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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/b14a15c98bfc530bcd09b9e99cac8c1485f1a73f.jpg Keep It Simple

Van Morrison

Keep It Simple

Lost Highway Records
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
April 3, 2008

At this point in his career, Van Morrison is less interested in surprises than in further exploring his long-standing obsessions: surviving the shocks of this life and rising gracefully toward the next one. Keep It Simple finds him looking back on his sixty-two years, filled with longing — for home, for deliverance from the world's demands, for spiritual transcendence. He boasts of surviving the "School of HardKnocks," wryly chronicles a newfound sobriety in the aging roust about's lament "Don't Go to Nightclubs Anymore" and sails into the mystic on the album closer, "Behind the Ritual." Typically, the band settles into a comfortable groove while Morrison lifts off into the trancelike realm he calls "entrainment." Meanwhile, the arrangements are elegantly spare: subtle works of guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, occasional backup singers and, at the center of it all, Morrison's incomparable voice, as expressive as ever. "Only a fool could think that things would ever be simple again," he sings on the title track. But on this simple, soulful record, that kind of foolishness feels like wisdom.

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