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Van Morrison The Prophet Speaks

The Prophet Speaks
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It's easy to find an extraordinarily long list of artists who have named Van Morrison as an influence: U2, Joan Armatrading, Elton John, Nick Cave and Sinéad O'Connor, to name just a few. In sharing his influences through this latest album, Van Morrison has yet again successfully filled the role of an inspirational teacher to listeners and renowned musicians, both established and up-and-coming.

This December, the 73-year-old knight of the realm will release his fortieth studio LP and his fourth in just over a year. With particular credit to multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco, who worked closely with Morrison, the pair have compiled a selection of wholesome, unadulterated wintery love songs. The Prophet Speaks evokes cosy late-night dances in a warmly-lit speakeasy.

The majority of songs featured on Morrison's latest albums have been covers of his favourite artists, including John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke, and it's a privilege to be shown Morrison's own influences and how he adapts their material with his distinctive voice and creative compositions.

Nevertheless, the standout tracks are undoubtedly some of those written by the man himself: 'Got To Go Where The Love Is', 'Ain't Gonna Moan No More' and 'Spirit Will Provide'. If you're looking for more of Morrison, perhaps he'll be back for yet another album in the near future. I've no doubt that the prophet will speak again.

Jennifer Martino

by Now Then Sheffield

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