Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - Review
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critics' view

After having been “tricked” into his first album last year, the Belfastian delved headlong into the mystic with this beguiling, dreamy, acoustic-based folksy extravaganza – closest yet to the album that he’d always wanted to make. Warner Bros assigned producer Lewis Merenstein to the project. He had a background in jazz, and his first port-of-call was veteran bassist Richard Davis – an inspired move. Davis brought in his own supporting cast – at all times throughout this LP the synergy between the players is uncanny, most notably with flutes that could charm a king snake out of a chicken farm and a double bass which, without fail, seems to find just the right supporting notes at just the right time. That these tracks were, by and large, borne of freeform sessions, is testament to the quality of the musicians on-board. This allows Van complete freedom to focus on his soulful, stream-of-consciousness lyrical delivery, the results of which are sublime on giant masterpiece tracks such as “Madame George”, “Astral Weeks” and “Cyprus Avenue”. The album is a sensory delight from start to finish.

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