Nov 22 2006

The New Yusuf Islam Album. The Old Cat Stevens?

Published by at 9:13 pm under MP3's


As you probably know, after 28 years, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) has released a new album entitled An Other Cup. I have always been a fan of Stevens’ work, and have never judged his music based on his religious or political views. I believe that some of the information that circulates about him may be based on misconceptions, and would be foolish to think that I knew the actual truth. When the US government wouldn’t let Yusuf into the US, there was speculation as to whether he was a terrorist. After seeing six Muslims forced off a plane earlier this week for no particular reason, and having a friend who was detained because her name was accidentally put on the No Fly List, I am not too confident in our “No Fly List.” So basically, I am neither Pro nor Anti-Cat based on his personal life–I just listen to the music.

I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed in Yusuf’s new album. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but when I heard that he was releasing a new album, my anticipation took me right back to his greats like “Father and Son” and “Where Do The Children Play.” When I heard that he was making a comeback, I assumed that he was, well… going to start from where he left off. How could I think such a thing? It’s been 28 years! It’s not as though his life froze in time between album releases. Quite to the contrary, he has undergone significant religious and environmental transformations. So the album came out, I’ve given it a few spins, and I’m mixed on it. It’s listenable, but in my opinion, the album is unable to offer anything more impressive than his older works–it just didn’t have the same oomph. Also, the religious presence was too much for me. But hey, there seems to be a lot of conflicting reviews–some love it, some are mixed, and some plain out hate it. What is your take?

Regardless of the fact that I will probably not be listening too much to An Other Cup , I still love Cat’s old music, and continue to have full respect for him as an artist.

An Other Cup:

Yusuf – Heaven/Where True Love Goes

Yusuf – Maybe There’s A World

Extra: I Love this Elliott Smith Cover. A great musician covering An Other great musician.

Elliott Smith – Trouble

Cat Stevens – Trouble

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