Review #60: Astral Weeks, Van Morrison

Karla Clifton
2 min readMar 19, 2021

#60: Astral Weeks, Van Morrison

I pulled into my apartment’s parking lot to this song. My road trip ended with Astral Weeks.

I’ve only ever heard of this album in the context of people making fun of how pretentious it was, so I guess I expected it to be inaccessible, sparse freeform jazz.

I actually found that I really liked it. Maybe it’s the Irish in me. Maybe it was just serendipitous since this album is all about Van Morrison’s home, and I was going back to my crappy little apartment, which is my home, for better or worse.

The RS blurb mentions that he had just signed to “artist-friendly” Warner Bros., so I guess this was Van Morrison’s magnum opus or whatever. That makes me like it even more!


“Astral Weeks” — This is a beautiful seven-minute Irish folk song. What the hell are “astral weeks” anyway? According to Wikipedia, it’s because something something astral projection. You reeeeally have to be in the mood for this album.

“Beside You” — He does have a very cool voice.

“Sweet Thing” WOOOAaahaayiyiyiiooh.

“The Way Young Lovers Do” — At least he picks up the pace here.

“Ballerina” — Look, I wish this album had “Brown-Eyed Girl” on it, too, but I can see why it’s beloved.

“Slim Slow Slider” — The way this song devolves into nonsense cracks me up.


“Cyprus Avenue” — Wow, this song is long. I don’t dislike this song necessarily, but, wow, if you’re in the mood for something peppy, this is not the album for you.

“Madame George” — This reminds me of that Portlandia sketch with Jeff Tweedy about the defective smoke detector. Love to love to love to lawve … okay, this song is way too long.


I can understand why people would think this album is pretentious, but look: I liked it. I’m not going to let myself not like something just because other people think it’s pretentious, or stupid, or childish, or for any reason at all.

Van Morrison is my new Irish Bob Dylan, and Astral Weeks belongs here. Now go listen to “Brown-Eyed Girl.”

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