Van Morrison’s “A Prophet Speaks”: Soulful, Sultry and Bursting With Life

Van Morrison (aka Sir George Ivan Morrison) in concert. Photo by Roger Goodgroves/REX/Shutterstock (9761029at)

One of the last decent albums to come out in 2018 is a Van Morrison’s A Prophet Speaks. It’s slow, soulful and sultry, but is it anything we haven’t heard before?

Van Morrison made his first recording in 1962 and has released 40 studio albums since. At 73-years-old, his 40th album is actually his fourth album released in the last 14 months. This level of production is rare for any artist, let alone someone who has already been making music for fifty years.

Nonetheless, A Prophet Speaks is bursting with creativity and talent. What’s most wonderful to hear is that it sounds like the richly talented artist is just having a great time making the music he loves. He plays the saxophone with the same level of passion that made our parents fall in love with him thirty years ago. What’s more, his music continues to stay true to his roots, in spite of changing genres around him.

The album opener “Gonna Send You Back to Where I Got You From” is full of life. The upbeat, jaunty rhythm keeps you bobbing your head along and carries us along the bluesy, jazz roots which Van Morrison does not betray.

The tempo shifts and changes throughout, keeping things interesting. “Spirit Will Provide” has more of a lounge feel and our favorite, “Loungin’ and Clownin” has an ambient swing quality which delves into deep bluesy tones and reminds us what a sensational saxophonist Van Morrison is.

The title track “The Prophet Speaks” is sultry and utilizes Latin guitar and slow, bluesy rhythms. It teases us with a slow, sensual buildup and ignites your whole body with movement. The guitar solos are impressive and creative and the mellow sound of the saxophone is gorgeous. It’s a fantastic end to a beautiful, reliable album.

The jazz and blues quality is sure to satisfy fans but its also entirely accessible to those who have not yet delved into the genre. If you’ve never heard Van Morrison before, there’s no harm in starting with his latest album. If you like what you hear, you’ll delight in hearing what a rich and delicious discography he has under his belt.

4/5: Van Morrison is a talent that just keeps on giving and ‘A Prophet Speaks’ proves once again that his musical gifts are always welcome.