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Frequently Bought Together
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|1. Lilah (Instr.)|
|3. I Know You (Pt. III)|
|4. Early To Bed|
|5. Wishing Well|
|6. Like Swimming|
|7. Murder For The Money|
|8. French Fries w/ Pepper|
|9. Empty Box|
|10. Eleven O' Clock|
|11. Hanging On A Curtain|
|12. Swing It Low|
Morphine's music, which connects with listeners on a very physical level, is so simple it's amazing no one's done it before. Using exclusively low-register instruments, Mark Sandman's two-string bass and baritone voice, and Dana Colley's bass and baritone saxophones, the band's songs actually reverberate in the chest, treating listeners to a low-impact massage. And anything that feels this good can't be bad.
But Morphine's blessing--that distinctive low rock sound--is also their curse. Not only do they bind themselves to an instantly recognizable sound, but they also limit themselves in their arrangements: Voice and sax can each hit only one note at a time (though Colley sometimes manages to honk two saxes at once), while the bass can manage a two-note interval at best. It's hard being dynamic using only three or four sounds.
So where does that leave Like Swimming, Morphine's fourth album (and first since signing on with the big boys at DreamWorks)? Pretty much where the band started, it seems--with a blessing and a curse. As with past records, Like Swimming is easy to appreciate, full of loping bass lines and slithery sax riffs that strut through jazzy rock numbers like "Wishing Well" and "Empty Box." But while newcomers may be happy with the band's warm swing, others will pine for the first time they heard the band's earlier breakthrough on Cure For Pain. Only with the album closer "Swing It Low" (a title that could be a band manifesto) does Morphine hint at changes to come: With guitar, keyboards, programmed drums, and no saxophone, the song (first released as a Sandman solo project) proves it possible to capture Morphine's noir moods in midrange as well. --Roni Sarig
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Like Swimming builds off the strengths of their previous album, Yes. Their unique sound created by a saxophone, two-string slide bass guitar, and drums is both suppressed at times by Sandman's halting vocals, and at others unleashed with amazing force and beauty. Take, for example, the difference between the hauntingly sublime "I Know You (Pt. 3)" and the chaotic "11 O'Clock". Only Morphine could deliver these two opposite styles of music with such perfection.
One of the best things about Morphine is that they cannot be pigeon-holed into a genre or a style of music. Are they rock, or jazz, or alternative, or what? You also cannot say, like so many other bands, they are "a cross between 'so-and so' and 'someone else'" because no one has ever played music like this. Have you ever heard of a two-string slide bass guitar? Or a Double-Saxophone? All this is just a part of the genius of Mark Sandman and Morphine.
I think PJ Harvey once said that Morphine is one of the sexiest bands ever. I agree with Harvey. Morphine's low, smoky sound is perfect mood music for, well, you know.
If I had to order the albums in terms of least to most favorite I'd go Good, Yes, Cure For Pain, The Night, & Like Swimming...Like Swimming is their best album in my opinion. Take for example the song Like a Curtain totaly symbolizes what Morphine was about. Drawing beauty from things that seem dark simplistic. The song only has one "riff", but as it progresses it seems to become more and more complex. It might be my favorite Morphine song...period.
I Know You (PartIII) strong enough to carry the album by itself. Billy Conway could not have added a more perfect drum beat during the Chorus ("I know you, you know me too, I know everything that you're gonna do")
French Fries w/ Pepper is another song that proves Mark to be an absolute genius. For those true music lovers (and even more so for bass players), the bass riff itself is amazing. The lyrics are also very good.
I have to end this review a little abruptly, but I definately recomend this album to everyone, as I'm sure you Morphine fans already own it. Bottom line, this is just a very cool album.
The lyrics are simple; they kind of remind me of some of Slim Gaillard's excellent Swing music, but Morphine has more edge.