Van Morrison

A Period of Transition

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Titles rarely come as explicit as A Period of Transition, a record Van Morrison released three years after Veedon Fleece, an uncommonly long period of inactivity for this prolific artist. It was his longest rest, before or since, and in many ways, he emerges from a cocoon here, leaving behind the lushly dark introspection of Veedon Fleece for a mellow, good-natured R&B-flavored singer/songwriter sound that may turn introspective but never feels dark -- it's warm, welcoming, infused with spirituality and humor. Still, like any period of transition, this is somewhat tentative and uneven, with its best moments being, at best, minor masterpieces. Yet there's a charm to the album Morrison and co-producer Mac Rebennack have made, a laid-back organic feel that may not be exciting but it's inviting -- all the more so when it's seen as the transitional effort it is.

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