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Yusuf Islam 、 Cat Stevens - King Of A Land - Import CD

Yusuf Islam 、 Cat Stevens - King Of A Land - Import CD



April 5, 2024


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Catalog No.: 4050538880878

JAN/ISBN: 4050538880878

Number of Discs: 1

Country/Region of Manufacture: Import


Yusuf Islam 、 Cat Stevens


Yusuf is a talented singer and songwriter with an interesting past -- in the 1960s and 70s he was the internationally famous pop singer Cat Stevens, whose thoughtful, soulful songs often had a spiritual bent. After the release of his 1978 album Back to Earth, Stevens walked away from his career in music, embracing the Muslim faith and taking the name Yusuf Islam. In 2006, he released the album An Other Cup, credited to Yusuf, that found him gingerly easing back into the folk-influenced pop that made him famous, and since then, Yusuf has been making music that aims to strike a balance between the musical personality of his most famous work, his present-day spiritual focus, and his dreams of a more just, peaceful, and generous world. In terms of this match of form and content, 2023s King of a Land may be the best album Yusuf has delivered since returning to popular music (and like his last several releases, its credited to Yusuf/Cat Stevens, suggesting hes at peace with his musical past while wanting to remind us hes not exactly the man he used to be). Working with Paul Samwell-Smith, who produced the bulk of his 70s work, on King of a Land Yusuf writes melodies that are more artful than his best-known hits but have a very recognizable warmth, and a mood that finds room for both joy and gravity. The lyrics are open in their devotion to God and our shared need for a more merciful world. The albums artwork features illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, portraying a young boy in situations that match the stories and themes of the songs, and many of the tunes feel like fables for young and old, songs whose messages are clear but express their lessons with a gentle touch that doesnt feel doctrinaire or judgmental. (Significantly, "Son of Mary" is a compact retelling of the life of Jesus, subtly but firmly affirming that we all worship the same God). King of a Land is not quite pop-folk in the way "Peace Train" or "Moonshadow" were, yet the music is engaging and seems intended to soothe a troubled spirit. Though Yusufs voice is just a bit sandy around the edges compared to his salad days, his performances are passionate without histrionics and with wisdom he wants to share with all those willing to listen. Its a well-crafted and often moving album that mixes a bit of Cat Stevens sound with Yusufs heart and soul, and it honors both with skill and sincerity. ~ Mark Deming

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