That Van Morrison would veer from his routine of releasing covers concept albums and live recordings to deliver a small-combo recording of his own compositions should be seen as a welcome turn by many fans – although you may want to hold your cheers until after hearing the bluesy Keep It Simple.
Evidently, Morrison’s notion of simplifying things involves finding an easier way to write songs by stringing together familiar lyrical clichés like “you take my breath away,” “in the evening when the sun goes down,” “sail the seven seas,” “don’t get around much any more,” “shake your money maker,” etc. It’s as though the entire album was written on autopilot, conceivably during the limo ride from the hotel to the studio. Clearly, he’s way past caring, and no one at the label is going to send an album Morrison submits back to him for rewrites, so Keep It Simple is what you get. It’s difficult to hear this as anything but self-parody.