Top positive review
102 people found this helpful
Van paints his master piece!
on 14 November 2005
Ah Astral Weeks. I remember being young and living with my dad, just the two of us, and my dad used to have his own architect office and he used to work late at night. He would work in the afternoon, stop working when I got home from school until I went to bed and then work until those lonely quiet hours of the early morning listening to his music. My bedroom used be open plan, so I could hear the music he played and every night I would lose the battle with sleep while listening to the likes of Highway 61 Revisited, John Coltrane's Soultrane, Blood On The Tracks, The Band and also Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and Moondance…. Drifting between those shadowlands of being awake and dreamland while the music floated through the air into my bedroom trying to hold on because I didn’t want to miss any off the mystical glorious sounds I was hearing. Astral Weeks was always one of those records I found incredibly intriguing but that I never quite got, it seemed this guy was singing about things, and in a way that I could never quite fully understand, there was something manic and dark in his voice and the music, so much so that the album actually kind of scared me when I was young. I was far more at ease with Moondance, a slightly more straight forward album and a little less dark. I found the album hypnotising but I would always come away feeling slightly off balance after listening to it.
Years later, when I started buying all the albums my dad used to listen to when I was growing up on CD, I rediscovered Astral Weeks…. I got both Astral Weeks and Moondance on CD and although Moondance still remains one of my all time favourite albums, I really fell head over heels in love with Astral Weeks. There's pure brilliance in the ramshackle yet amazingly beautiful performances of a man fresh out of a mental institution… the album sounds like nothing else before or since including Van's own albums. The band brilliantly flesh out Van's acoustic epical songs of heartache, longing and despair… at times heavenly beautiful at times ramshackle madness a beautiful blend between Irish folk and jazz and something altogether unique.