On his own, yet surely inspired by Brother Ray, Morrison sings a moving rendition of “Georgia On My Mind,” adding his own inimitable vocal runs and howls to the hum of a church organ.
Other highlights of the solo selections include the poignant “When The Leaves Come Falling Down,” and the heartening “Days Like This”. The inclusion of “The Healing Game,” a moving gospel song of redemption (from the album of the same name), makes one question the omission of other gems from that record, like “Rough God Goes Riding” or “Fire In The Belly”.
Be that as it may, Van Morrison still possesses one of the most soulful voices in music. “Stranded,” from 2006’s Magic Time, proves it. Had it been included here, “Just Like Greta,” from the same album, would have served equal, if not further, confirmation.
Certainly, Morrison’s talent does not come into question with this compilation. Rather, the random song selection and excessive duets give listeners an uneven impression of that talent.
On the whole, casual fans would have been better served by a single-disc compilation (like its two predecessors), excluding most of the collaborations and including more representative album cuts. Devoted listeners, conversely, and in all likelihood, own the necessary, original, and essential Van Morrison recordings already.