"Versatile" is the 38th studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. The album was released on 1st December 2017 on the Legacy Recordings label.
The 38th full-length studio release for the Belfast-born singer-songwriter features jazz and vocal standards as well as three new songs.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 74, based on 5 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
While Punches featured covers of classic blues and R&B cuts by artists like Little Walter, Sam Cooke, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Versatile—Morrison’s 38th studio LP pays homage to another school of influence: the jazz standards that originally inspired him to sing. Original compositions are mixed in with classics from George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Frank Loesser, songs he surely heard over the old transistor while growing up in postwar Belfast, and eventually found their way into some of the most beloved parts of his catalogue, like “Moondance” and the masterpiece Astral Weeks.
His enunciation is a little less crisp—his 72-year-old jowls practically audible on “Let’s Get Lost” and “A Foggy Day”—but the mahogany richness and graceful agility are still there. Backed by a more-than-capable band and deftly produced by Morrison himself, the recordings are stone-hearth warm, a reflection of the nostalgia that’s inherent in every track. Just like the title suggests, the album provides ample support for the argument that Morrison is one of the most versatile musicians of all time. Not that anyone really has any business saying otherwise. Reviewed by Madison Desler for pastemagazine.com.