December 08, 2003 12:00 PM

Van Morrison


‘I’m not promoting no hit record,” the Man sings (on “Goldfish Bowl”). “And I don’t have no TV show.” This is news to no one: Morrison, deserving as he is, hasn’t had a hit since—when? “Brown Eyed Girl”? “Domino”? Yet throughout this lush, soul-infused album, he laments the burdens of success in tunes like “Fame” and “Too Many Myths.” People ask too much of him, he says, because he happens to be “a guy who sings songs.” Sorry, mate. As long as Morrison keeps putting out finely crafted records like this one, bristling with gems like Lightnin’ Hopkins’s “Stop Drinking” and his own “Meaning of Loneliness,” sung in that richer-than-ever oak-barrel growl, he’s not going to be left alone.

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