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.
Banco de Gaia has created a fantastic body of work, successfully blending world-beat sounds and styles with cutting edge technology. When you listen, you hear. There’s something in his music that can satisfy any taste. Whether you’re into rock, dance, prog, electronica, world, ambient, you’ll find something to dig here. You’ll groove to complex, intricate melodies over superbly crafted beats, crossing a variety of genres, to create sublime music, which most importantly, has emotion and soul. Disc 1 is more uptempo, Disc 2 more of the reflective, ambient dubby work…yet both put me in a place I want to be. This music is truly good for your ears as well as your soul.
Widely known from his days in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Electric Flag and on Al Kooper’s Super Sessions, Bloomfield is often spoken of in the same breath as Clapton and Green. On this Album, Bloomfield pays tribute to some of his inspirations including; B.B. King,T-Bone Walker and Howlin’ Wolf. The second portion of this interesting album features Bloofield w/Woody Harris diving fingers first into the acoustic roots of the gospel blues. Fingerstyle pickin’ crossed w/a whining electric slide sounds like a ride I would take a turn on. Several informative narratives seperating masterful guitarship.
Kicking Mule/Fantasy 2004 *****
The album makes you feel like you have stepped right into Nowheresville, not knowing how you got there. A little weary and confused, by the end you don’t want to leave. Some tunes like Woman Driving…will lull you into a space comforting like a pillow.
Hard nosed rockrs like Dog Faced Boy and That’s not really Funny will put you in the mood to drive fast and smirk a cocky smirk at the folks that stare. You little punks think you own this town
EELS are odd no doubt but it is a friendly sort of queer.
If you’ve been looking for some new sound from the late 60’s- early 70’s acid rock, psychodelic scene…look no further. This cd brings you back…a la THE WHO. British and Beatlesque at moments, they feature horns, Hammonds and the works.
A Virgin Records release.. *****