Home Read Classic Album Review: Van Morrison | Down the Road

Classic Album Review: Van Morrison | Down the Road

Van the Man come back in all his blue-eyed, soul-belting, folk-troubadour glory.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Last Heard From: Knocking out blues covers and skiffle classics in 2000 with the likes of Linda Gail Lewis and Lonnie Donegan — though it’s been three years since his latest solo album Back On Top.

What You Get: Van the Man in all his blue-eyed, soul-belting, folk-troubadour glory. Down the Road’s 15 rootsy cuts capture Morrison relaxing in the comfort and security of familiar musical turf. Which means nostalgic lyrics about autumn days, long-lost loves, the quest for inner peace and the songs of his youth. And the authentic soul, blues and R&B grooves of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway, expertly replicated by his crack band.

Does it Rock? Like a hammock on a fall evening. Akin to Bob Dylan’s last few albums, this is the loosely confident masterwork of an old pro who knows how to make it look easy.

The Dark Side: Morrison knows this road so well, he can travel it on auto-pilot — and sometimes seems to be.

It’s Worth: Borrowing from your buddy who worships Van — once you give back Moondance, Astral Weeks and It’s Too Late to Stop Now.