Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

VAN MORRISON

KEEP IT SIMPLE

2008-05-06

With a fabulously successful career that spans decades Van Morrison has a license to do pretty much whatever he wants. Last time out it was a hard-core country disc that left casual fans cold but found much favor amongst those who knew he could channel Hank Williams without missing a beat. This time out it is a collection of mid-tempo numbers that won’t add much to his legacy but won’t detract from it either. Like his best work this disc finds Morrison following his muse through all manner of soulful rock and rootsy ballads. With cool B-3 grooves and gospel tinged back up vocals adding spice to most of the tunes, Morrison confronts his new found sobriety, "Don’t Go to Nightclubs Anymore", lambastes those who didn’t get his country detour on the title track and relishes the mesmerizing charm of the opposite sex on the steamy "That’s Entrainment". While most of the cuts have something to say, Morrison tests the proposition that he’s so good he could score a hit singing the phone book on "Behind the Ritual" where he flips everyone off with lyric fragments and by lazily scatting “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” as the chorus. Apart from this misstep the rest goes down pretty easily. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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