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Album: Van Morrison, Born to Sing – No Plan B (Blue Note)


Van Morrison's best album in some while is a set of songs that, despite the relaxed tone of their jazz-blues settings, foam with indignation about the venality of capitalist adventurism.

Critiquing the capitalist "global elite" in "Educating Archie", pondering the death of God in "If in Money We Trust", and affirming the value of art over money in "End of the Rainbow", he's found deserving targets for his grumbling – even "Goin' Down to Monte Carlo", he's offended by the "phoney pseudo-jazz" playing in a restaurant, an emblem for the emptiness of wealth. His own music has an easy-going swing, which in places recalls Moondance, except for "Pagan Heart", a graceful eight-minute excursion into John Lee Hooker bluesland.

Download: Pagan Heart; Goin' Down to Monte Carlo; Born to Sing