“Van Morrison is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture. To capture one moment, be it a caress or a twitch. He repeats certain phrases to extremes that from anybody else would seem ridiculous because he’s waiting for a vision to unfold, trying as unobtrusively as possible to nudge it along. Sometimes he gives it to you through silence, by choking off the song in midflight: ‘It’s too late to stop now!’.
“It’s the great search, fueled by the belief that through these musical and mental processes illumination is attainable. Or may at least be glimpsed.”
–Lester Bangs, “Astral Weeks,” in Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, ed. Greil Marcus