Yusuf – Roadsinger

2009-06-19 09:07
 
Roadsinger
 

Cat Stevens has always had a thing for telling stories about people (remember "Sad Lisa", "Hard Headed Woman", "Mathew and Son", "Lady D'Arbanville"?). As Yusuf he's no different. "Roadsinger came to town/Long cape and hat" he sings on the title track. It's an apt description of the long and winding road he's travelled from chart topping, post-hippie folk pop poster boy Cat Stevens to orthodox beard-sporting Islamic convert Yusuf. 

At one stage it was thought that he abandoned Cat altogether. Rumours swirled that he wanted to remove all copies of Cat's music from the world. But listening to this album, that can't possibly be true. The cover and liner notes take you on a nostalgic hippie trip down memory lane in an old Kombi, revisiting photos of him placed cheekily in contemporary references (like a Barack Obama poster!). The message is simple, but effective. He wants you to know that the Cat is back, just in another of his nine lives. 

Although his voice is as clear at 61 as it was at 19, you can hear the years in his lyrics. The fire in "Peace Train" has been exchanged for an environmental consciousness in "The Rain", while the fear he felt in "Wild World" has been replaced by a contemplative calm for the unexpected in the almost dirty, bluesy "Everytime I Dream". Then there's "All Kinds of Roses" which has that classical guitar picking reminiscent of "Moonshadow", while "Shamsia" is a beautifully haunting instrumental track rounding off what is a quiet, easy-listening affair.

If you've never really been a fan, this album probably isn't going to convert you. But if you are, it's a wonderful way to rekindle those memories made in the back of Kombis to earlier albums and salute the man who helped a lot of us grow up.

This is the second album released under Cat Stevens' new name, Yusuf since his return to music after a lengthy hiatus. But his sound remains so distinctive, he could go by his Christian name Georgiou and you'd still know who you're listening to.

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Elio Negrini 2009/06/22 11:50 AM
Sorry ex Cat but I have a feeling that you are helping Bin Laden in his mission and his mission is not what I vould call a good mission. No thanks I have all the Cat long plays but I will never buy anything from Yusuf!And that is sad...
Meow 2009/06/22 11:51 AM
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I remember back in the late 80's and 90's the nostalgic sound of Yusuf playing on an old scratchy tape in mums kitchen...It was only after listening to his works as Cat Stevens did I become fascinated with his life story. His music told tales of peace,hope and a sincere search for a deeper meaning in life. His previous release as Yusuf - "Another Cup" was most welcomed amongst the fans I can imagine, as it sounded like the old Cat...whiskers and all... His new album has a sense of maturity that has left the naughty natured cat eyed wonder at the train station... I think a new exciting chapter awaits. The journey continues... Lets see where the faithful 'ol Kombi take him, Peace!
Meow 2009/06/22 12:12 PM
Elio - Don't you think that your assumptions are a bit naive and what I consider rather boring rhetoric that has been echoed continuously for the past 8 years. We are all part of one humanity and as both Cat and Yusuf the same message of peace resonates from his music. It's easy to accuse and insult...its takes a higher level of consciousness and intellect to reflect and understand rather than vomit out thoughts which I don't call your own, but sadly becoming a victim of being inundated with misconceptions. If humanity is to progress beyond prejudice...then I would suggest we sit and think about the words of great artists such as Tracey Chapman, John Lennon, Cat Stevens/Yusuf. Peace to you!
preshen govender 2009/06/22 12:46 PM
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@ Elio you should not assume because you make an ass of you and me A singing must be judge on there voice not religion. Go back to your Nazi supremacist and have $ex with your sister.
AFRICAINE 2009/06/22 2:06 PM
....sad indeed Elio and the loss is yours only. Ag Shame !!
martin 2009/06/22 2:06 PM
@ Preshen - are you having a bad day? Your reply reflects who you are. Peace to you
Pasce 2009/06/22 2:20 PM
at preshen. It`s funny. The bible tells me that what fills your heart will come out of your mouth, but yet you are standing up for somebody that is singing of peace and hope?? Dont understand
preshen govender 2009/06/23 1:05 PM
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@martin,yes i have period pain
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