VAN MORRISON has hit out at lockdown restrictions and the lack of independent thought in several tracks featured on his new album.
The double album, titled Latest Record Project: Volume 1, also sees the outspoken Belfast singer take aim at Facebook and the mainstream media. It comes just months after Morrison hit out at what he viewed as the “pseudo-science” of Covid-19 restrictions.
The 75-year-old went on to record a series of protest songs opposed to lockdown that featured Eric Clapton with titles like Born to Be Free and Do You Want to be a Slave? He also mounted a legal challenge to the ban on live music along with an online petition.
The Northern Irishman’s actions drew the ire of Minister for Health Robin Swann who described Morrison’s protest songs as “dangerous” in an interview with Rolling Stone. While Morrison has generated plenty of negative headlines, there have been positives too, with the veteran singer also establishing a hardship fund for struggling musicians.
However, his new album, which is due out in May, is unlikely to sit well with his critics. Spanning 28 tracks, according to the singer’s official website, this new album is a direct result of what is described as "our enforced period of isolation".
"Unable to tour, Morrison remained busy with constant songwriting, starting ideas on piano, guitar or saxophone,” it continues. The blurb explains that if the album has any overriding theme, it is simply that it offers a "a straight-talking commentary on contemporary life".
In a statement published on the website, Morrison explain: "I'm getting away from the perceived same songs, same albums all the time…This guy's done 500 songs, maybe more, so hello? Why do you keep promoting the same 10? I'm trying to get out of the box."
So far only the album’s title track has been released online but all of the album’s song titles have been published and make for interesting reading.
Song titles on the new album include They Own The Media, Why Are You On Facebook?, Where Have All the Rebels Gone?, Stop Bitching, Do Something, Psychoanalysts' Ball, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished and Big Lie.
Morrison returns to the theme of frustration around lockdown measures on another track, Dead Beat Saturday Night, in which he sings: "No life, no gigs, no choice, no voice."
Due to be released on double CD and triple vinyl, Van Morrison’s 42nd album is shaping up to be by far his most controversial yet.