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Morphine - Cure for Pain (Cover Artwork)

Morphine

Morphine: Cure for PainCure for Pain (1993)
Rykodisc

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: ngs091ngs091
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Remember the 1950s? I certainly don't. I wasn't born until 1985, yet I am somewhat educated on the counter-cultures of the time period that were in the form of the beats. I can also tell you one thing, as well. If I was living back then and Morphine was transported from the 1990s to that scene, t.
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Remember the 1950s? I certainly don't.

I wasn't born until 1985, yet I am somewhat educated on the counter-cultures of the time period that were in the form of the beats. I can also tell you one thing, as well. If I was living back then and Morphine was transported from the 1990s to that scene, the sound would fit perfectly into this time period. When listening to their bluesy and jazzy indie rock sound on their second album, Cure for Pain, you can picture a dive bar, with Jack Kerouac sitting next to you and William Burroughs on the other side. Naturally, these cool cats are puffing away on cigars and drinking heavily.

The sound of a lounge is achieved by a number of points. First, it's singer Mark Sandman's Cheshire cat voice -- so relaxed, yet also ice cold. Next, it's his two-string slide bass (note that Morphine rarely uses a guitar), giving the music an extra sense of baritone iciness. Then, speaking of this baritone sound, the music is augmented by Dana Colley's baritone-saxophone, thus giving the music an extra dimension of groove.

While the lyrics are often simple, they sometimes have great images as well. A line on "All Wrong" tells of a woman's "black hair like raven's crawling all over her shoulders, all the way down." It's this strewn-about sense of beat poetry that adds to Cure for Pain's flavor.

The great songs are mostly in the first third of the album, as it does get less appealing as it goes along, but never truly deteriorates. "Buena" is the first song aside from the intro, and it starts with a bass that slides nice into a held back but perfectly placed drum bash, and then to the Sandman's voice that comes crisp and in plain hearing. Then, at just under the halfway point of the song, the vocals stop to let the saxophone kick in with those instruments that have been following the same sound the whole time to create a hip-swinging dance-jerk.

"I'm Free Now" has another lyric that goes, "I'm free now to direct a movie, sing a song, or write a book about yours truly / How I'm so interesting, I'm so great / But I'm really just a fuck-up and it's such a waste." Pure badass brilliance, I tell you. Brilliant! While Cure for Pain dishes out other greatly classy, subtle and moodier tracks, like the fine suicidal love song, "Candy," and the hopeful title track, a tender 'nâ?? soft tale about drug abuse. "Thursday" is another humdinger about infidelity that has both a sense of menace and mystique in the lyrics amiss its driving beats.

Cure for Pain never exactly missteps, as it just merely has songs not as good as the previous ones mentioned; the last four songs feel like less successful copies of those songs that came before it, but again, about half of these songs are or are very close to being classics.

Now, although Morphine would go on to do a couple more albums, tragedy would strike when Sandman died of heart failure while on stage in Italy. He was only a mere 47-years-old at the time.

With warmest regards, Mr. Sandman, we miss you.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hamonrye (May 21, 2010)

so good

dboon (January 8, 2009)

amazing

borntaloze (January 7, 2009)

score is for gentelmen... my favorite album of all time. ngs091and i are apparently kindred souls. i just read the 33 1/3 book on gentlemen. highly recommended.

xote (January 7, 2009)

Yeah EyeHateGod rules. But so did morphine. Both 90's drug rock. Awesome.

nocigar (January 7, 2009)

this is AWESOME. thank you for reviewing this!

leecorsoisapenis (January 7, 2009)

I meant misanthropee's comment. It's like I was just out-firsted!

Jim

leecorsoisapenis (January 7, 2009)

That last comment made me lol.

Also, some great albums being reviewed this week. This album being one of them.

Jim

ngs091 (January 7, 2009)

"I like that this reviewer did morphine and pavement back to back. I feel like I'm in high school again. Too bad you're 7 years or so younger than me. You would've enjoyed the early nineties"

Thank You!

Ya; the 1990â??s would have been great!

I also sent in a review of another one of my faves from that time period, The Afghan Whigs.

I reviewed their album, Gentleman, a very good record. yet, I admit I do not like it as much as their last album,1965, itâ??s still a stunner.

DrGunn (January 7, 2009)

this is one of those bands i've been meaning to check out for a long itme.

Misanthropee (January 7, 2009)

Nowhere near as good as "Take as Needed for Pain."

borntaloze (January 7, 2009)

I like that this reviewer did morphine and pavement back to back. I feel like I'm in high school again. Too bad you're 7 years or so younger than me. You would've enjoyed the early nineties.

Cos (January 7, 2009)

Definitely their most accessible, hook-filled album. "Cure For Pain" doesn't have as much of the strange, trippy tracks that pepper some of their other albums. If want to check out this band, I'd say its a pretty good place to start.

"The Night" is probably my favorite of theirs, mostly because its has some absolutely titanic songs (The Night, A Good Woman Is Hard To Find, Take Me With You). Also, I just got "Sandbox" a few months ago and reminded me of how much I miss this band and how fucking pissed I am that I had tickets to the Soul Coughing/Morphine double bill (with the Blues Explosion a strong probability to jump on as well, like they were scheduled to in Seattle) and fucking Mark Sandman had to die. Fuck. Fuck fuck.

maverick (January 7, 2009)

Awesome band, awesome record, I definitely regret never getting to see them before Mark passed away.

I think my favorite disc of theirs is Yes, mainly because it's the first one I ever heard.

-Scott

bytheslice (January 6, 2009)

This band is soooo underrated. "Yes" is my favorite album of theirs. This album also kills it. I think Mark Sandman is more authentically badass than any band you can think of.

I think what stands out is not only Morphine's setup (singer w/ a 2-string bass, a baritone sax player, a drummer), but how well-constructed all their songs were. These songs truly stand the test of time.

oskorei (January 6, 2009)

Sharks patrol these waters. Sharks.

warmchords (January 6, 2009)

"pure badass brilliance"

great line!

foldskool (January 6, 2009)

Album is fantastic, this review lacks insight though. As someone who cut his teeth during Morphine's heyday I'd much rather see some new ideas about this band then the obvious. But thanks for appreciating this great band.

toxic_toast (January 6, 2009)

This could be the best album ever. Stoked it got reviewed here, not stoked at the score. This is a solid 5 stars.

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