Friday, July 22, 2016

Morphine 3: Yes

Where Cure For Pain captured the music of late night, Morphine’s third album begins earlier in the evening. Rather than lure the listener in, the first notes on Yes are an insistent sax trill, going right into the dirty groove of “Honey White”. Thanks to the magic of cinema, the song is used perfectly for a five-second scene in Beautiful Girls; don’t do a Google search for it unless you want to go down a wormhole of porn.
It’s a great tune, and possibly their best, and a great way to kick off the album, particularly when followed by the familiar stroll of “Scratch” and “Radar”. A little more late-night, “Whisper” is a direct descendant of the previous album, with a very subtle chromatic descent if its own before and after the sax solo. The title track does a lot with only a few words, and the slide bass comes to the fore on “All Your Way”.
“Super Sex” manages to infuse the Peter Gunn with funk, then the sound reverts to the moodier template. “I Had My Chance”, recorded for a radio show, finds that Cure For Pain groove, and then “The Jury” goes way out over an aimless groove for a metaphoric monologue. A similar, but better beat detour dominates the breaks on “Sharks”, which positively swings the rest of the time. “Free Love” is about as menacing as a band with this lineup can get, used here as a setup for the sole albeit obligatory solo Mark Sandman track, the so-soft-you-might-miss-it “Gone For Good”.
Yes didn’t propel the band to superstardom, but it did lead to major-label interest. Better than all of that, it shows that Cure For Pain didn’t use up all the mojo. They fit nicely on both sides of a Maxell 90—or these days, squeeze onto one CD-R.

Morphine Yes (1995)—4

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