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Versatile Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 38th full-length studio release for the Belfast-born singer-songwriter features jazz and vocal standards as well as three new songs.
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Top Track

Start All Over Again
The way you see me walking on That's why I'm telling you in song There's only one way to get ahead You've got to give it up instead Start all over... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 80
    For the most part, it’s a masterclass in jazz phrasing.
  2. Nov 30, 2017
    80
    The album’s pleasures are many. It’s hard to go wrong with good musicians and great songs. On Versatile, Morrison serves the lyrics where he needs to (I Get a Kick Out of You), and breathes unexpected life into songs sullied by ubiquity (Unchained Melody).
  3. Dec 1, 2017
    76
    It’s the originals that shine the most, a testament to the talent of a songwriter that has written a standard or two of his own.
  4. 70
    Versatile may ultimately be a minor addition to the Irish icon’s swollen catalog, yet it’s another example of Van Morrison’s inimitable flair as an interpreter and arranger. It’s hard to imagine spending over an hour with these 16 tunes and not coming away with an appreciative grin and an acknowledgement of the singer’s timeless talents.
  5. Mojo
    Dec 20, 2017
    60
    Van sounds relaxed and perfectly at ease. [Feb 2018, p.93]
  6. Q Magazine
    Dec 20, 2017
    60
    Morrison swings as he sings, conventionally but enjoyably in a classy jazz club mode. [Feb 2018, p.112]
  7. Dec 4, 2017
    40
    It's disappointing to hear one of the all-time great vocalists turn in such mundane performances.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 2, 2017
    9
    The band is great, not anything new jazzwise but solid and tasty. If you expect Van to sing the song straight first, sing the head in jazzThe band is great, not anything new jazzwise but solid and tasty. If you expect Van to sing the song straight first, sing the head in jazz terms, before improvising on it, forget it. He plays with the melodies and words right from the start. The whole thing works as a jazz show. You come away feeling good.

    No, it isn’t Astral Weeks or Moondance. It’s Van doing a jazz show with a great band. If you want to hear new and great Van tunes, give Keep Me Singing an enjoyable listen. That album, for me, is the best in a long time and I’ve been listening since Them in the mid 60’s. I saw Van many times in San Francisco. I even used to see his mother walking her dog when his dad had a record store in Fairfax.

    I was a little disappointed when I heard the first tunes released, Makin’ Whoopee and I Get a Kick Out of You, but they sound much better and make more sense in the context of a show. Don’t worry. He’ll continue to put out a great album every once in a while if Keep Me Singing is an indication.

    Dig this for what it is, a man of many influences doing his take on jazz. No, he isn’t Sarah Vaughan or Ella and he would never claim to be. But if you like Van’s voice and how he can use it, you’ll have a fine show.
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  2. Dec 6, 2017
    8
    A great mix of covers with a couple of new tracks. It's a nice continuation of Roll with the Punches, which had a jazz feel but it really goesA great mix of covers with a couple of new tracks. It's a nice continuation of Roll with the Punches, which had a jazz feel but it really goes full swing with this album. Van kills it on every track and stays true to the jazz roots of the songs. And it's such a treat that this was dropped before Christmas, I love it. Expand