CD Yes [Morphine] (CD 143558),
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1. Honey White
6. All Your Way
7. Super Sex
8. I Had a Chance
9. Jury, The
11. Free Love
12. Gone for Good
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 10320
Mark Sandman; Paul Q. Kolderie
Morphine: Mark Sandman (vocals, guitar, tritar, piano, 2-string slide bass, chamberlin); Dana Colley (tenor & baritone saxophones); Billy Conway (drums).
Additional personnel: Frank Swart (bass).
Engineers: Mike Denneen (tracks 1, 5); Paul Q. Kolderie (tracks 2-4, 11); Paul Q. Kolderie, Tim O'Heir (track 6); Mike Denneen, Paul Q. Kolderie, Tim O'Heir (track 7); Scott Fritz (track 8); Frank Swart (track 9); Han Nuyten (track 10); Mark Sandman (track 12).
All songs written by Mark Sandman except "The Jury" (Morphine/Frank Swart).
Audio Mixers: Mark Sandman; Paul Q. Kolderie; Truman Stiles; Phil Davidson.
Recording information: KRW, Santa Monica, CA.
Photographers: Mark Sandman; Grimault Laurent.
Morphine's Mark Sandman thinks he's the king of alternative romance; the smooth tones of his ultra bassy band--no guitar, but a saxophone--purr elegantly. YES, Morphine's third release, offers Sandman's sleekest, most consistent songwriting efforts to date, and the band has never sounded so inviting.
Morphine is as close as alternative rock comes to jazz. It's swinging bass lines sound impossibly low, complete with a rain-like drum beat and smoking sax lines. What sets Morphine's rich tones apart from swank background music is Sandman's highly physical lyrical angle.
In the dizzying "Whisper," when Sandman soothes "Don't worry I'm not looking at you/Gorgeous and dressed in blue," you can see the color. When he croons, "Just whisper me your number/I'll call you up at home," you've already mouthed the words. Sandman knows where he's aiming, and, at it's best, Morphine recalls the jazzy excitement of rock's lushest moments.
Rolling Stone (3/23/95, p.124) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good - "...At times, everything in Morphine sounds like it's playing the rhythm--the intertwining sax and bass line, the lyrics' syllabic pop....For all their sultriness, Morphine do rock out, and like the best jazz, they swing at any tempo..."
Entertainment Weekly (3/17/95, p.88) - "...it's tough to keep any sound from seeming stale, especially one as eccentric and seemingly limited as Morphine's bass, drums, and baritone sax lineup. YES generally succeeds, adding energy to the band's muscular `low rock'..." - Rating: B+
Q (2/96, p.65) - Included in Q's 50 Best Albums of 1995.
Q (5/95, p.109) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Morphine still pull off the difficult trick of sounding fresh while making you feel you've heard it all before."
Alternative Press (5/95, pp.71-72) - "...Morphine have turned their aesthetic slightly askew, with some songs as heady as the concoction of a Lucky Strike snubbed into a battered ashtray smoldering into the mist of a cheap perfume. Turn up the collar on your coat and stagger away, smiling..."
Melody Maker (4/22/95, p.33) - "...Morphine's after-hours world of hustlers, losers, drug addicts and wronged lovers [has a] dramatic momentum that doesn't let up until the last tale has come to its inevitably sorry end....the absence of guitar...bring[s] some authenticity to the story, the lo-fi, jazz feel of the sax blending in brilliantly with the literary ghosts evoked by the bass..."
Musician (6/95, pp.73-74) - "...amplifies their trenchcoat take on rock 'n' roll, a take that has chiseled a place for itself even though it's threaded with anachronisms and prone to contradiction....bridges the emotional gap between John Lee Hooker's moaning stealth and Last Exit's frenzied abstraction..."
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Ryko Distribution RCD 10320
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