Hello everyone out there in Sonic Collective Land. This is Scott G here to present April 2022’s pick, closing out this round of soul albums. We’ve gone pretty far afield starting with a taste of neo soul, sliding into a lounge/chillhop and rounding out with a modern throwback to the roots of the genre. I’m going to take us back as well and give us a taste of blue eyed soul with Van Morrison’s 1972 album Saint Dominic’s Review.
Blue eyed soul is a term coined in the mid 1960s for white artists performing in the soul genre; even though television was fairly common by then, most music was still experienced on the radio and through records. This term became an easy way for Soul radio DJs, whose playlists were almost completely filled with black artists, to signal to their audience the artist was white.
Van Morrison, I don’t even know what to tell you. He’s an Irish singer/songwriter and I just can’t pin him down musically. He’s folk, R&B, Soul, rock, country, country-rock… Completely understandable when you have released 42 studio albums over seven different decades.
Saint Dominic’s Review was recorded over multiple sessions, had musicians getting swapped in and out regularly, including at one point bringing in the touring band to record, and was his most commercially successful album in the US for about 40 years.
This is his sixth album, several removed from the commercial sting of Astral Weeks and more exploration along the lines he established on Moondance. It must have been interesting for fans to wonder what they were going to get from album to album, and this is no different. I went through that with U2 in the 90s and it was equal parts awful and amazing.
To be honest, we always give albums we’re considering a playthrough before selecting to make sure it’s actually on theme or otherwise meets our criteria, and I don’t know what else to say at this time. I’m equal parts confused and excited. The soul is there, and I think it’s going to take me the month to untangle this ball of yarn, sort the influences and settle some thoughts on it.
If you like meaty, elusive albums, I hope you choose to dig into our April 2022 pick, Saint Dominic’s Review by Van Morisson. I know we’re all going to have a lot to say about this one, so join The Sonic Collective when we get back together at the end of the month and share our thoughts, and be sure to share yours with us in the comments.
The Sonic Collective