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Cure for Pain

4.7 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
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Release Date: 19-OCT-1993

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Cure for Pain is a most unlikely artistic breakthrough from a thoroughly unlikely band. Fronted by saxophone and two-string slide bass guitar, Morphine earned a modicum of critical praise for their prior recording, Good, but Cure for Pain has a harder edge and a distinctly bigger sound. "Buena" urges the listener, with singer and bassist Mark Sandman's best come-hither baritone voice, "closer to the front of the stage," and then "Candy" tells a love-lost story that could come right out of Tom Waits's book. But for all the strange possibilities inherent in a guitarless band that plays off their singer's wry lyrics, Morphine's sophomore effort shows their versatility, their ability to be a rock band in a very unrock, rolling-baritone-saxophone way. Alas, singer Mark Sandman perished in action on an Italian stage on July 3, 1999. --Andrew Bartlett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009OP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,295 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
...what we have here is "a little VERY LATE night music".

This is the CD you put in when the smoke already hangs thick in the air over a felt table and you're breaking the seal over your second bottle of Black Label Jack while playing poker/shooting pool with only your friends of more nefarious (and infinitely more enjoyable) means.

Less was never more than when the lights dimmed and the impossibly dark Mark Sandman slung a three (later two)-string bass over his shoulder and led a drummer and saxophonist and a conspicuously absent guitarist into the consciousness of all who dared to believe that a mutated jazz trio could rock as hard as any guitar-slinging grunge band of the era yet still retain the degree of untouchable hipster cool that acts like the Ben Folds Five could only begin to imagine for themselves.

Mark Sandman was the Bill Hicks of music; an antiestablishment innovator whose very existence challenged one's beliefs and dared the listener to question all that had previously been assumed as writ; that he died well before his time is all the more tragic, but there is no denying the genius of the artist and the power with which that genius comes across in this, one of the finest albums of the decade.

At just over 37 minutes in length (including two sub-two minute instrumentals which serve as intro and closing pieces), this CD seems to parallele Sandman's life; amazingly achieved and far too short. With tunes ranging from the semi-ambient ("In Spite Of Me", "I'm Free Now", "Let's Take Trip Together") to the raging aggressive ("Buena", "Thursday", "Mary Won't You Call My name") to all shades of night in-between ("All Wrong", "Candy", "Sheila"), there really isn't a weak link to be found.
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Format: Audio CD
Boredom hurts, and Morphine is definitely the cure for pain; a smoky, dark band, Morphine weaves a sound that is not easily categorized as rock or blues. Instead, a drummer, saxophonist, and 2-string slide bassist/singer create something of a sensory deprivation-tank of sound, not unlike the pleasant stupor associated with their namesake drug, and in the process, invite us into a dark recess of sound.
The album is bold, driving, and dark, with blasting saxophone-riffs and sonorous bass. Mark Sandman's lyrics are deceptively simple, yet artfully performed, his voice a dark mournful bass. The saxophone is sometimes raw, sometimes polished, and I didn't know until I caught a concert, but sometimes the saxophonist plays TWO horns at once.
With this album, Morphine gives us some well-executed cuts, and is a great album as-a-whole. My favorite song on this album "In Spite of Me" is atypical of Morphine's style with Sandman singing in a half-whisper over a delicate mandolin-sound, but the rest of the album is enjoyable and delivers a potent dose of some really good music.
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Format: Audio CD
Since learning (from NPR) of Mark Sandman's untimely death in July I have purchased all 5 of Morphine's albums. They are all great with Cure for Pain and Like Swimming the best- by far. I listen to cable radio and alternative radio (such as it is in Jacksonville, FL), occasionally read Rolling Stone, and like to watch new music videos, but I was completely unaware of the existence of this great band. Its a shame that the music industry gives us a choice only among teen-oriented boy and girl bands, hip-hop / rap, and aging or dead artists. Morphine is (was) real rock & roll.
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Format: Audio CD
My ex-boyfriend and I were hanging out in our apartment when this CD came on the stereo. I had only heard of Morphine at that point, yet had never actually heard them. Ironically enough (or not), although I liked the album when I heard it the first few times, it wasn't until my breakup with the aforementioned ex-boyfriend that this album really gripped me, and when I finally realized its true genius. I was driving around with a friend, right after the break-up, when "Candy" came on. "Are you sure you want to hear this song right now?" she inqured. "Of course," I replied, in all of my self-torture, and even played "In Spite Of You" once or twice too, in between tears. This album is absolutely gorgeous, especially if you are suffering. (And if you're not suffering, then you'll be able to just enjoy its candid beauty, I'm sure). The title is more than appropriate for this collection of sad, soulful, and well, just plain gorgeous, songs. . . There is really no way to classify this album in one genre, but it is an outstanding combination of jazz, blues, and rock and roll. Musically, it is genius. Lyrically, as well. And every tune is heartfelt and poignant, and pulls right at those proverbial heart-strings, but never in a bitter or excessive way. . . This album is a remarkable companion to heartache/heartbreak, but is user-friendly enough that it can be listened to in almost any mood. Ironically enough, perhaps, it provides great background music to a romantic trist. Or even when you're hanging out alone in your pad, sipping a glass of wine, perhaps, and just wanting to hang out and be mellow. These guys have real and true talent, and every song is an emotional venture into the human psyche. And each song is exquisite, beautiful, intense. . .Read more ›
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