If four years seem like a long time between releases for Van Morrison, that is because this is the longest break ever in Van’s long career. The title tune “Born to Sing” is a jazzy workout for Van’s sound these days. I would starve with my voice. I guess I should stick to the lyrical. “Close Enough for Jazz” is indeed a Jazz sounding song. This is a rare, but an inspired instrumental from Van. He does this from time to time.
“Educating Archie” — I don’t know a thing about Ol Archie but he sure inspired a darned good song, and then some. “End of the Rainbow” is not an earthy song. It does not sound like the here and now at all. It looks to be in another dimension type of song. “Goin’ to Monte Carlo” sounds more like classic Van and will not let you down. “If in Money We Trust” is a very strong song and one of the best here. “Mystic of the East” is a very piano sounding song — a solid song that is totally Van in the process.
“Open the Door (To Your Heart)” is a pretty good song. I have and still am opening the door to my heart. I hope this works eventually. “Pagan Heart” has a bluesy dobro sound that works very well. Although Van has leaned toward Jazz lately, this is a nice departure from this phase. ,”Retreat and View” is also very good. This is a solid release from an artist born to sing. Indeed. Four and a half stars. This is a stellar year for veteran rock releases.