38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Born To Sing: No Plan B (MP3 Download)
Yes, once again Van the man has managed to Wow his fans with this fantastic album. Van does not churn out one album after the other like some insipid lolly pop boy band. some years pass between the release of each recording and I spend those years checking to see if he has anything new on the shelf. When there is a new release I always find myself feeling a little nervous when I first play it. The reason for this is the fear that age might have finally robbed Van of his creativity and that powerful, gritty and wonderful voice of his. As sad as it is, age can do that. It happened to Sinatra and to many others
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
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Dec 2012, 13:27:18 GMT
Posted on 20 Feb 2013, 19:09:46 GMT
Mr. D. Bain says:
A decent and helpful review, however some of your comments whilst stated as if factual are more in the realms of opinion. Firstly you say that Van doesn't churn out album after album. Actually that is exactly what he DID do, for four decades he pretty much released an album every year. This prolific (and high quality output ) only came to a halt a few years ago when he got writer's block, hopefully this album healds another fertile period. You also mention that Van's voice has improved with age, well whilst I still love his voice I would disagree strongly that it has improved with age, go back and listen to Moondance, Wavelength, St Dominic's or any of his albums from that period and compare his voice with the way it is now, it hasn't improved. I would apply the same argument to Rod Stewart. Voices CAN improve with age, you mention Sinatra's declining vocal powers, but that only became apparent as he entered his sixties, before that his voice had improved considerably reaching it's peak in his forties (when he was recording for Capitol records) after that it was all downhill. The ageing process is not as kind to singers as it is to musicians, the power goes first followed by timbe and tone. Van cannot hit the notes that he used to, he still sounds great however because he has learned to adapt his voice very well, he doesn't try to take it to places where it can no longer travel, he knows his limitations. I watched Paul McCartney (another of my musical heroes) recently and sadly he did not exhibit the same sort of age related adaptation that Van does, maybe he just doesn't perform often enough and his voice is 'out of condition'.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2013, 18:57:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Feb 2013, 19:08:32 GMT
The album Moondance was recorded in 1970. My review is based on the 30 years I have been a Van Fan. Moondance pre dates this and I am not sure that it is fare to make any comparison with Vans work of 43 years ago with what he produces today. Yes there are bound to be some noticeable difference in the loss of some high end vocal range. However as a jazz singer myself it is my professional opinion that deep, melodic, vocal tones. lend themselves much better to jazz and blues.
Van has now released 31 albums throughout his career and to be honest apart from the odd track I had never really heard much of his early work from the late 60s and into the 70s. After reading your comments I decided to investigate it. While I can appreciate this early work I do feel that comparing it with the Van Morrison we have known over the past 30 years is a little like trying to compare Sid Barrett's Pink Floyd with with that of the pink Floyd which was fronted by David Gilmour.
In my opinion It is not that the loss of vocal range or power forces Van to write songs which are not as vocally demanding as some of his early works. Just go and see him perform live and you will hear him belt out songs such as Moondance with almost just as much power as he ever did. In 2009 he re recorded the album Astral weeks which was originally released in 1968. This was recorded live and the songs were performed in the original keys, proving that his voice can still hit notes he penned in his early work.
Astral weeks- live, proved to be a huge hit with even the die hard traditionalists. In my opinion Van's writing style of today simply reflects a more relaxed and peaceful nature which only comes with maturity. That said, your quite right to point out that my comments are based on opinion rather than fact. If I neglect to make this clear ,It is a bad habit from my former life as a journalist. I will take what you say on board for future reviews. Thank you for taking the time to make your comments. It is very much appreciated.
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