Review Summary: The last piece released by Morphine, due to Mark Sandman's death isn't something you would forget. The sorrow, the joy, and the gloomy vibe just trascends time and your stereo (or mp3 player... ehem), with the posthumous masterpiece of this band.
There are always defining moments for a band while it develops: Their first major label record deal, their first great success, That one hit that stayed in the list for a lot of time and gave them the fame and glory they deserve. But only in a few cases, the death of a certain member can mean everything or nothing to the band. For Morphine, the sudden death of his lead singer, and in in this case, multi-talented musician, Mark Sandman, who perished doing what he loved and did the best, on stage just outside Rome on July 3rd, 1999, meant more of an everything, than a loss of a great musician. It meant what we got to know as The night
, Their 5th and last studio album, which is considered one of their best works, maybe driven by the loss of Sandman, or maybe because the record is actually That good. This posthumous album in a wicked form kinda is a form of Sandman himself of preventing about his death, or in some other form, celebrating what could be his last record ever. Only he could tell that.
My approach to this album wasn't considering that in mind, but actually because I had heard good things about morphine, and I felt Like I should have one of their albums. Therefore, I got this, The Night, and I couldn't help but to feel accomplished for getting this.
Lead vocal, 2-string slide bass, bass guitar, piano, organ, acoustic guitar, trombone, tri-tar.
Baritone sax, tenor sax, bass sax, double sax, backup vocals, horse-hair piano.
Drums, Percussion, back-up vocals.
Jerome Deupree, Jane Scarpantoni, Mike Rivard, Joseph Kessler, Bahim Fribgane, Billy Beard, Joh Medeski, Margaret Garrett, Tara McManus, Linda Viens, Caloryn Kaylor and Ramona Clifton.
Original Release Date:
February 1, 2000
Mark Sandman and Morphine
It starts off with a funky sax line, featured in the song The night
. Sandman is heard saying: "You're the night, Lilah, a little girl, lost in the woods, you're a folk tale, the unexplainable" The feeling on this song is a reigning sad, bluesy mood, but instead of being depressing or sad, as such, it's not. The lyrics on this one are beautifully written, and the atmosphere set by the instruments pretty much connects the listener with the love of this man to Lilah, and his despair caused by her unreachableness. Pure genius.
This song is soon followed by So Many Ways
, a song mostly driven by some percussion, and some sax makes it company. The feeling in this one is much happier, or at least not as somber as the last one, And after quite a few listens, I realized it's about sex, The questions made through the whole process, and pretty much the overall feeling of the moment. I couldn't really connect with this song a lot, but I can't really say it's a bad song.
, the third track, is a song about meeting a certain someone, but not remembering at all who that was, except for the little something that was given to the author. Also in a mellow, low-key tone, this song delivers big time. Lyrics work for me, as well, I liked the lyrics on this one.
Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer
starts off with a more up-beat drumline, and feels much happier than the last few songs. The lyrics are much more simple, and are more of the "party" mood. It talks about going out, having fun with the ladies, getting drunk: Being young and enjoying it. That's what the song is about. You can't really complain. Even if you're not into the lyrics, the song is fun by itself, and is more on the happy mood.
Soon after, comes Like A Mirror
, with a funky bass line, and Sandman singing under the instruments: "I'm like a mirror, I'm nothing 'til you look at me". You can't deny that he had a great lyrical capacity. This song goes back to the "sadder" side of the album, and it's about Martha Lee, and the subject may be escaping from the place they are in (call it life, call it a city) and he promises to be with her when she arrives. Once again, beautiful lyrics.
A Good Woman Is Hard To Find
as the title suggest, takes us to the mind of Sandman, who thinks about all the thing that made his woman so marvelous. "She was a helluva woman from a helluva town" This one is a much brighter song, and the instrumentation again helps a lot to the mood. Lyrics aren't the strongest point, yet not so stupid that you have to hate them in any form. The little solo at the end is funky and really cool.
Allegedly the best track, along with The night
, we find the track Rope On Fire
, that starts off with acoustic guitars followed closely by the sax. The feeling on the song is more "Eastern", with the instrumentation, and it can be explained because the song itself is a dream, with elements so fantastic and out of order that makes you feel you're in the song. This song adds up to the large variety of the songs in the album. The highlight on this song has to be the sax with an eastern-like sound, giving it that edge to the song, that takes it apart from the rest of the tracks.
I'm Yours, You're Mine
kicks off with funky sax, and is centered on the love at distance, that no matter how near or how far they are from each other, just for a moment, they are together, and that's what counts. The drums are very basic, but the rest of the instrumentation is plenty to make this song quite enjoyable.
The Way We Met
Is a song that may be a little harsh, considering the other love song on the album, maybe because of the lyrics, which state that there was nothing romantic and beautiful about how theses two characters met. It was just a one-night-stand, and here he is now, making a memory of how it is to wake up to a total stranger. This is the shortest song on the album, yet quite enjoyable for a listen now and then.
is a song about... well, numbers. What can I say. It talks about different numbers, in different cultures, different situations, and pretty much, all about the numbers. I didn't connect to this song, anyhow, but It's not a bad track therefore, maybe I wasn't in the mood. (3:58)
The last track for The night
, Take Me With You
, is about Sandman and another person, who lives in a certain place, and is in some way thinking about leaving this place, and this guy wants to be taken with the other person. It's a fantastic way to finish the album, the lyrics are amazing, the backing vocals add a lot to the album, and the instrumentation fits perfectly to the song.
The overall feeling of the album is quite soothing, very relaxing, unlike anything you've heard before. Nonetheless, the variety on it gives the album much more value, and it's not boring to listen to. It's that going in and out of the themes and styles that make so much of an amazing album. I gave it a 5 because The whole album flows perfectly, you don't ever feel the need of pushing the "skip" button, and it pretty much stays faithful to the what Morphine was, and will remain forever in our collections of music as a great album that we love.
Top floor, bottom buzzer
Agood woman is hard to find
Rope on fire
The way we met
+ Amazing songwriting
+ Great Instrumentation
+ What else do you need to know"
If you find them, please tell me.
So there you have it, Morphine's Posthumous masterpiece, The night
, an amazing album, and a great addition to any person's collection, of course, if you like music. Don't approach to it without an open mind, that might result in serious hating the album. For now it's all I have to say. Peace out.