Bob Dylan had Slow Train Coming, Lou Reed had Metal Machine Music, and now Van Morrison has Latest Record Project: Volume 1: a collection of songs that, even before anyone had heard it, created dismay among the fans.
It’s true that there are a few grumpier moments than usual, like Why Are You On Facebook? and They Own The Media, but mostly this is an album that’s, ironically, liberated by lockdown, not confined by it. 28 tracks of an often bouncy nature.
If there’s a slight relentlessness to the lyrical themes – Where Have All The Rebels Gone?, Big Lie, Stop Bitching Do Something – well, arguably it makes a change from all the spirituality and nostalgia that has marked much of Morrison’s recent work.
Others may beg to differ, but if him being grumpy over excellent R&B riffs isn’t too much of a shock for the listener, then this is an enjoyable album