A&E Cat Stevens sounds like ’70s self

The Prince George Citizen - - SCIENCE - SANDY CO­HEN

Yusuf/Cat Stevens, The Laugh­ing Ap­ple (Verve Decca)

The artist now known as Yusuf/ Cat Stevens did more than bor­row from his own cat­a­logue for his lat­est al­bum. He also re­united with the pro­ducer and acous­tic gui­tarist who worked on his sem­i­nal hits from the 1970s, re­sult­ing in a new al­bum that sounds like old Cat Stevens with even more light and wis­dom than be­fore.

Fifty years af­ter Cat Stevens’ de­but al­bum, The Laugh­ing Ap­ple blends re-imag­ined songs from 1967 with new com­po­si­tions and newly com­pleted 50-year-old un­fin­ished tracks.

Yet with Alun Davies’ sparkling gui­tars and Paul Samwell-Smith’s crisp pro­duc­tion, the 11 songs sound like a co­he­sive set of tunes that al­ways be­longed to­gether, and carry through themes of so much of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ mu­sic: love and the joy of child­hood.

Two new tracks stand out for their in­stant time­less­ness. See What Love Did to Me, the bright and cheery sin­gle, ex­tols the lifechang­ing power of love. It also boasts the most rock­ing bridge on the al­bum.

You Can Do (What­ever)! is rem­i­nis­cent of the beloved hit Wild World, in both tone and mes­sage. “You can ride a tiger or walk the dog,” he sings. “Any­thing you wish can be true.”

The 69-year-old grand­fa­ther of eight also up­dated a song that first ap­peared on his 2000 great­est hits an­thol­ogy. Grand­sons, about the many de­lights a grand­fa­ther de­rives from his grand­kids, is like a book­end to his 1970 hit Fa­ther and Son. This cover im­age re­leased by Cat-O-Log Records shows The Laugh­ing Ap­ple, a new re­lease by Cat Stevens.

CAT-O-LOG RECORDS VIA AP

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