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Magic Time

107 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 27, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ireland's greatest pop singer/songwriter is back in action with his latest self-produced album, `Magic Time,' featuring ten new Van Morrison songs as well as interpretations of three jazz classics 'This Love Of Mine', 'I'm Confessin', and 'Lonely And Blue'. Magic Time' is Van's first new album of originals since 2003's Grammy nominated `What's Wrong With This Picture?' and is the 38th solo release of his illustrious career. Geffen. 2005.


Like a human infusion of chamomile tea, hearing Van Morrison's voice has the effect of instantly soothing even the most stressed listener. That said, some of his releases have been so mellow that they muted the '60s soul influences that had been a part of Van's appeal. Not so with Magic Time, a wonderful balance of groove and smoothness, with a "live off the floor" feel evident throughout the disc. Right from the start "Stranded" shows Van at his crooner best--relaxed, present, and joyful. "Celtic New Year" comes next with a very Astral Weeks feel, leading one to believe that this disc might be sedentary through and through… until "Keep Mediocrity at Bay" kicks in, a feisty blues romp proving that though in his sixties, Morrison still has the sass of his best previous days. Morrison's cover of Sinatra's brassy "This Love of Mine" and Perry Como's "I'm Confessin'" are full of cheek and charm. Morrison-as-producer has chosen stellar horn sections that elevate the music from good to great and come from an obvious deep love of classic blues and soul. He's a lover and a fighter (the disc has two references to his disdain of the music industry: "They Sold Me Out" and "Carry On Regardless"), but ultimately true to his own musical vision. This destined-to-be-classic release will please a wide variety of his fans. --Denise Sheppard

Essential Van Morrison

Astral Weeks


It's Too Late to Stop Now [LIVE]

Tupelo Honey

Into the Music

Saint Dominic's Preview

1. Stranded
2. Celtic New Year
3. Keep Mediocrity At Bay
4. Evening Train
5. This Love Of Mine
6. I'm Confessin'
7. Just Like Greta
8. Gypsy In My Soul
9. Lonely And Blue
10. The Lion This Time
11. Magic Time
12. They Sold Me Out
13. Carry On Regardless

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 27, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: June 27, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • ASIN: B0009298OI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,459 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 190 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on May 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Finally, Van is back to doing what he does best. Easily his best CD in a decade, from the opening melody of "Stranded" through to "Carry On Regardless," Morrison is more in his own skin than he has been for years. On yet another record label, he has jettisoned most of his homages to old R&B singers, walked away from silly partnerships, and found his way back to that Irish world of melody. Perhaps not entirely enveloped by the mystic, these songs nonetheless ring with an authenticity that has been largely absent in all of his 21st century work. There is still his nagging whining about how hard he has it in the record business. Someone needs to write to him and tell him no one really cares. It certainly hasn't impacted his property value in the south of Dublin, whose wonderful coastline is beautifully photographed in the wee booklet. Maybe it's just a function of being from Belfast. Anyway...

Speaking of Ireland, "Celtic New Year" is the kind of tune you've been waiting for him to write for years. It would be equally at home on any of his late 80's- early 90's CDs. You can easily imagine this fine song following "Orangefield". "Keep Mediocrity at Bay" is a blues romp that falls squarely in with his avocation for all things Hooker, and his harp solo is reminiscent of the work he did on John Lee's recent DVD. So too with "Evening Train." It's the kind of song that rocks with a bluesy funk that's just about perfect. The musicianship on this CD is spot on throughout. Like some of the best CDs of the seventies and his work with Georgie Fame as bandleader, Morrison has assembled a band that knows just what a song needs and nothing more. Because of the quality of the songs, Morrison's romp through these numbers is far less contrived than it has been on the past 5 or 6 discs.
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Format: Audio CD
Van Morrison does not disappoint with this new CD of his. The first time I heard it I knew I had to hear it over again-his voice is strong, soulful, and full of energy.

The album starts off with a certain soulful, tranquil and comfortable feel to it. The two songs, "Stranded," and "Celtic New Year," are both thoughtful and confident. There is an awesome guitar intro on "Celtic New Year" that sets the stage so well for this Irish blues song. In "Keep Mediocrity At Bay" Morrison's voice is full of energy alongside an upbeat musical arrangement. You know he's going to win his fight "for his rights"-and how's about that harmonica added on? SMILE I agree with critics who write that the song "This Love Of Mine" will remind you of crooners like Sinatra and Perry Como. Morrison is in this league and he proves it with this beautiful song! The song "I'm Confessin'" is an adorable love song and instantaneously catchy, too. "Lonely And Blue" is indeed bluesy with a distinct doo-wop element created by background vocal arrangements. The CD ends with the two tracks entitled "They Sold Me Out" and "Carry On Regardless"-how's about that intro on "Carry On Regardless?" These two songs are both soulful and very thoughtful. Morrison uses these songs to channel his scorn of the music industry.

Morrison uses background vocalists quite a bit on this album. Jerome Rimson, Liam Bradley, Johnny Scott, Siobhan Pettit, Olwin Bell, Aine Whelan and Karen Hamill all performed background vocals. A solid group!

All in all, this is a great CD for Van Morrison fans to rejoice with! It is on my shelf and we should value Morrison's work for being the talent that it is.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Junglies VINE VOICE on March 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have waited until the next release from Van Morriston before I review the last one even though I love Magic Time. Readers might wonder why I chose to do so.

When Magic Time came out I bought it on the first day and I loved it. All of it. Every single track. Not one doubt. I listened to it for weeks every time I was in the car and at home and, I still loved it. Then I began to read the other reviews. Even those who applaud it have some snide remarks about where Van is coming from or his choice of songs or his sincerity. One of my best friends who has liked Van for even longer than I have (and that is a long time) said he no longer listened to him because of his constant carping about the music business and "because he is a miserable old bugger". Quite.

Pay the Devil is a country album which I will be reviewing in the next few days. Getting back to Magic Time however, this is where I take issue with his supporters and detractors about the album. For many of us Van Morrison has two major qualities, his expression of the feelings and emotions that people express in R & B songs through his amazing voice, and the songs he writes a poet and composer.

This collection of songs covers many different aspects of blues and a variety of vocal expressions. I chose the title of this review from a Lovin' Spoonful song, one stanza of which goes like this...
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