Van Morrison Pay The Devil Review

Album. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Legendary Celtic soul troubador Morrison tries his hand at some Nashville classics...

Chris Jones 2006

Well, it's not quite clear who got paid to release this, but the devil should be the least of George Ivan Morrison's worries. This sorry collection of country classics and self-penned ditties simply beggars belief.

Still trading in on his reputation as a soul-searching jazz-blues poet/seer who made a glorious string of albums in the late 60s and early 70s, Van's truculent R'n'B-by-numbers outings have long since worn out their welcome. But Pay The Devil really takes the biscuit.

We know that Van was weaned on this stuff in his Belfast years, but hearing him bluster through some of Hank Williams and George Jones' classics shows nothing but disrespect. Van's own numbers feature little of the fabled mystic poetry but rely on cliché after half-baked cliché ('tear your playhouse down', 'travelling down the lonely highway'...the list goes on and on). The Man may be a genius, but this album is, in a word, perfunctory.

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