Van Morrison – Latest Record Project Volume I (2021)

Van Morrison - Latest Record Project Volume I (2021)
Artist: Van Morrison
Album: Latest Record Project Volume I
Label: BMG / Exile
Year Of Release: 2021
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue) + full artwork

Tracklist:
CD 1:
01. Latest Record Project
02. Where Have All the Rebels Gone
03. Psychanalysts’ Ball
04. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
05. Tried to Do the Right Thing
06. The Long Con
07. Thank God for the Blues
08. Big Lie
09. A Few Bars Early
10. It Hurst Me Too
11. Only a Song
12. Diabolic Pressure
13. Deadbeat Saturday Night
14. Blue Funk

CD 2:
01. Double Agent
02. Double Blind
03. Love Should Come with a Warning
04. Breaking the Spell
05. Up County Down
06. Duper’s Delight
07. My Time after a While
08. He’s Not the Kingpin
09. Mistaken Identity
10. Stop Bitching, Do Something
11. Western Man
12. They Own the Media
13. Why Are You on Facebook
14. Jealousy

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In his old age, Van Morrison dispensed with any lingering niceties he harbored, favoring bluntness over poetry. That transition is made plain by the title Latest Record Project, Vol. 1, a literal description of the album if not its contents. Latest Record Project, Vol. 1 is indeed Morrison’s latest record project as of 2021 — it’s called “Vol. 1” because he recorded more than enough to fill a second volume, a remarkable feat considering that this album contains 28 tracks and runs well over two hours — and if that doesn’t hint at what the music within sounds like, it’s also true that Van Morrison has stayed in his R&B lane for much of the 2010s. Even a detour like You’re Driving Me Crazy, a duet album with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, is distinguished by his choice of collaborator, not a shift in the direction. That can’t be said of Latest Record Project, Vol. 1. Van cooks along with a simpatico band who are happy to vamp and groove, taking solos that never, ever distract from their lead singer, who has a lot on his mind. Morrison isn’t happy with the state of the world and he takes dead aim at his irritants with song titles that convey as much as his full set of lyrics: “Where Have All the Rebels Gone,” “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished,” “Stop Bitching, Do Something,” “Why Are You on Facebook,” and “They Own the Media.” The latter song thankfully doesn’t descend into conspiracy tropes — a justifiable worry considering how Van wrote a series of anti-lockdown singles during the Covid-19 pandemic — but it does show how Morrison’s crankiness has calcified into nastiness. As always, his saving grace is his expert control of his voice and good musical taste, qualities that prevent Latest Record Project, Vol. 1 from being as sour as its creator.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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