The reasons have nothing to do with breaking new ground--the last two brilliant collections did the exploring. Disintegration sifts through the findings and synthesizes the elements that have made the English band one of the most entrancing of the '80s: The focus of the earlier, darkness-drenched LPs is merged with the greater musical/lyrical/mood dimensions of the later ones.
Robert Smith's continuing fascination with love and madness no longer causes his voice to take off like a crazed bat on every other song--only on the desperation-haunted title song does it strain as of old. And dig the playful new purr on Lullaby.
The greatest thing about Disintegration is its sound--a gorgeous fabric of rumbling bass, cathedral organ, swirling chimes, rain effects, Arabian Nights rhythms, and several styles of guitar--all supporting some of Smith's most probing and poetic lyrics yet.
You'll have to wait for those lyrics longer than ever, though: Now every song begins with a long instrumental intro--exactly the sort of thing that separates [t]he Cure from even the best of more normal rock bands. Love 'em for that.