George Starostin's Reviews



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Brenner, Elliot T. <> (26.03.2003)

I enjoyed your critique of Morphine as a band, especially considering your general bias towards newer music. As a fan of classic rock oriented music myself, I too more or less feel this way. Recently, I have discovered Morphine from a friend. He gave me a copy of Cure for Pain, and I must say I dig it. The music struck me as something unique and minimal in composition; a rarity in today's music. Sandman's voice fits the somewhat desolate atmosphere they tend to create. I highly suggest that you buy a copy of THE NIGHT, I feel that you would connect well with it, as it is more mature along with the unique the band created during its somewhat short tenure together. Overall, this is a band worth looking into.


Tony Souza <> (05.03.2003)

This band, whose music is described as "low rock", is one of the most unique of that decade. Morphine music really stands out. This review is pretty much on target, so there's not a lot to add, except that Dana Colley is on of the best, most melodic sax players out there and Sandman uses a two-string "slide" bass instead of the more familiar four-string, which adds to their unique sound.


Jon Gray <> (18.10.2002)

I'm a little surprised this was rated so highly, but I agree overall with what you say. Morphine does not seem to me to be particularly original, and Sandman's lack of range and technical variation is occassionally grating. However, you are right to say their catalogue is on the whole very pleasing and is at least disparate from other nineties acts of the time. Cure for Pain does have some very nice hooks, although I think it subscribes more to the progressions of eighties retro-folk as far as songwriting rather than specifically the British invasion. It gets three stars from me, or a 7, if you like.

Donald White <> (26.10.2002)

I also tend to agree that Morphine is a bit more "samey-sounding" than a lot of other bands, but as you indicate, how often can you go to the well with the bass-sax-drums (!) lineup and come up with something different each time? But they certainly overcome their stylistic limitations with advantages like the late Mark Sandman's excellent depressed lyrics, and sheer moodiness of their sound; you can't say this about many bands, but there was NO ONE who sounded like Morphine. I was completely mesmerized the first time I heard "Buena"--it's simultaneously butt-shaking and ominous--and I still think it is the one of the best songs of the early nineties.

Also, the fact that Sandman died in harness--of a heart attack while performing on stage in Rome--rather than the typical rock-star suicide or overdose, somehow seems to up his coolness quotient for me.

Tony Souza <> (05.03.2003)

This album is their best IMHO. The melodies are stronger and the songs are among Morphine's most catchy, albeit in their mostly melancholy way. There is additional instrumentation added on these songs besides just bass-sax-drums: "In Spite of Me" uses acoustic guitar and (I believe, but I' not sure) tritar only, no sax or bass on that one and "Let's Take a Trip" uses organ in the instrumental break. This adds some diversity without sacrificing their core sound. This is certainly my favorite amongst all their albums.

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