Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | Photos | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds
Van Morrison - Magic Time Review
by Travis Becker

.
The utopia of pure vocal-driven rock is all but dead. Now a barren wasteland, littered with the corpses of hackneyed crooners and always perilously close to the borderline of dreaded and soul destroying "adult contemporary, rock singing is beyond the brink. Then, when all hope seems lost, Van Morrison releases another record. After forty plus years in music, Van is still regarded by rock aficionados as the penultimate rock singer. Notice, I didn't evoke the dreaded "frontman" label. Morrison is a singer unlike any other of his generation. His voice is transcendent, lacking edges and coming out smooth and soulful every single time. Even the most flamboyant singer of the sixties was little more than a trapping to keep casual fans interested while the band behind him pursued whatever musical alchemy came to them in drug and booze fueled dreams. Van Morrison's voice did all of that and more, and unlike more recent pretenders to the throne of vocal ecstasy, he stayed rooted in the blues, soul, jazz, and American roots music on which he cut his teeth. Add to that a permeating spirit of his Irish upbringing, and you have a voice so unique that comparisons fail. All of that being said, Morrison's new album, Magic Time certainly carries on the legacy of Van the Man, but falls somewhat short of the "classic" status that can be conferred on many of his earlier works.

Some of the material on Magic Time feels so close to early Morrison, so close to the magic in the run of albums from "Astral Weeks" through "St. Dominic's Preview", that closing your eyes almost evokes that "wandering through Ireland" feel again. "Stranded", "Celtic New Year", and "Just Like Greta" all have that sensation to them. The wild, untamed energy, possessed of young lovers and Irish horses is lacking a little, but the vocal performances more than compensate. Other portions of the album veer from this course significantly. Vocal stylings closer to jazz and sort of Nuevo Swing take a chunk out of the first half of the record and do little to improve it. "This Love of Mine" and "Lonely and Blue" are prime examples. The performances aren't bad on the level of that Godforsaken musical abortion foisted on the musical world in three volumes by Rod Stewart in recent years, but they feel woefully corny. Even in the aforementioned tracks, however, the musical performances are spot on. Little horn sections and more instrumental passages bring the whole affair back to Earth and infuse in it a bluesiness that makes forgiveness a forgone conclusion. Piano and saxophone litter the album, giving it a nighttime kind of feel. It's defiantly not a record to wake up to, but late in the evening or late at night with a glass of whiskey at your elbow, there's nothing else to play.

Down the Road was probably a better album than Magic Time but it came as such a relief after years of decidedly downbeat albums, the comparison may not be entirely fair. Stocked with mysticism and soul, Magic Time is unmistakably a Van Morrison record. Beautiful songs like, "The Lion this Time" and "They Sold Me Out", raise up the heart and soul and the voice behind them keeps them above the Earth. Strings and subtle guitar work line the cloud in silver, and life is good. Less of the harder jazz and R&B makes it through to these performances, but they remain distinct from his early work with their extra dose of sentimentality and, although he explicitly denies it in the title track, "nostalgia" as well. Less country and Irish folk infuse the songs, but the tinges and coloring are still there, maintaining Van's unique character and charm. All in all it's a Van Morrison record, thank God. A year when an album of new Morrison magic arrives is a better year for it. Now, the sun is setting, so please excuse me while I fill my glass.


CD Info and Links

Van Morrison - Magic Time

Label:Geffen
Rating:

Track Listing:
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. Lion This Time, The
11. Magic Time
12. They Sold Me Out
13. Carry On Regardless

Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review

.


.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Josh Homme Apologizes For Kicking Photographer- Tool Album Will Be Out In 2018 Says Band Member- Alice Cooper To Star In Live 'Jesus Christ Superstar' On NBC- more

Day in Pop Nicki Minaj And Quavo Release 'She For Keeps'- Diddy And Beyonce Top Forbes' Annual Highest Paid 'Musicians' List- Ed Sheeran Tonight Show Performance Goes Online- more

Yesterday's Day in Rock: Taylor Swift Reveals Her Mother Has Cancer- Rich Homie Quan Surrenders To Police Over Alleged Nightclub Assault- Justin Bieber Duets With Ariana Grande- Mumford & Sons- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

Ladies Only: Jennie Abrahamson- Rachel Garlin- Nneka- More

Album of the Week: Led Zeppelin's When The West Was Won

Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - Salem's Wounds

The Blues: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- Arlen Roth, Mike Henderson Band- Slam Allen

Trauma Interview

December in Red - The Way Out

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

SOKO Interview

The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

Death Penalty - Death Penalty

On The Record: The Wild Beyond

RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

Michael Ubaldini Interview

Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

Ozzy Sets Home On Fire

Santana, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie Reunite at Journey Show

Ted Nugent's Wife Arrested

Iron Maiden Tops Billboard's Hot Tours Chart

Pop Star Fergie Names Son After Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose

Jack White Recording New Songs With The Dead Weather

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington Reveal EP Details

The Who Releasing Massive Super Deluxe Edition of Tommy

Paul McCartney Talks New Song and His Plans Never To Retire

August Burns Red Announce Special Screening of Documentary

The National Curating Grateful Dead Tribute Album

KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons Announce Book Signings

Mike Portnoy Reveals Full Progressive Nation At Sea Lineup

Saxon's Biff Byford Explains Evil Look Was Down To Illness

Astrid Kirchherr's Early Beatles Photos To Be Exhibited Next Month

Gene Simmons and Engelbert Humperdinck Footage Goes Online

Red Fang Streaming New Song ' Blood Like Cream' Online

Sammy Hagar Compares Les Paul Guitars To Muscle Cars

What Do Crocheting And Rock 'N' Roll Have In Common? Deap Vally

Classic Rock Going Country

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

North Korea Reportedly Execute 12 Musicians

Jay-Z Releases Holy Grail Video Featuring Justin Timberlake

Big Sean in Fall Out Boy's New Video

Thousands of Justin Timberlake Fans Flood 'Take Back The Night' Filming

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O Unplugs

Miguel Covers Pink's Just Like A Pill

Eric Church Going In A Different Direction With 'Chief' Follow Up

Kip Moore Has Almost Finished New Album

Juicy J Twerk Tweet Ends Up As Scholarship Competition

Danny Brown's On Stage Sex Act Was Not Planned

Bastille Trace The Best Of British Rock, Including Morrissey's Pompadour

Singled Out: Dulcinea Renee's Pictures Of You

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
The Screen Door superLOUD A Journal of Musical Things Lloyd Zeffler blog Demolish Mag Nightwatcher's House of Rock CJ Chilvers Deja Voodoo The 1st Five thecopycat.biz Hard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter


New Mystery Book from
antiMusic's Dawn Marie Fichera!
.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!

 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2013 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.