|All Artists: Van Morrison|
Title: Poetic Champions Compose
Members Wishing: 10
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polydor / Umgd
Original Release Date: 1/1/1987
Re-Release Date: 7/14/1998
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Blues, Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Contemporary Folk, Celtic, Adult Contemporary, Singer-Songwriters, Contemporary R&B, Soul, Folk Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
If his albums are any indication, Van Morrison seems to have bounced between religions like a demented pinball. Amazingly, for a decade that saw the Belfast enigma explore Christianity and Scientology before returning, on Avalon Sunset, to Christianity, Poetic Champions Compose serves as a reminder that Van managed to even cram in an agnostic phase along the way. With this in mind, a desperately bleak version of the folk standard "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" lacerates the heartstrings. But the album shouldn't be assumed by any means to be a depressing affair. Three saxophone instrumentals, including the Miles Davis-influenced "Spanish Steps," lend a crisp Sunday morning feel to much of the proceedings, while "Queen of the Slipstream" and the live favorite "Did Ye Get Healed" suggest that, however bad the crisis of faith was (and the quite awesome preceding album No Guru, No Method, No Teacher suggests it was pretty bad), here is a man ultimately happy to find redemption in a love song. --Peter Paphides
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Scott C Elliott | New York City, NY | 10/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The moment you start this journey, hearing Mr. Morrison blowing his alto sax, you KNOW this is no regular event. The mood is set - somber, deep and achingly beautiful. Be ready for the simple, honest lyrics set to true soul music from this small powerhouse of a man. He gets spiritual with THE MYSTERY, shares his longing on QUEEN OF THE SLIPSTREAM, bares his heart on I FORGOT THAT LOVE EXISTED, and on and on. But when he sings SOMEONE LIKE YOU, a tear should fall from anyone who's been in love's eye - man or woman. Van continues on a journey into the blues and then back to the spiritual. It doesn't have to end there if you hit repeat. Perfection!!"
Poetic Champions Compose
Michael Palma | 01/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had not bought a Van Morrison album in many years but one night my wife was watching one of her chic flicks, "Bridget Jones Diary" and I heard an awesome, soulfull love song in the film and it sounded like Van Morrison. I checked it out. The song was "Someone Like You" and I finally found a vinyl copy of the album and I listened to it probably four hours that night. The album never grows old. I'm 54 years old and I have an enormouse record collection spanning 5 decades. This album would be in my top 5. All songs on the album are wonderful, but my favourite is "Queen of The Slipstream". Anyone not moved by this album is not human."
Another mystical experience
Shannon Freeman | Tennessee | 03/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Relating to this album as another Van Morrison release is missing the point. Each of his recordings give a glimpse as to where he is on a mystical, spiritual journey. Morrison likes to plumb the depths; this is no bubblegum artist. However, this fact doesn't negate a playful side. Morrison is versatile enough to touch all bases.
" Poetic Champions..." seems a great introduction to the "adult" Van Morrison. After rollicking good times on many old gems ( " Tupelo Honey", " St.Dominics...") Morrison got serious in the mid 80's. 1987 saw the release of this album, containing dreams and lullabies for the mature set.
" Spanish Steps" purrs. An instrumental, it actually sasheys and purrs. "The Mystery" is an open invitation to embrace the unknown while having faith, the challenge all spiritual seekers wrestle with.
" I Forgot That Love Existed" is a wake-up call. The heart still beats, even as the head tries to snuff it out. " Someone Like You" has been featured in quite a few romantic films, but it plays better among its family. " Allow Me", the closing, another instrumental, floats along like a flower, mid-air, on a spring day.
Always rich in imagry, Morrison begins a cycle that recalls seasons; "Poetic Champions..." is fitting for this time of year, awakening from a long winter, happily drifting toward a warm spring.