Keep Me Singing

Van Morrison

On Keep Me Singing, Van Morrison takes it very easy on us. His first studio album since 2012 is quite accessible stuff from the Celtic crooner, mostly Morrison-penned MOR songwriting informed by sweet organ, easy harmonies, lush string arraignments, and, of course, the man’s still impeccable vocal prowess.

From opener “Let It Rhyme,” where we move forward in soft rim shot verses, organ and harmonica playing off one another and expert two-part harmonies peppered throughout, to the ballad “Memory Lane” with its acoustic guitar and string mix, we get the full realization where this classic singer and songwriter is.

The organ-led sway of Alfred Braggs and Deadric Malone’s “Share Your Love with Me,” a tune famously recorded by Aretha Franklin, will surely leave you breathless. “In Tiburon” is a mid-tempo jazzy plod where Morrison gets to name check all that he saw and did in San Francisco back in the day.

“And Too Late,” the first real upbeat number, has a shimmy and full range of harmony vocals, brushing into “Wild Night” territory. The CD ends on the organ pumping, snare-brushed instrumental “Caledonia Swing.”

The mood of this 13-song collection is upbeat and blue-eyed soulful. It allows Morrison and the instrumentation to service both the songs and his voice. Give Van Morrison’s Keep Me Singing a spin, and the rest of your day will be filled with happiness and satisfaction.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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