As I am doing this write-up my engagement partner is trying out an online Japanese course which means that my current playthrough of Astral Weeks has the faint sounds of a Dutchman speaking broken Japanese in the background. Slightly bizarre.
Anyway, I am sticking with the high numbers by looking at the album rated the 15th best… it is the highest album on the list I have not heard of. I knew of Van Morrison because the song ‘Moondance’ was featured in my Year 6 play with some an awkwardly choreographed group dance routine. Everything on Astral Weeks was brand new to me which hasn’t happened to me for a while.
On the first listen to Astral Weeks I didn’t really see much in it. I mean it was nice enough but that was about it. It was standard folk fare and nothing much else. However, it planted a seed in my head since I found myself letting my iPod repeat it for a second play. It was then one of the first albums that I found myself switching on after a recent holiday to Sicily (write up coming soon).
The fact is that Astral Weeks is a bit like Illinois in that the first listen just skims the surface but it truly rewards multiple listens. The fact is that I was so keen to shoehorn this album into a genre upon my first listen which meant that I was pretty much missed the point, there is no real genre that this falls into.
As albums go it is a pleasant enough listen with the lush Celtic-style production but the more I listen to it the more I like it and the more I am beginning to realise why some people rate it highly. Okay, it is not completely my cup of tea but it’ll do for a spin every now and then.