Here it is — the great everlasting gobstopper of sonic misery. When all the other sad songs relent and admit a tiny ray of light, this one pulls down the black-out shades, puts on purple eyeliner and curls into a fetal position. The fact that Ian Curtis hung himself shortly after its 1980 release undoubtedly has some effect on how we perceive it now, but the relentlessness of its dolor would be a towering achievement in misanthropy even if it were sung by John Denver. That said, Love Will Tear Us Apart is still oddly, eerily beautiful, and you’ll find no better musical friend during those brief, irrational moments you’re convinced that you’re destined to be alone forever.
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