Album: Van Morrison
Pay the Devil, POLYDOR
Friday 03 March 2006
Following the likes of Ray Charles and Bobby Womack, Van Morrison becomes one of the few soul singers to record a country album. Pay the Devil comprises covers of a dozen country standards and three Morrison originals in the same tradition. In some cases, the delivery doesn't quite fit the material: after the simple yearning of Hank Williams' version, Morrison's attempts to wrest something more overtly soulful out of "Half As Much" simply capsize the song. By contrast, he does a jaunty reading of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" - a song that wouldn't really profit from any more emotive involvement - and is at his best on a lovely version of Billy Wallace's "Back Street Affair", where he simply lets the timbre of his voice do the work, and doesn't force it. Likewise, he sounds completely at ease on his own "Playhouse" and "This Has Got To Stop", less anxious to stamp his character on the songs. Elsewhere, there's a languid, swingy version of "Don't You Make Me High", a risqué number once covered with rather more sly innuendo by Maria Muldaur, while Geraint Watkins' piano and Fiachra Trench's string arrangement lend "What Am I Living For?" a tone closely akin to Ray Charles's country outings.
DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Back Street Affair', 'Playhouse', 'My Bucket's Got a Hole in It'
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance 'Carol' for not wearing high heels
Game of Thrones rape scene criticised as 'disgusting' by US senator Claire McCaskill who says she's 'done' with show
Beyonce angers fans by pouring expensive champagne into hot tub in Nicki Minaj 'Feeling Myself' video
Mad Men, TV review: Perfect harmony? Not quite, but an enlightening finale for Don Draper
Love, Cannes film review: Visceral brilliance sets Gasper Noé drama apart from standard porn
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
The day that Britain resigned as a global power