“Astral Weeks” is one of the deepest and most mysterious albums I’ve ever heard. There is very little about the album that can be interpreted on a literal level. The words seem deeply profound, but clouded in obscurity, as if Van Morrison were following an inner muse that even he could not adequately explain.“If I ventured in the slipstream, between the viaducts of your dream, where immobile steel rims crack, and the ditch in the backroads stop, will you find me?”
These could be nonsense syllables but in the context of the music, it sounds as though they may contain a significant clue to the meaning of life.
The jazz musicians supporting Morrison drift through the arrangements, balancing themselves between beautiful instinct and uncertainty, which offers a perfect foil for the fractured abstraction of his subconscious imagery. Is this the same guy who wrote “Gloria” and “Brown Eyed Girl”? Plus, his singing is measured and thoughtful, so perfect as to be shocking. The stylistic change is drastic and intense and hard to believe, like hearing a symphony written by Justin Bieber, except in this case, Morrison exposes his innermost soul to the world. The soul is a mysterious thing, something that we rarely ever get to see in another person, and it is up to us to interpret the message presented here. How many other albums offer so much?
Featured tracks include;
The Way Young Lovers Do
Slim Slow Slider
November 1968 – Billboard Did Not Chart