Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Van Morrison: His Band and Street Choir [Warner Bros., 1970]
Morrison is still a brooder--"Why did you leave America?" he asks over and over on the final cut, and though I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about, that sounds like a good all-purpose question/accusation to me--but not an obsessive one, and this is another half-step away from the acoustic late-night misery of Astral Weeks. As befits hits, "Domino" and especially "Blue Money" are more celebratory if no more joyous than anything on Moondance, showing off his loose, allusive white r&b at its most immediate. And while half of side two is comparatively humdrum, I play it anyway. A