• Record Label: SMG
  • Release Date: Dec 1, 2017
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
Buy On
  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. Uncut
    Dec 21, 2017
    70
    He's added half a dozen of his own compositions in a similar style to this generous 16-track selection, which pays tribute to his jazz roots rather more successfully than his uneven homage to his R&B origins in September's Roll With The Punches. [Feb 2018, p.30]
  5. 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.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. 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. Full Review »
  2. 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.
    Full Review »