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The Prophet Speaks Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The latest 40th full-length release for the singer-songwriter features six new original songs as well as eight covers of classics jazz and R&B songs.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 80
    Satisfying and wholly enjoyable album.
  2. Dec 10, 2018
    80
    Pleasingly, it’s Morrison’s new songs that impress most. ... Of the covers, Hooker’s Dimples is the standout, but in truth there isn’t a weak link here. Excellent songs, expertly rendered--what is there to dislike?
  3. Q Magazine
    Dec 18, 2018
    80
    Forty albums into his career, Morrison might just be summoning a new creative burst. [Feb 2019, p.115]
  4. Dec 6, 2018
    72
    By mining such masters as John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke, he negates any risk that the material might lapse. ... Besides, these are hardly rote performances. His stutter and scat on “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” gives the song a distinct new twist. Likewise, his playing on sax and harp is as assured as always, adding to his credence and conviction. The backing band, including his current foil Joey DeFrancesco, is polished and professional, giving Morrison room to play with his phrasing and weave his way through the melodies.
  5. Uncut
    Dec 6, 2018
    70
    The likes of John Lee Hooker's "Dimples" and Sam Cooke's "Laughin' and Clownin'" are intimate, effortless-sounding exercises in sublime jazz phrasing, his voice at 73 as supple as ever. [Jan 2019, p.22]
  6. Mojo
    Dec 6, 2018
    60
    It's easy groove doesn't suggest exhaustion, just peace of mind. [Jan 2019, p.84]
  7. Dec 7, 2018
    60
    The title track of Van the Man's 40th (!) studio album, the slow jam is a brilliant blues number based on rolling Rhodes keyboards, fat horns, thin cymbal splashes and a vocal with such clarity, concision and quality that it will stop you in your tracks. Yep, that good. The rest? Well, you've seen this movie before: blues, jazz and soul standards delivered with minimum fuss and maximum quality.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 7, 2018
    10
    I’ve been a fan since the first Them album over fifty years. I’d like to respond to the first user review by saying that yes an album of allI’ve been a fan since the first Them album over fifty years. I’d like to respond to the first user review by saying that yes an album of all Van originals is certainly preferable and that can be found in Keep Me Singing which I consider one of the great Van albums, up there with No Guru, No Teacher, No Method, and Veedon Fleece, not up there with Astral Weeks or Moondance but you can’t have everything. But I have really enjoyed the Driving Me Crazy album and this one because the band is just so good. I didn’t used to listen because of the guitar or sax or organ although I really like Georgie Fame’s sensitivity. Van’s singing is right up there. 73, you’re kidding. Versatile is great if you like standards and the Van songs stand out. He sings like a young man. Too bad Dylan and McCartney lost their great voices.
    If you want to see him these days it costs something like $250 a ticket. I saw him many times in the Bay Area for $10 or whatever. What I’m getting at is that you get a pretty damn good show for the price of a cd or digital download. Time is running out. When he’s gone are you going to be one of those who came too late or are you going to enjoy him now. Maybe he’ll put out another album of originals, maybe not. Dig what you get. It’s pretty fine.
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  2. Dec 7, 2018
    6
    The Prophet Speaks is very much in line with his recent releases. There are a handful of new songs but the album features mostly cover songs.The Prophet Speaks is very much in line with his recent releases. There are a handful of new songs but the album features mostly cover songs. And while at first that was a good thing, This marks his fourth straight album of mostly cover songs and I have grown rather bored of it. The songs start to merge together to the point where it all just sounds like one continuing loop rather than each song being their own original thing.

    Sure, There are a handful of songs (pretty much his original songs) that I like but this is the fourth straight album of the same exact thing. And it proves that even Van Morrison is capable of growing stale, Which shocks me considering how much I love his work. I really wish he'd add a bit more variety rather than continuing the jazz kick he's been on. Maybe make another album of mostly or all original songs. He has to break out of this repetitive loop he is in.
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