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Van Morrison – Born To Sing: No Plan B

October 9, 2012

For my money, Van Morrison is one of the greatest singers of the rock era. At 67 is voice is still great.  He is also the wonderful juxtaposition of a crank and spiritual seeker.  Throughout his career he has used a variety of styles: R&B, blues, jazz, country and folk.  This album leans more to the jazz side: great horn arrangements, scat singing, and rhythm section.  If you are casual fan – think Moondance.  Van even blows a bunch of sax on the album.

In addition to leaning on the jazz, Van leans on the crank and spiritual.  Van is pissed at the modern world: its crony capitalism and it materialism.   Who but Van could bitch and pray for an hour in such an elegant way?

I fell in love with Van’s music in the early 80’s (Beautiful Vision is on my top 10) and then backtracked through his masterpieces.   I saw him live in he early 80s on the Beautiful Vision tour – it is arguably the best live show I have ever witnessed.  So I was on a real Van jag there for a while.  I got bored with him for about 10 to 15 years, but had my interest piqued a couple of years ago with his wonderful Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl album.  That album and tour must have sparked something in him, because this is the best thing he has done in years.

I listen to a lot of new music each year and it is rare for something to land in heavy rotation, but Born to Sing: No Plan B has done it.  Make sure you Google some reviews – the album is equally praised and panned.  Which for me is the sign of a great album.

P.S. Could an album have worse album art or dumber title?

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From → Music Reviews

One Comment
  1. Just him on the sax is enough for me

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