Born To Sing: No Plan B
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power that music still holds for this living legend. No Plan B means this is not a
rehearsal, says Morrison. That s the main thing it s not a hobby, it s real, happening
now, in real time. This sense of absolute conviction, which has defined Morrison s
revolutionary work for almost fifty years, runs throughout the new record, his thirtyfifth
studio album as a solo artist. The ten original songs on Born To Sing, his first
new album in four years (the longest he has ever gone between recordings), reveal
an artist continuing to test his creative parameters.
As Morrison notes, perhaps the most striking thing on the new album is hearing him
weigh in on the global financial and economic meltdown on several songs. His sense
of outrage at the materialism and greed that have poisoned society first appears in the
opening track, the breezy soul strut Open the Door (To Your Heart), when he sings
Money doesn t make you fulfilled/Money s just to pay the bills.
Born To Sing, recorded live in the studio with a core six-piece band (plus Morrison
on piano, guitar, and alto saxophone), extends these musical roots into a signature
blend that s impossible to imitate or to categorize. Despite the album s title, Morrison
says that he didn t immediately know that he was born to sing. I didn t know it was
going to be a job until I was maybe fifteen or sixteen and started working in bands,
he says. I was just a kid trying to make my way in life. There was no revelation it
doesn t work that way.
Ever since then, though, Van Morrison has offered non-stop revelation to fans around
the world. With Born To Sing, he responds to a time of crisis with solace and insight,
vision and wonder, and incomparable soul that shows what happens when you really
do create from the heart, with no Plan B.
Top Customer Reviews
What is clear: Van Morrison is not accessible to his fans. He doesn't do a lot of interviews (probably a good thing since he is a terrible interview). But he is a great singer and songwriter and a talented musician. And if he is all about the music, then all we really need to do is listen.
Born to Sing is a really wonderful album. Morrison has always surrounded himself with the best musicians. This record often has the feel of a bunch of guys just sitting around playing music on a Sunday afternoon. It doesn't try too hard. The lyrics reveal some angst ("I'm trying to get away from people, that are trying to drive me mad") but the music just flows. Morrison is famous for covering lots of genres. Born to Sing is mostly jazz with a soupcon of blues. It's easy to listen to (not at all the same as Easy Listening). Morrison on sax has never sounded better.
This record is never bombastic. At 67, Van Morrison has settled down a bit. However, the lyrics reveal his concern about the dim economic picture in Ireland and elsewhere, particularly on If in Money We Trust and End of the Rainbow. The final song Educating Archie is a scathing indictment of how the media shapes people's minds. To my mind, the lyrics on this album are collectively some of Van's best ever.Read more ›
Three tracks stand out for different reasons. While I highlight these tracks, this CD includes a collection of superior recordings.
The best recording on the CD is "Goin' Down to Monte Carlo." It starts with rythmns that sound like pre-reggae Caribbean music. The lyrics portray an intrigue with life in Southern France -- Nice and Monaco. The messages reminded me of recent trips to this part of the world and the peace one can experience in this region at the right time of year. Morrison sounds like he really enjoyed singing this song. When he stops singing, this band leader lets the band take over. Much like a live performance, this studio recording departs from recent musical structures -- the musicians, with the support of their leader, individually display their talents. Relieved of the threat of the synthesizer and the pressure of time limitations, these musicans show their craft with abandon -- they truly jam. Their sound is sweet and cohesive, and it is wildly moving to hear the sound of a trombone in a modern jazz, R&B or pop recording.Read more ›
On this disc Van is with the band. Who else would release a disc in 2012 that has stand-up bass , trombone and trumpet solos that all work cohesively together loke a fine oiled machine.
The notes indicate that this was all recording "live in the studio" , and if so , it makes it all that much more amazing.
Van's writing and singing are in top form , and the band rocks (or should I say swings !)
If most any artist had at least one of this level of quality album in their canon , it would be a blessing. Van has had over 25 such records and is truly one of our greatest treasures.
So it was that, earlier in 2012, I was beginning to wonder if his muse had abandoned him at last. Furthermore, "Keep It Simple" had not proved to be one of his great records. One of the problems with it was the tepid songwriting; of the eleven tracks (twelve if you count "Little Village," the live bonus track), the only one that really made an impression on me was "Behind the Ritual."
It gets worse. "Keep It Simple" had been preceded by "Pay the Devil," Morrison's 2006 album on which he covered American country/western songs. That idea was every bit as problematic as it sounds.
Nope, you have to go back to 2005, to "Magic Time," to get to the last really fine Van Morrison record. Until now. Seven years later, Van is, at last, the Man again. "Born to Sing: No Plan B" is an apt title, because Morrison sounds more committed to his performances and songwriting than he has in a very long time.
Morrison opens with a couple of medium-tempo rockers, "Open the Door (To Your Heart)" and "Goin' Down to Monte Carlo," then swings right into the title track, which has a noticeable doo-wop feel that suits the lyrics perfectly. Certainly, Morrison sounds nostalgic here, but it's a nostalgia rooted in true love of music, and so escapes being cloying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
GREAT CD... VERY GOOD MUSIC. ALSO PURCHASED 'STILL ON TOP' BY VAN....THAT CD IS VERY GOOD AS WELL.Published 3 months ago by mzgayle
Love Van in virtually any mode!
This is a fine album ; a tribute to his R&R stamina!
The man loves his work!
If you're a real Van Morrison fan you know you have to have every record he's ever made -- even the early simplistic ones. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Quality Control