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You Win Again
     

You Win Again

by Linda Gail Lewis
 
Over the course of a peerlessly individual four-decade recording career, Van Morrison has taught his fans to be prepared for the unexpected. So the artist's latest, seemingly left-field departure -- an album of duets with Linda Gail Lewis, seminal rocker Jerry Lee Lewis's piano-playing kid sister, on a set of '50s-vintage rockabilly,

Overview

Over the course of a peerlessly individual four-decade recording career, Van Morrison has taught his fans to be prepared for the unexpected. So the artist's latest, seemingly left-field departure -- an album of duets with Linda Gail Lewis, seminal rocker Jerry Lee Lewis's piano-playing kid sister, on a set of '50s-vintage rockabilly, country, and rhythm-and-blues covers -- shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to longtime observers. Though casual observers might suspect that the project could be a case of the artist coasting between more self-consciously serious (i.e. self-penned) projects, You Win Again is no throwaway. Morrison remains one of rock's most distinctive and compelling vocal stylists, and he invests these chestnuts -- including Arthur Alexander's "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues," Ray Price's "Crazy Arms," Bo Diddley's "Cadillac," not to mention a trio of familiar Hank Williams tunes and the Jerry Lee Lewis number "Let's Talk About Us" -- with an unmistakable passion that makes clear his emotional investment in the material. And the artist finds a surprisingly formidable partner in Lewis, who does an impressive job of keeping up with his jazz-inspired vocal curveballs. The album's sole Morrison composition, "No Way Pedro," underlines Van the Man's effortless mastery of the bedrock styles that form the foundation of his complex artistic persona.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Van Morrison has always been eccentric, but as he grows older, he seems to get more comfortable with his eccentricities and doesn't strain as hard to be distinctive. That's why it seems natural to have two albums in one year be as willfully individual as The Skiffle Sessions and You Win Again, a duet album with Linda Gail Lewis. In all honesty, in 2000, nobody but Jerry Lee Lewis fanatics really remembered that his sister Linda Gail is a talent in her own right, but Morrison had a soft spot for her and decided to record a full album with her. It's a modest affair, sporting only one Morrison original ("No Way Pedro") and relying heavily on Jerry Lee's catalog, opening with four songs inextricably associated with his Sun recordings. But, if this is a tribute album, it's only because this music is in the same spirit as those great recordings. Not everything here is associated with Jerry Lee, but Linda Gail's piano is reminiscent of her sibling, and both she and Morrison have the same fearless spirit as the Killer, easily making these songs fit their voices and blur the distinctions between R&B, blues, country, and rock & roll. Best of all, this is never a conscious decision; they're just pounding out a bunch of songs they love. You Win Again sounds like it was knocked off in one afternoon by a bar band that knows each other so well, they can anticipate each other's next move. It wasn't, of course, but that's the highest compliment it can be paid. No, it's not a major work in Van's catalog, but it's hard not to smile when listening to it, just like The Skiffle Sessions. It's a roots effort that never sounds studied -- just easy, welcoming, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Entertainment Weekly - Tony Scherman
At 55, Van’s coasting, but the great singer can make enjoyable music without breaking a sweat.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/03/2000
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724385025822
catalogNumber:
50258

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