Keep It Simple
is Van Morrison's 35th album. Representing his first new material since 2005, its also the first Van LP in a while for which he has acted as composer, arranger, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist (sax, harmonica, ukelele) as well as specifically composing all 11 songs for the one project. The album wears its title well as the blues number "How Can a Poor Boy" kicks things off in sparse but compelling style. The arrangements stay elegant and subtle throughout, leaving space for Morissons chief weapon--his voice. At 63 he sounds as peerless as ever, even if his lyrical outlook is less mystical and more sober than before (see songs like "Don't Go to Nightclubs Anymore"). But when you least expect it, hints of his former lyrical powers return. "Into the Mystic" and the denouement "Behind the Ritual" are reminiscent of some of his best work, and while Keep It Simple
cannot be compared to the visceral majesty and fanciful meanderings of Astral Weeks
, its one of his most enjoyable outings for a while. --Danny McKenna
The 2008 release of Keep It Simple is Van Morrison's 35th album. It is his first album of new material since 2005, and the first in several years in which he Composed all 11 songs specifically for one album.
On Keep It Simple , Morrison wears all the "hats" as Composer, Arranger, Lyricist and proves himself once again an astute and accomplished Producer, artfully choosing in this recording to keep all the vocals and instruments on this album in their organic form/ first takes.
Keep It Simple features Morrison on the Sax, Harmonica and a special highlight throughout is his integration of uniquely composed arrangements on the Ukelele.
Accordingly, Keep It Simple honors All of Morrison's varied influences as it is packed full of "Ulster-Scots Celtic" melodies mixed with Soul, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Country, and Gospel - most times melding them all together once again establishing his unmistakable signature sound.
This record does not boast the big horns of some of Morrison's previous work. But, don't let the title fool you. Keep it Simple is Everything but Simple - it is a Multi-faceted record filled with mystical layers of sound -start to finish -with Songs from the Soul and gorgeous melodies, rich with emotion, depth and beauty. -truly a record that has something for everyone.
Lost Highway will proudly release Keep It Simple, the new album from Van Morrison. Keep It Simple is Morrison's first album of new material since 2005, and the first in several years in which he composed all 11 songs specifically for one album.
In the interim the legendary artist had a year that may be unprecedented for any living artist, having released three separate collections of his hits, with the latest, Still On Top entering the UK charts at #2 and selling platinum, proving the ongoing appetite for his unrivalled work.
His music has always incorporated the widely varied influences he heard and absorbed since his childhood days on the streets of Belfast- long before the bands of his youth and his initial breakthrough with the band he started early on- called "Them."
On Keep It Simple, Morrison honors all those varied influences - Ulster-Scots Celtic, Jazz, Folk, Blues, Country, Soul and Gospel - and an added surprise of a mighty Ukelele -most times melding them all together at once creating his unmistakable signature sound.
In some of these songs Morrison addresses the propaganda of the myth perpetrating rock music world. There is a definite theme that recurs throughout the album, especially in the title track.
In keeping with that idea, Keep It Simple does not boast the big horns or expected string arrangements of some of Morrison's previous work. What it does feature are gorgeous songs rich with emotion, depth and beauty.