|Keep Me Singing (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016)|
Van Morrison — Keep Me Singing (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016) ψ Songwriter’s 36th album. Though he issued the star~studded Duets: Re~Working the Catalogue in 2015, Van Morrison’s Keep Me Singing is his first album of new studio material since 2012’s Born to Sing: No Plan B. Self~produced, the singer and songwriter’s 36th album marks his debut for Caroline Records. It includes 12 new originals and a cover of the blues nugget “Share Your Love with Me.” The closing cut, “Caledonia Swing,” is an instrumental that features Morrison on alto saxophone and piano.Birth name: George Ivan Morrison
ψ Sir George Ivan “Van” Morrison, OBE
Born: 31 August 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Location: Belfast ~ New York ~ Cambridge, Massachusetts Boston; Woodstock, New York; and a hilltop home in Fairfax, California.
Instruments: Vocals guitar harmonica saxophone keyboards drums tambourine ukulele
Album release: SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
Record Label: CAROLINE RECORDS
Format: DIGITAL, VINYL, CD
01 Let It Rhyme 3:53
02 Every Time I See a River 4:43
03 Keep Me Singing 3:39
04 Out in the Cold Again 7:06
05 Memory Lane 4:08
06 The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword 3:51
07 Holy Guardian Angel 6:18
08 Share Your Love with Me 4:11
09 In Tiburon 5:18
10 Look Behind the Hill 2:28
11 Going Down to Bangor 5:18
12 Too Late 2:48
13 Caledonia Swing 2:52
℗ 2016 Exile Productions Ltd.Description:
ψ Keep Me Singing features 13 tracks — 12 original songs along with a cover of Alfred Baggs and Don Robey’s blues classic Share Your Love With Me, which has previously been recorded by artists including Aretha Franklin and Kenny Rogers.
ψ Closing track Caledonia Swing takes the form of an instrumental and feature Morrison on piano and saxophone.REVIEW
BY CORBIN REIFF ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2016, 6:00AM / SCORE: B–
ψ There have been very few constants over the last 50 years. Life, after all, is really just a long series of changes and fluctuations. One thing that we have been able to count on however — outside of death and taxes — is the arrival of new music from Van Morrison. Every couple of years, the Irish singer~songwriter steps into a recording studio to lay down some new tracks to offer up to the masses. Sometimes its new material, sometimes its covers, sometimes its covers of his own old material like 2015’s Duets. Regardless of form, his albums consistently offer new windows into the mind and heart of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern pop/rock/folk history.
ψ For his 36th studio album, Keep Me Singing, Van the Man has assembled a collection of 12 completely new and totally original songs to go along with a cover of the blues standard “Share Your Love With Me”, a song made famous by Aretha Franklin in 1970. The Irish balladeer is one of the few stratospheric personas (along with the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and maybe Bruce Springsteen) whose modern art is doomed to compete with their earliest work. We don’t expect Morrison to recreate Astral Weeks or Moondance, but we read deeply into the new material to pick out pertinent autobiographical threads. It’s hard to resist the urge to try and discover how he’s evolved from the young man of his most vital creative periods.
ψ As a whole, Keep Me Singing is a record pierced with a severe, self~reflective melancholy. The angry youth of his “G~L~O~R~I~A / Gloria!” days is a distant memory. Morrison is no longer concerned with doing things “The Way Young Lovers Do”. Instead he seems more intrigued to explore the prospect of sustained longing like on the song “Every Time I See a River”, where he sings, “I can go days where nothing is wrong/ But it just doesn’t last very long.” Simple things like the sight of a river or the sound of a stream trigger memories of a love long lost. The same theme is explored two tracks later on “Out in the Cold Again”, where he laments being left stranded outside his paramour’s door. Inches of wood separate him from happiness, but it might as well be whole worlds away.
ψ As a singer, it seems as if time has sanded away a lot of the grit in Morrison’s voice — which is an utter paradox. He’s not going to shoot off into the atmosphere the way he once did on “Caravan” or “Wild Night”, and instead remains at a cool midrange through most of the tracks. The subtleties in his delivery are far more discernible and the moments when he breaks out from his crooning demeanor to let it all hang out like on “Share Your Love With Me” or “Look Beyond the Hill” become truly thrilling. It’s an approach that marries perfectly with the saccharine melodies and laid~back jazz grooves that fill out the musical accompaniment behind.
ψ And yet some things remain constant. To close out the album, Morrison, for the umpteenth time, evokes that magic word Caledonia on “Caledonia Swing”. Fans know that this single ancient word, which was the name that the Romans gave to the area now known as Scotland/Northern England, carries a lot of meaning for Morrison. Hell, he named his most famous band from the mid~1970s after it: The Caledonia Soul Orchestra. This one word might be the single totem that could unlock all the mysteries of the deepest corners of his mind. It could also just be a comfortable vocal tick. ψ Regardless, the return to familiarity is a welcome one.
Essential Tracks: “Every Time I See a River”, “Look Beyond the Hill”, and “Share Your Love With Me” ψ http://consequenceofsound.net/Also:
By Will Hermes, Sept. 29, 2016 / Score: ***
ψ This year, Van Morrison was knighted, turned 71 and reissued a fantastic set of 1973 live recordings (It’s Too Late to Stop Now). You won’t find that intensity of soul fire on his 36th studio record. Yet through arrangements elegant to a fault, his mercurial tenor, more supple and restrained, remains a marvel. See the set’s one cover, a reading of “Share Your Love With Me,” that splits the difference between the Bobby “Blue” Bland and Aretha versions, full of chortles, snarls and gospel–tinged hollers. The vintage chill of “Every Time I See a River,” meanwhile, is an invitation to float downstream with a blues admiral.
Michael Angelo Matos: http://wunc.org/post/do-we-really-need-bob-dylan-and-van-morrison-box-sets#stream/0
••• Blowin’ Your Mind! (1967)
••• Astral Weeks (1968)
••• Moondance (1970)
••• His Band and the Street Choir (1970)
••• Tupelo Honey (1971)
••• Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972)
••• Hard Nose the Highway (1973)
••• Veedon Fleece (1974)
••• A Period of Transition (1977)
••• Wavelength (1978)
••• Into the Music (1979)
••• Common One (1980)
••• Beautiful Vision (1982)
••• Inarticulate Speech of the Heart (1983)
••• A Sense of Wonder (1985)
••• No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986)
••• Poetic Champions Compose (1987)
••• Irish Heartbeat (1988)
••• Avalon Sunset (1989)
••• Enlightenment (1990)
••• Hymns to the Silence (1991)
••• Too Long in Exile (1993)
••• Days Like This (1995)
••• How Long Has This Been Going On (1995)
••• Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison (1996)
••• The Healing Game (1997)
••• Back on Top (1999)
••• You Win Again (2000)
••• Down the Road (2002)
••• What’s Wrong with This Picture? (2003)
••• Magic Time (2005)
••• Pay the Devil (2006)
••• Keep It Simple (2008)
••• Born to Sing: No Plan B (2012)
••• Duets: Re~working the Catalogue (2015)
••• Keep Me Singing (2016)
|Keep Me Singing (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016)|
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