- • An Amazon.com Best Music of 2006 selection.
Pay The Devil
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Top Customer Reviews
Several years ago, he took a detour into country and rockabilly with Linda Gail Lewis. In my opinion, that effort came up short. This time is different, it seems as though the second time's the charm. Though Van Morrison will likely never be the toast of Nashville, Pay the Devil rates much higher in listenability than his last country outing. The superb musicianship here more than makes up for any lack of country twang in Morrison's voice.
If you don't like country music, you probably won't like this CD even if you are a confirmed Van fan. On this CD, Van harks back to the country sounds of a half-century ago. No smarmy pop infusions here, the music is as authentic and sometimes as corny as he can possibly make it.
My favorites are Half As Much, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, Back Street Affair, the title cut, What Am I Living For?, Once A Day, and More and More.
There are also a couple of songs I don't really care for. Things Have Gone To Pieces is beyond corny with its litany of complaints, large and small. Then, although it is amusing, Don't You Make Me High doesn't really fit the country mood. I heard it years ago by Maria Muldaur and I hear it more as a lounge song than a country one.
Is there any song that is quintessentially Van Morrison? Well, yes. Even though it is steeped in country instumentation, This Has Got To Stop has Morrison's stamp all over it.
So, if you are a Van Morrison fan who also happens to like a touch of country, then you will likely enjoy this CD. I like it, and although its not my favorite, there is enough here to give it a solid four star rating. Listen and hear what I mean!
People who "hate country music" often don't realize that they just hate "pop" country, the over-twanged, rock-ified, glammed-up junk of CMT. Van reminds us there's a very real, vital connection between C&W's roots and modern blues, jazz and rock; and moreover, that ANY genre's music is good if it communicates with the listener.
It's true there's not much "new" here, but there's no denying that the musical execution is superb. Van's recent U.S. shows revealed him in better spirits than any time in recent memory; he played over half the tracks on this disc during his sets, and enjoyed every minute. So will you.
Highlights include a fun reading of Blu Lu Barker's "Don't You Make Me High" (better known to many who recall Maria Muldaur's version as "Don't You Feel My Leg") and a gorgeous take on Rodney Crowell's bittersweet ballad "Till I Gain Control Again". And who better than an experienced Irishman to take on the country-blues standard "There Stands the Glass"?
Of course if you are allergic to fiddle and steel guitar, this isn't for you. But for anyone with an open mind to the basic concept, this is a rewarding purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best Country Album from a non Country Musician ever. 5 Star FantasticPublished 10 months ago by Capt. Jack
The purest country you will ever find outside of Nashville. Van could sing the phonebook and do it great.Published 17 months ago by Dagny
VAN MORRISON-PAY THE DEVIL: Throughout the decades, a number of pop stars, from JERRY LEE LEWIS to B. J. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jukebox Dave