From the opening notes- sliding bass, subtle sax and spare (yet funky) drums, this CD grabs your hand, slips into your head, and takes hold of your soul. The opening title track- the first time I heard it- it’s one of my favorite songs by any group. When I heard Sandman had collapsed on stage, but not until he had handed in material for a full studio album, I was curious what his final musical accomplishment had been. From the moment I heard the titlesong “The Night”, it just struck me: this was some of the best Morphine had produced. Integrating the jazz-like sound of their first album with the catchy choruslines of Cure for Pain and topped with the experimental flavor of YES Morphine had proven to advance. “Top floor, Bottom buzzer” reminded me again of the some of the cure for pain songs. “Souvenir” struck me as a very jazzy song (especially the drumming), more like the songs on “Good”, but then with the improvement I have already been talking about. Then again, The Night also contains unique material like “Rope on Fire”. Never in my life I have heard a saxophone play this catchy eastern tune. Marvellous! In “Take me with You”, minimalism has been reduced with even backing vocals; but, I have to say, the combination of Sandman’s intriguing monotonic sound combined with more instruments (even orchestrated) and backing vocals is very nice to the ear.
To me, “the Night” is a Morphine classic with overall quality rising to the level of “Cure for Pain”, but with a sound which has evolved and grown. Sandman left us where he was best, in the sound of the Night. And to me, he saved the best for last.