Van Morrison: Born to Sing

No Plan B

Album review
Van Morrison: Born to Sing

Van Morrison

Born to Sing: No Plan B

Label: Blue Note
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Van Morrison’s first studio album since 2008’s Keep It Simple marks his return to the Blue Note label (where he picked up a Grammy nomination for 2003’s What’s Wrong with This Picture?) and finds the pop and R&B singer and songwriter strolling on the jazzier side of street. Jazz is even referenced in “Goin’ Down to Monte Carlo” on which Morrison complains about hearing “phony pseudo jazz” at a restaurant, and it’s the subject of the swinging “Close Enough for Jazz.” The heavy organ, prominent horn section, and Morrison’s own sax playing, as well as his tight six-piece road band that backs him here, and especially Paul Moore’s excellent bass work, lend more than a tinge of authentic jazz to the proceedings. Still, while Born to Sing signals Morrison’s return to jazz and R&B, it’s nowhere near as strong as 1995’s Verve CD How Long Has This Been Going On? It peters out after the first five tracks as Morrison gets self- referential and starts preaching about the shortcomings of capitalism, the death of God, and shoddy news coverage. The strong traditional blues “Pagan Heart,” the next to the last track, leaves you wishing for more of the same on this well-recorded CD. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Van Morrison
  • CD

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