Keep It Simple - Van Morrison

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. There are no surprises, but when you do something this well, there doesn't need to be.
  2. Morrison's first collection of originals in longer than most of us can remember relies on a characteristic combo of jazz phrasing and bluesy riffs that should please die-hards and maybe bring in a few latter-day converts.
  3. The album is front-loaded with these relatively energetic tracks. Much of the rest ('End of the Land,' 'Song of Home') is resigned, reflective and spiritually attuned, but not always keenly focused.
  4. True, there are moments during this self-penned collection of bluesy numbers that the Irishman does indeed Keep It Simple, but perhaps too much so, and it comes off as "Rather Too Easy" instead.
  5. At its best, Keep It Simple is a comforting dispatch from the fairyland where folky soul Morrison masterpieces like 1971's "Tupelo Honey" were born.
  6. The Belfast cowboy keeps on making quality records
  7. It’s difficult to hear this as anything but self-parody.
  8. On this relaxed and cohesive set, Van's band fall into simple and graceful grooves and play like a proper group, not hired hands.
  9. Most of Keep it Simple has a demeanor of ease to it.
  10. The arrangements are elegantly spare: subtle works of guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion, occasional backup singers and, at the center of it all, Morrison's incomparable voice, as expressive as ever.
  11. Seven of the 11 tracks are tasteful, blues-by-numbers shuffles, with Hammond organ and backing vocals; they are elevated above the norm only by Morrison's velvety gargle. Lyrically, however, he appears to have hit a brick wall.
  12. 80
    So far, so agreeable, but a minor niggle is that Morrison evidently continues to favour comfortable rather than challenging accompanists. Then the album hots up.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. RennyK.
    Apr 5, 2008
    My wife who doesn't even know who Van Morrsion is love'd it. I enjoyed it more after each listening. Track 9 will end up on my MP3. If you're a Van Morrsion fan I don't feel you will be dissappointed and I think it has appeal for any blues lover. Full Review »