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Van Morrison: Born to Sing: No Plan B

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If you believe, as I do, that Van Morrison is one of the three or four greatest singers of his generation, any new recording of his is a welcome arrival. All the pleasures of his singing are evident on his latest release, Born to Sing: No Plan B: that fat tone that shifts from silky purr to raspy growl as the drama in each song demands, that superb control of phrasing that functions as both grooving drummer and blowing saxophone, and those astonishing codas where he improvises unexpected variations on everything he’s just sung.

Suppose, however, that you take a saner approach to record collecting than this writer. Suppose, for example, that you don’t believe you need more than 40 Van Morrison albums. Suppose you only want 10. Should this be one of them? No way. Suppose you want 20 Van Morrison albums. Should this one be included? No again. While Born to Sing: No Plan B might be considered a triumphant comeback for Rod Stewart or an artistic breakthrough for Harry Connick Jr., it is merely a disappointing footnote in Morrison’s career.

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