Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Morphine Cure For Pain 1993

Morphine managed to be largely overlooked during most of their ten years. But they are at once fascinating and a bunch of fun. With their odd-ball instrumentation of two-stringed bass, baritone sax and drums, they should never have sounded so much like a fine rock band as they most certainly did. Credit Mark Sandman's great songs and Jerome Deupree's brilliant drumming. And the best rock guitar ever played on saxophone, Dana Colley's baritone, frequently multi-tracked to fatten the already fat bari-tone.

So it's just another rock power trio, at least in some ways. But there's a bit of jazz, and strangely powerful rhythm, smart lyrics, and an expansive sound culled from the limitations they impose on themselves. These three guys did more than work well together, they were thinking and breathing as a unit.

Side one is just about perfect. The single Beuna rocks with a jazzy swing, while the mid-tempo I'm Free Now is a terrific melody. All Wrong, Candy, and A Head With Wings all have killer sax breaks and songwriting highlights either lyrical or melodic to recommend them. Sandman picks up an acoustic guitar for In Spite Of Me, a beautiful lyric ballad of loss to end the side.

The scary tale of illicit lust and the husband that just might kill you that is Thursday explodes the second side in fine style. The rest of side two branches out a bit more, and not everything pops like the first side. But Cure For Pain, and the spacey-cool Let's Take A Trip Together are solid.

It is almost the whole record, and plenty by any standard. I think I like 1995's Yes even more, but I've spent more time with that one.

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