Latest Record Project Volume 1

Van Morrison

BMG, 2021

http://www.vanmorrison.com

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/24/2021

Van Morrison has turned 75 years old, and his career is nearing the 60-year mark. He began as a gritty rocker with the group Them, producing such songs as “Here Comes The Night,” “Mystic Eyes” and “Gloria.” His solo career began with the pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl” and he produced a number of classic albums including my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Astral Weeks, Moondance, Saint Dominic’s Preview, and Wavelength. During the 1980s and 1990s, a mystical element began to invade his music followed closely by rich poetry.

Latest Record Project is his 43rd studio release and fifth in the last four years. It is an album that reflects his age and as such may be a difficult release for a many of his fans.

Many of the 28 songs have a schizophrenic nature. The lyrics and music are at odds with each other. The music retains the melodic nature of his past work, while the lyrics put forward his beliefs and philosophy at age 75. Songs such as “Why Are You On Facebook,” “They Own The Media” and “Western Man” run counter to the political beliefs of a large segment of the population in this country.

There are some worthwhile songs, but at 28 tracks, you really have to dig deep. “Only A Song” is a light-hearted relief after what has preceded it. “A Few Bars Early” is a blues track where Van Morrison really seems to be trying. “Duper’s Delight,” at close to six minutes, is probably the best track as Van Morrison relies on the imagery he is famous for.

On the positive side, his voice has aged well, and the band is tight, but it is not enough to save the flow of the album. In many places he just comes across as an unlikable old man, which in his case is sad.

Rating: C-

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