Like a human infusion of chamomile tea, hearing Van Morrisonís voice has the effect of instantly soothing even the most stressed listener.
That said, some of his releases have been so mellow that they muted the í60s soul influences that had been a part of Vanís appeal.
Not so with Magic Time, a wonderful balance of groove and smoothness, with a Ĺlive off the floorĹ feel evident throughout the disc. Right from the start ĹStrandedĹ shows Van at his crooner best--relaxed, present, and joyful. ĹCeltic New YearĹ comes next with a very Astral Weeks feel, leading one to believe that this disc might be sedentary through and throughÖ until ĹKeep Mediocrity at BayĹ kicks in, a feisty blues romp proving that though in his sixties, Morrison still has the sass of his best previous days. Morrisonís cover of Sinatraís brassy ĹThis Love of MineĹ and Perry Comoís ĹIím ConfessiníĹ are full of cheek and charm. Morrison-as-producer has chosen stellar horn sections that elevate the music from good to great and come from an obvious deep love of classic blues and soul.
Heís a lover and a fighter (the disc has two references to his disdain of the music industry: ĹThey Sold Me OutĹ and ĹCarry On RegardlessĹ), but ultimately true to his own musical vision. This destined-to-be-classic release will please a wide variety of his fans.