After a string of efforts that fit distinctly into jazz or country categories, Van Morrison returns to working mostly blues-based tunes shaped by other distinctly American roots music forms.

After a string of efforts that fit distinctly into jazz or country categories, Van Morrison returns to working mostly blues-based tunes shaped by other distinctly American roots music forms. The voice is soulful, expressive and powerful, the tunes mostly laid-back, the guitar-and-organ-driven band sharp and the sparse arrangements fulfilling. His approach is a good one for a 62-year-old: he sings wistfully about days gone by, cutting out the clubbing and emphasizing the search for enlightenment. It’s a familiar theme – it felt like he spent the ’80s in this terrain – but here the effort is more rooted and focused musically, sanguine even. Sparks don’t fly too often, though he does capture some vintage Van magic on “That’s Entrainment” and the country-soul ballad “Lover Come Back,” two tunes that strive to roll country, blues and soul music into a single ball and succeed on every level.

Van Morrison - 'Keep It Simple'

Lost Highway
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