Single Review: The Cure “Just Like Heaven”

Just Like Heaven
Album: 1987
Year: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me

By 1987, The Cure had evolved into a family and an actual rock band, according to Rolling Stone. Robert Smith said the album’s tracks were chosen by a panel of women who rated the songs from one through ten. Smith told Rolling Stone “Just Like Heaven” was his favorite song from the album.

Smith is unable to comprehend the depth of his girlfriend’s love for him in the fragile and passionate “Just Like Heaven.”

Unconstrained guitars and drums open the single, setting an infatuated and worshipping tone. His girlfriend marvels at his ability to make her laugh at the smallest thing. She jumps into his arms, asking if he can pinpoint his feelings for him. If so, she is willing to spend her life with him, regardless of what they do. (“”Show me how you do that trick/The one that makes me scream” she said/”The one that makes me laugh” she said/And threw her arms around my neck/”Show me how you do it/And I promise you I promise that/I’ll run away with you, I’ll run away with you.”)

The breezy guitars and dreams have a brief solo.

Smith is overwhelmed and can only respond by kissing her. He feels as though he’s under constant pressure to make her love him. She notices his distraught, withdrawn look and inquires about his silence. She tells him his insecurity has led him to believe she doesn’t truly love him. (“Spinning on that dizzy edge/I kissed her face and kissed her head/And dreamed of all the different ways I had/To make her glow/”Why are you so far away?” she said/”Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you/That I’m in love with you.”)

In the chorus, he is able to articulate his love. He admires her tenderness and loyalty. He sees she is just like him: uncertain and alone. He compares her to an angel who glides on the ocean, not caring if the water could swallow her. She’s everything he hoped for. (“You/Soft and only/You/Lost and lonely/You/Strange as angels/dancing in the deepest oceans/Twisting in the water/You’re just like a dream.”)

He awakes to blinding sunlight, baring his emotions. He’s been living in a fog, struggling to say her name aloud. It’s only him. She has since left him. He observes the waves which remind him of her and thinks of her. A part of him will miss her and wonder how she is. (“Daylight licked me into shape/I must have been asleep for days/And moving lips to breathe her name/I opened up my eyes/And found myself alone alone/Alone above a raging sea/That stole the only girl I loved/And drowned her deep inside of me.”)

The chorus is edited down for the last time it’s sung. Smith is regretful as he remembers her. In the last line, he compares her to heaven. (“You/Soft and only/You/Lost and lonely/You/Just like heaven.”)

At the end, Smith realizes he was foolish to be scared of his emotions and to let her outpouring of love get to him. But it’s too late. Now, he seeing the ocean is a reminder of the woman he let go.

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