Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Days Like This
Genres: Blues, Folk, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
In an era when most old rock stars are left to recycle their greatest hits for megatours and MTV Unplugged, it's refreshing to know that Van Morrison still pours on all the originality and wit he had when he made Moondance... more »
In an era when most old rock stars are left to recycle their greatest hits for megatours and MTV Unplugged, it's refreshing to know that Van Morrison still pours on all the originality and wit he had when he made Moondance. On Days Like This, Morrison continues his lifelong exploration of the human psyche, offering up highly entertaining and danceable (yes, danceable!) tunes about everything from love to manic depression. As always, Morrison's vocals rumble along through intelligent lyrics, plowing up a range of emotions almost too numerous to catalog. Needless to say, the sweet, soulful harmonies of Morrison's adroit backup singers and Pee Wee Ellis's fabulous horn arrangements serve as fabulous counterpoints to Van the Man's energetic and pointed performances. When all is said and done Morrison sums it up best in "Songwriter," a self-effacing ditty about the job he has done, and still does, so very well. --L.A. Smith
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Horrible backup singers
Jen | florida | 02/21/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, I have to say that Van Morrison is my favorite singer. Moondance is the most amazing album ever. His early work is untouchable. But- now we have Brian Kennedy and, god help us, his daughter on this album. Before I realized it was his kid singing with him on "You Don't Know Me" and "I'll Never Be Free", I wondered why this woman who couldn't really sing was doing duets with him. Now we know. I can't stand Brian Kennedy. This guy pops up in practically every album, minus the earlier ones, and his role seems to be just to annoyingly repeat whatever line Van has just sung. He has got to go. That said, there are redeeming songs on the album, notably Ancient Highway, which sounds like the Van we love. I had to write this review because it seems like people only review albums they enjoy, so that even if you go to a horrible album, say Vanilla Ice or something, the reviews will be raves. I must admit though that Van at his worst is still pretty damn good, and it is hard to top perfection. This is not the best Van album and it's not the first one anyone should buy. Check out Astral Weeks, Moondance, or Tupelo Honey (ooh, chills). Those are truly rave-worthy."
Essential Van Morrison, a Desert-Island Must-Have
Sir Charles Panther | Alexandria, Virginny, USandA | 12/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Strangely enough, it seems in my survey that most hard-core Van Morrison fans despise this release, just absolutely loathe it, and I can't quite figure out why. While not necessarily my favorite VM album of all time (Live at the Grand Opera House-Belfast, No Guru, No Method, No Teacher), this is one I keep coming back to on a regular basis, and usually listening all the way through, at least four or five times through.
The tone for this recording is set on the first track with the irresistible "Perfect Fit." If you don't find this song entertaining and infectious with its rhythm, horn arrangements, and simple yet compelling backbeat and bass line, then you're musically inaccessible and/or dead.
The album is a superb collection of songs exploring common emotions and situations with which we are all familiar, yet those not too often explored by the more mainstream artists, or let out into the open by us, the public. A great example is "Underlying Depression," exploring the blues we are all susceptible too, the blues which are caused by and obvious in everything around us, yet which communicates an unspoken hope. The same is true of "Melancholia." Then there is the subtle it's-me-against-the-world message of "Russian Roulette." The same is true on "Days Like This" with its "poor me" attitude couched in a naturally seductive melody.
Also on the CD are a two odes to Morrison's Christian mysticism, "No Religion" and "Ancient Highway." "Religion" laments the distractions of modern life and the inherent contradictions which challenge faith. "Highway" is a serene and finally intense emotional exploration of inequity, betrayal, falsity, and VM's stated requirement for a spiritual grounding in order to escape and ultimately triumph over the difficulties we experience each day. "Highway" is highly reminiscent of "Rave On" from the "Live at the Royal Opera House" release.
An interesting bit of VM trivia: both "Raincheck" and "No Religion" are banned in Malaysia. Both are considered to be subversive, and possibly even heretical in questioning the authority and the strength/presence of religion.
All in all, this is one of my favorite VM recordings, getting play at least four or five times a month. It is thematically and musically consistent and fluid throughout, an enjoyable musical experience, and a vigorous emotional, spiritual, and intellectual workout if you choose to take that challenge."
More Days Like This, Please!
Aaron Reed | Santa Monica, CA USA | 06/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Admission: I wasn't the biggest Van fan. I knew the hits and the early stuff from the radio--it was all good. But I never got the Mystic trip, mostly ignorance on my part. Luckily, a few fellow travelers insisted that I listen closer. "Days Like This" quickly became the key that unlocked the whole Morrison catalog for me. I suppose it's never too late to arrive at a good party.I can't imagine a collection of songs with more bounce, intelligence, insight and soul than "Days Like This." An example of an artist at the height of his powers--which seems to be the norm for Mr. Morrison."