I don't understand this album at all. On a first listen I'd give this a 4/10. Can someone explain the appeal to me and why it has 4.08 on RYM?
its an utterly unique and timeless record
the instrumentation is dense, vibrant and brings the album to life in a way that's so rich and organic that it gives the album a sense of complete agelessness, like it sounds so fresh and detailed that it could easily have been released in this decade
van morrison's vocal delivery is soulful and passionate, perfectly accentuating the rises and falls of the instrumentation and his cadence and many of the ostensibly meaningless repetitions and ad-libs directly serve to enhance the atmosphere and detail of the stories woven by his lyricism
the lyrics themselves use simple stories and anecdotes about love and whatnot as a platform to explore themes of the life and the human condition, deceptively simple-seeming tracks like Madame George or Cyprus Avenue hold beneath their basic surface love stories a rich narrative outlying Morrison's questions and thoughts about the mysteries of the human soul
its my favourite album of all time so i could keep going forever but this would probably be easier and faster if you just explain what you dislike about it and i'll explain why you're wrong
I'll give it another listen keeping in mind your points. My biggest issues were that if this were released this year I wouldn't give it another listen. The sound feels really dated, the low-fi quality, the Dylan/Newman-esque voice tone (really forced stress on the throat either on purpose or natural, and the tongued melisma), even the instruments and instrumentation choices sound odd.
Although even with high fidelity recording and instrumentation, the flutes and the strings sound dated. In a weird way they remind of songs like that one Sesame Street Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeNO56xNlZo . It can be looked back on as maybe influential, but I can't listen to it and feel the same timelessness as other artists from this time.