Van Morrison review: Not a knockout but still fighting fit

Roll with the Punches
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Artist: Van Morrison
Genre: Blues
Label: Caroline

At 72 Van Morrison shows no sign of curtailing his musical output – nor, indeed, its quality. His 37th studio album treads a similar line in blues, soul and rock'n'roll to last year's Keep Me Singing, although 10 of these 15 songs are covers.

Songs by Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mose Allison and more are treated with reverence and tenderness, while his slinky take on Sam Cooke's Bring It on Home to Me is a highlight.

Of the original songs, the enjoyable Fame (re-recorded here as a duet) and the gospel-infused Transformation are memorable, while guests including Jeff Beck drift in and out of the tracklist. It's hardly revolutionary stuff, but when you're a man who's done his bit across five decades, it doesn't need to be.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times