Friday, March 18, 2016

Morphine 2: Cure For Pain

Everything that made Good so good is taken to the next level on Cure For Pain. The music is tighter and looser as the situations demand, the songs more cinematic and the playing just plain better. And it’s still just sax, drums, slide bass and vocal.
A smoky sax-and-organ piece called “Dawna” creeps out of an alley and back again, and “Buena” sets the basic off-kilter template for the band to follow for the next 35 minutes. “I’m Free Now” sways back and forth as well, through a couple of modulations, before “All Wrong” injects the funk, with a wah-wah sax solo. The years have brought even more songs about a girl named Candy, and Morphine’s is one of the better ones, leading well into the unique “Head With Wings”. But they break from the pattern on “In Spite Of Me”, a gorgeous detour with no sax nor drums, just mandolin, muted guitar and Mark Sandman’s voice through a speaker.
“Thursday” puts us back in familiar territory, gaining power with every break. The title track has all the hallmarks of a radio hit but for the band’s instrumentation and a lyric begging to be misunderstood. The mood continues in order—“Mary Won’t You Call My Name” frenetic and pleading, “Let’s Take A Trip Together” creepy and anti-seductive, “Sheila” just plain wacky. And with perfect pacing, another sad instrumental closes the set. “Miles Davis’ Funeral” is a piece for guitars and percussion, and a fitting title.
Cure For Pain is excellent, but works best at night, on overcast days, or in the middle of a snowstorm. Summertime and sun only get in the way. It’s still one of the best albums of the ‘90s.

Morphine Cure For Pain (1993)—

No comments:

Post a Comment