A lovely snippet called “Lilah” opens the album, plowed aside by “Potion”. “I Know You (Pt. III)”, following on from the two on Good, is very much in their comfort zone. That could almost be said for “Early To Bed” and its noir sentiments, except for the keyboard blasts straight off a Prince album. “Wishing Well” is all slide bass and layered sax, and the title track has a nice touch in the way of a fingerpicked acoustic down in the mix. The fuzz comes out on “Murder For The Money”, switching between Velvet Underground grunge and Morphine groove, and from here the music really begins to seesaw.
The most eerily poignant track is “French Fries W/Pepper”, a clever autobiography that predicts where he’ll be in a few years’ time (hopefully drinking red wine and eating the delicacy in the title). “Empty Box” is a mystery involving the mail, but not in a Velvet Underground way. The backing in “Eleven O’Clock” is crazily insistent, and still matching the barest of lyrics, then it’s back down to the usual mood for “Hanging On A Curtain”, with the barest Mellotron cello. With its electronic backing, “Swing It Low” sounds like nothing else on the album; as it turns out, it was taken from a Sandman solo project.
Like Swimming may have been set up to rake in that Spielberg-backed money, but there’s no real standout along the lines of the last two albums. That said, sometimes there’s no shame in preaching to the converted.
Morphine Like Swimming (1997)—3