Van Morrison

Days Like This

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Van Morrison is a songwriter. He's paid to write about romance. We know this because he tells us on "Songwriter." A list of clich├ęs, presumably intended to be ironic; the song unintentionally reveals the real problem with Days Like This -- Van Morrison is just going through the motions. Days Like This smooths over the rougher edges of the R&B-dominated Too Long in Exile without returning to the meditative, jazzy explorations of his '80s works. Instead, the ensuing album is a completely competent yet completely uninspired pop-R&B workout, with Van sounding as if he couldn't care less about the words leaving his mouth. And that, in a way, explains the empty rhymes of "Songwriter" -- it's just a job and Van will get paid no matter what he turns out.

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