of years, distilled into three minutes of cumulative hooks that build from the jittery guitar riff that opens the song, to the answering synthesized horns, all the way to the dramatic build to a dead stop at the song's breathless end.

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