As with several other Van Morrison albums, I first became aware of this album when I was living outside London in the early 1980s, and quickly became a re-confirmed Van Morrison fan. No one has a wider range of styles, interpretations, and abilities than Van, and he puts all of his eclectic talents to use here. From the opening "Higher Than The World" to the finals strains of the lovely instrumental "September Night", Morrison evokes a provocative journey into the mystic interiors within his heart. Along the way, Morrison shows why he has so confounded fans and critics for the last three decades. This album was part of his evolution into a new, less popular, but much more mature musical style, or styles, since Morrison is so multi-faceted in his approach to each song that it is hard to describe his musical tastes, uses of instruments or arrangements that he has to be heard across a number of albums to recognize common and recurring themes or approaches.
There is much to appreciate and enjoy here, from the haunting "Connswater" to the lilting "Celtic Swing", from the title cut of "Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart"' to the Irish recollection found in a memorable "Irish Heartbeat". There are several instrumentals here, and they do much to provide the atmospherics for the mood of the album. My own favorite of the album is the aforementioned "Irish Heartbeat' as well as the rap-like "Rave On, John Donne", an interesting and unusual chanted survey of the contemporary intellectual scene. When you hear an accomplished poet and lyricist like Morrison show you what rap could be, you realize just how prosaic and amateurish most of what passes as rap really is. Morrison later revved up his career with the blockbuster "Avalon Sunset" album later in the 80s. But all the elements he brought so memorably into that later comeback and reemergence onto the popular charts was here in this album in spades. I think you will a lot to enjoy and appreciate in this sleeper of an album by one of the best of the sixties generation of singer/songwriters. Enjoy