BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

 |   |  <1 min read

Van Morrison: No Thing
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Van Morrison: Keep It Simple (Lost Highway)

Another year and another Van album on yet another label . . .

And with the reissue of his earlier albums drawing attention to great work like It's Too Late to Stop Now (read about it in Essential Elsewhere) it would hardly be surprising if this one was ignored by even longtime followers, many of whom might be picking up the remastered back-catalogue or one of the new greatest hits collections also released.

And while many may have also had their fill of a guy who seems to have elevated grumpiness to an art form, there is no denying that this album -- yes, he's keeping simple and soulful -- is one of his most approachable, relaxed and pleasant in many years.

It's almost as if he has been listening to some of his most laidback late 60s/early 70s songs while keeping Sam Cooke on the turntable.

There is a welcome straight-forwardness about the writing (all originals), a stressless approach to the melodies (many which recall his finest hours) and although the odd lyric confirms he still thinks life was better in some other lifetime this one possesses that rarest of Van qualities: a sense of a man at ease with himself.

With soft organ and light backing vocals, this one also keeps the focus on the vocals and he isn't competing with a horn section.

Morrison has certainly been down this path before, but not for some time and rarely with this sense of approachability.

Quite a welcome surprise.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (Sony/BMG)

As regular visitors to Elsewhere are aware, not everything posted here is a work of unalloyed genius which will be treasured down many lifetimes. (Although there are however more than a few like... > Read more

Various: Beyond Bollywood (SDJ)

Various: Beyond Bollywood (SDJ)

The title here might suggest a compilation album that is taking you past the standard Bollywood soundtrack music, but it is actually misleading: it simply sweeps up another very common style, that... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPS by Yasmin Brown

EPS by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

Various Artists: Chicago Plays the Stones (Raisin' Music/Southbound)

Various Artists: Chicago Plays the Stones (Raisin' Music/Southbound)

At first glance we mistook this for Chicago the band playing the Rolling Stones (and that would have been a quick goodbye) but of course it makes sense that Chicago (the city) blues musicians would... > Read more