Pieter | Johannesburg | 11/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This masterpiece has been enhanced by the addition of two alternative versions of original tracks. The deeply spiritual music is comparable to the hymns of medieval visionaries. Summertime In England, whence the album title is drawn, is a magnificent devotional piece with complex but oh so beautiful instrumentation and soulful vocals.
Van's brand of funky soul emerges in Satisfied with its jazzy saxophones over a brooding rhythm track, whilst the ballad Wild Honey shows Morrison at his bucolic best. The uplifting track Spirit is very uplifting and inspirational; it reminds me of a stirring song with the same title by The Waterboys.
I suspect that the awesome but gentle tour de force When Heart Is Open - which appears in two versions - refers esoterically to the opening of the heart chakra. It certainly has that effect on me! There's less of Van's trademark R&B on this album and in general, these pieces are not as overtly religious as say, Be Thou My Vision on Hymns To The Silence, but they're equally moving. Common One offers exquisite music for the soul.