Robert Smith, the frontman of The Cure, has a talent for infusing every song he creates with emotion, whether it be the terrors that haunt him at night in “Lullaby” or the elation he feels when seeing his lover in “Just Like Heaven.” It was only natural that the band would cover one of John Lennon’s most emotional songs, given Smith’s ability to channel his own emotions through his music.
The Cure participated in a project to raise funds for the people of Darfur, and many artists covered Lennon’s songs for the cause. While U2 and Green Day both delivered powerful covers of “Instant Karma” and “Working Class Hero,” respectively, The Cure’s rendition of “Love” was particularly intimate.
The song was originally part of Lennon’s solo effort, Plastic Ono Band, and opens with Lennon’s gentle guitar plucking as he sings about finding happiness. It’s a significant moment on the album, which otherwise addresses the difficulties Lennon faced in his childhood, and it feels like he has finally found peace.
The Cure has a reputation for producing emotionally charged music. Even though John Lennon’s “Love” is a peaceful song, The Cure’s cover of the song fits seamlessly into their post-punk sound. The band creates a wall of sound around Robert Smith’s vocals and instrumentation, resulting in a unique version that delves into what love means to him.
Lennon’s original version predicted the sounds of the alternative movement that The Cure would help embody. While Lennon’s version remained at the same dynamic, The Cure’s version is much more intense. The band’s rendition depicts the sweet and sour sides of love, with Smith on his knees, begging to be loved. The Cure’s cover of “Love” is a perfect representation of the nightmare and the happier times of love, in contrast to Lennon’s peaceful dream-like version.