Van Morrison: A Period of Transition

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ImageThough I favor such folk-and-country-tinged explorations as Astral Weeks and Tupelo Honey, I wasn’t disappointed to learn that Morrison’s first album since 1974 marks a return to straightforward R&B. After all, he can do wonderful things with the genre, as evidenced by sizzling past gems like “Jackie Wilson Said.” But most of the new LP offers just pale reflections of that track. Handicapped in part by listless horn charts, Morrison takes off only on “Flamingo Fly” and “Heavy Connection.” The rest is interesting but also unfulfilling enough to make me look for hope in the album’s title.

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