Early Review: Keep It Simple
We're not the bilingual prodigies that we once dreamed of being... but check out this rough translation of an early review for Keep It Simple from a German site.
It is his 37th (!) album and it is damn good. Actually you could stop writing at this point, but there is much more to say. As Morrison himself said: “I felt I had something to say with these songs…” 11 pieces of music and the old curmudgeon growls again across the complete genre garden. The first track already “How Can A Poor Boy” has the weight of a Van Morrison blues. The basses are buzzing pleasantly in the pit of the stomach, just shortly interrupted by the whining of the harp. John Lee Hooker in blues heaven certainly is proud of this song.
This beginning makes me sink comfortably into the seat behind the wheel, my son next to me, we are on our way to a sax concert. “Daddy, who is this guy, who slurs through this song?” he asks me. “His name is Van Morrison and this is his new CD.” “He sounds cool,” junior says and looks into the darkness. “Mhm, that’s blues”, I reply “and that’s what he is especially good at. “This time all 11 pieces are Morrison originals and he works his way through blues, rock and country. Very clean sound, few synthetics, earthy, dirty, good!
There is something for every taste. “Lover Come Back” wraps you wonderfully, ballad like. “End Of The Land” sounds a bit like a remake of “Days Like This” and you are about to sing along with the chorus when you suddenly realize that it is a new song. Is he running out of ideas? No, with somebody who will be 63 this year and has released 37 albums, it is possible that one or the other hook sounds familiar. The country track “Song Of Home” loosens up and clears the head for the two last really well done songs “Soul” and “Behind The Ritual” . They are tasty morsels, garnished with two sax soli and beautiful Van Morrison humming.
That he only sings blah blah blah towards the end of the last song reflects the title of the album and his intention: “Everything's gotten now so complex and things have become so complicated and nothing's easy to do anymore". “Keep It Simple” is the answer to it: Just damn good music!