Picks and Pans Review: Beautiful Vision

updated 04/12/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/12/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Van Morrison

The surly Irish mystic has made another astonishing album that is in the same league with his 1968 masterpiece, Astral Weeks, and its celestial 1970 sequel, Moondance. Morrison (born George Ivan 36 years ago) provides an alluring stylistic range on these 10 songs. Cleaning Windows is a working man's blues that packs the emotional wallop of a Leadbelly song, while Scandinavia is an ethereal instrumental beautiful enough to be background music at the pearly gates. Van has made no secret of his spiritual bent, and his transcendental songs, Across the Bridge Where Angels Dwell and Dweller on the Threshold, axe gripping. As always, Morrison holds himself to high standards that demand that each lyric and each riff connect emotionally with the listener. He usually succeeds.

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