The lion roars,
This review is from: Saint Dominic's Preview (Audio CD)This sixth Van Morrison record is so glorious I want to weep.
The first time you heard Jackie Wilson Said, it sounded like nothing else on earth, then Gypsy begins and your life will never again be quite what it was.
Listen to the sheer tremulous power of the last note Van sings on I Will Be There:
"I...will...be...THERE - !"
No wonder he himself has said he`s not a rock singer. No, he`s closer to Ray Charles
or Otis or the Wolf, or one of those old blues shouters like Big Joe Turner or Jimmy Rushing. This is soulful, "spiritual" singing that takes no prisoners. It is what they sometimes call righteous.
Listen To The Lion is a rumbling, grumbling ruminative extemporisation on a theme, a sobering eleven-minute meditation, a rant, a kind of rap.
After so much relative solemnity you`re ready for the joyously uplifting title track, a perfect rendition of a song that tends to make the sun come out and the birds sing.
Redwood Tree is next, an almost folky song in Van`s nostalgic vein. Oddly, I can imagine Gordon Lightfoot singing it (though I may simply be thinking of the Canadian`s song Redwood Hill).
Almost Independence Day is the grand finale to this great album, another vocal and musical exploration in Van`s "this`ll take as long as it takes" manner. It`s a tremendous tour-de-force. The accompaniment on this track, as on the whole album, is flawless, spontaneous, and exactly "right".
Throughout this man`s now illustrious career he`s often come up with masterpieces. My picks for such an accolade would include Astral Weeks, Moondance, Tupelo Honey,
Veedon Fleece, Beautiful Vision, No Guru...and Saint Dominic`s Preview.