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Born To Sing: No Plan B
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This is the first album in four years from rhythm and blues veteran Van Morrison. Born to Sing: No Plan B was self-produced and recorded in his native Belfast, while also marking a return to jazz label Blue Note. It is Van the Man's 34th studio album in 45 years.
Top Customer Reviews
However the truth is that there are some who have a voice that matures and gets even better with age. Rod Stewart is an example and Van Morrison sounds better than I have ever heard him. If your a genuine Van Morrison fan you will not be disappointed with this album. There are no nasty surprises, no attempt to reinvent himself with some new musical style which is a typical mistake artists make as they get older. This is no nonsense, honest to goodness typical Van Morrison blues/jazz. The sax is heavenly. I Hoped this helped. Happy shopping
Recorded in Belfast with a six piece band the album was produced by Van and all ten songs were written by him. The lyrics are linked to a common theme - materialism and greed and the devastating effect that they have on society. On the lovely, lilting "Going Down To Monte Carlo", with Van also playing piano and alto sax, he observes:
"Sartre said that hell is other people, I believe that most of them are".
But, the grumpiness aside, this is a beautifully realised album with superb musicianship which is perfectly displayed in the compelling "Close Enough For Jazz".
Van's production makes the sound of Hammond organ, electric guitar, tenor sax, trumpet, piano, trombone and drums warm and blissful as he swings through some of his best songs in years. Yes, he is famously curmudgeonly and a serial complainer but when he can write and perform music as inspired as this he can surely be forgiven.
The album has a relaxed easy listening feel, but is not in any way bland. The opener is catchy, radio friendly and will no doubt find its way on future Best of's. Going down to Monte Carlo, End of the Rainbow, Born to sing, If in money we trust, are real highlights and wouldn't be out of place on some of his 70s classics. Even Pagan Heart, is arguably his best and most authentic blues track in years.
Generally, even on first listen you can instantly tell that the album has been produced and crafted with care: more thought has been put into the making of this album than some of Vans recent offerings. There are still lyrical references to one or two philosophers, one of Vans staple devices. More interestingly is the track "If in money we trust" the extended jazz workout second half of the song which has echos of the theme tune to the old "Money" program from the 70s, clever!
I'm not sure exactly where it would rank with the rest of his work. After playing it probably twenty times now I would tentatively put it in his top ten best albums. A bold placement I know, but I would rank it along side "Into the Music", a personal favorite of mine for shear listen-ability alone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant, Van the man at his best. He gets better with age and this is up there with his previous CDS, of which I have 5 or so.Published 8 months ago by peter a atkinson
As ever Van Morrison comes up trumps! Age does not spoil his voice or the beautiful music he produces!Published 13 months ago by Sholafin