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Other Cup
     

An Other Cup

4.3 18
by Cat Stevens
 

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The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens has gone through myriad changes in his personal and spiritual life over the 25-plus years since he last released an album, but this return to recording in the secular arena reveals a surprisingly linear artistic development. The singer-songwriter (who set aside his chosen last name of "Islam" for

Overview

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens has gone through myriad changes in his personal and spiritual life over the 25-plus years since he last released an album, but this return to recording in the secular arena reveals a surprisingly linear artistic development. The singer-songwriter (who set aside his chosen last name of "Islam" for this release) always gave voice to his religious beliefs through compositions like "Moonshadow" and covers of traditional Christian hymns like "Morning Has Broken," so it's hardly surprising that he'd do the same with the Muslim faith he adopted in the '70s. Yet the welcoming An Other Cup is anything but dour and doctrinaire. Songs like "Maybe There's a World" and "One Day at a Time" retain the spare, folksy charm and dramatic depth of Yusuf's work circa Teaser and the Firecat, with his surprisingly youthful-sounding voice drifting dreamily over gently plucked acoustic melodies. Yusuf maintains a warm, intimate vibe even when the arrangements are busier and the lyrics more bitter than one might expect, as on a dark-hued, classically skewed cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" -- a clever choice, given the fact that the singer has for years been defending himself against charges that he supports terrorist activities. Longtime Cat Stevens fans will revel in his revisiting "I Think I See the Light," with a renewed energy. And while there are a few heavy-handed moments here, such as the fire-and-brimstone "In the End," An Other Cup is the sort of vessel that invites, and rewards, repeated drinks.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Yusuf Islam's last recording as Cat Stevens, released in 1978, was Back to Earth, a record full of lost and disillusioned emotions and the desire to be whole and to find something more. Now 28 years later, Yusuf gives listeners An Other Cup, a recording that reveals the benefits and the gifts that his conversion to the religion of Islam gave him. With co-producer Rick Nowels, old mates like guitarist Alun Davies, Jean Roussel, and bassist Danny Thompson, and new ones like Youssou N'Dour, Islam returns to the folk-pop idiom of Catch Bull at Four, the aforementioned album, and moments of Foreigner. While the production on this record is full, it feels more stripped down than most of his work. And what's so interesting is that while he may have left behind the minutely detailed searching scenarios his songs related for more spiritual and general sense impressions, it's about the only thing that's changed. His voice is warm, rich, and inviting, his melodies are as irresistible as ever, and his way of relating his experience is direct. It's true there are a lot more holistic themes on this set, deeply spiritual tomes that offer advice, but they also enthusiastically relate the benefits of what he's found. Is it preachy? Yep, a bit, but so was Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming. That's not to equate this record in terms of its profundity, but more to say that anyone who appreciates what Stevens did in a previous life can rejoice in the subjective truths related here. Songs like "Maybe There's a World," "In the End," the horn-drenched opener "Midday (Avoid the City After Dark)," and "Greenfields, Golden Sands" are memorable and delightful for their simplicity and directness. There is also a curious cover on this set: a string-drenched arrangement of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" that's about as far from the Animals' version as one can get. It's a bit over the top, and it's more in your face than anything else here and therefore doesn't work. It's downright sappy. Otherwise, this record is a minor but pleasantly unexpected surprise. It also lends a more human face to the man's often distorted life as a devout pilgrim on his way to seeking God. Doing that in a pop setting is a tightrope walk, but Islam obviously doesn't really care, and he keeps his record free from the trappings of trying too hard. If you missed Cat Stevens, meet Yusuf Islam. On An Other Cup, he delivers what you've been waiting for.
Billboard - Mark Sutherland
This record is uplifting enough to satisfy even a 30-year thirst.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2006
Label:
Atlantic
UPC:
0075679455024
catalogNumber:
94550

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An Other Cup 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this album. Highly recommended. My favorite songs are: Another World, Midday, Heaven, I see the light, Green fields, Beloved and In the end.
cewilch More than 1 year ago
Of the dozen CDs that I have purchased in the past year, this one is at the top of the list.  I can honestly say that I like every track on this CD, with the first two being my absolute favorites.  I would like to thank Yusuf, for giving us a look into his psyche after 30 years . . . .welcome back - we missed you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great album. I've listen to it number of times till there are scratches on my disc. "The Beloved" is the best track.....ah but all the tracks are great. Yusuf is back, more matured. Dont worry, he wont channel the profit from the sales to terrorism. He's not a terrorist. Dont misunderstood him!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is good and there is bad, la,la,la. That's how I'd summarize the lyrics. The melodies are just as simplistic. Probably good for putting you to sleep, though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I haven't got the album (yet) so I haven't heard everything on it but what I have heard online sounds nice. I love the lyrics to all of the songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
more than just a song, Yusuf try to call us to back to our nature, to our humanity.Further,I hope there will be many singer not just sing a song, but also try to educate listeners about peace and humanity. Two thumbs up for Yusuf!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like the picture in the cover (an ocean into a tea cup)the musics into the CD are a world of delight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD was quite a surprise, but in a positive way. Yusuf has revitalized his voice, and it sounds wonderful. His words carry so much depth, and he doesn't seem to care what anyone says- he's just doing what he likes to do. Good for you, Yusuf. Keep it up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
just to hear your voice , your words. thank you
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a joy to welcome back an old friend and his new songs. Most of my music heroes from the late 60s and 70s have never recaptured the creative juices they had in their 20s, but Yusuf Islam has. I doubt that Yusuf will get much airplay on radio, but in this new age, who needs it? Radio airplay is so 1970. At least three of these songs are as good as any he's done: Midday, Heaven, and Maybe There's a World ... the first three on An Other Cup. Another, I Think I See The Light, is growing on me rapidly. Why, fans of musicals even have a song for them, Greenfields, Golden Sands. What a rich, diverse, collection from Yusuf’s many influences. Further, very few artists can make a decent cover song. Yusuf was among the best at that with Morning Has Broken. He defined the song. Now, he transforms Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood into his own song. There's no sampling or gimmicks, just a song transformed. If this Wild World ever needed someone to bridge the growing gulf between Islam and the West, it's now and Yusuf Islam may be the only person who can do it. I'd love to see him singing Peace Train at the Mall in Washington, D.C., Midday at a Central Park concert in New York, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood in LA. The perfect symbolic setting for Yusuf to bring a better understanding of the Crescent Religion to the West would be under the Arch in St. Louis ... America's Gateway to the West. Following the extremely bitter and negative political campaign in which Americans repudiated "Stay the Course" in Iraq, we certainly could use some of his optimism and hope. The release of An Other Cup could be a defining moment in the war between Islam and the West where a good man steps forward to bring about understanding and true dialogue. Or, it could be ignored and ridiculed by the same forces that brought us the recent election and the War in Iraq.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The tempo is obviously slower, but that is expected from 59 year old Yusef. Music is excellent over all. Refreshing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Refreshing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only is Yusuf Islam a wonderful human being with a heart of peace - he has not lost his talent in thirty+ years for writing music that appeals to people who are worldly aware of competing struggles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing, mind blowing CD. IT's full of spiritual meaning that any person of any faith can relate to. It is uplifting to hear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yusuf is a man you feel sincerity whenever you meet him or listen to his music I remember meeting him back 1982 for 3 hours .he was discussing various things with many people with different ideologies and answering their questions so openly I was impressed . His latest is marvelous and deep in melodies and deep spiritual touches .you can’t help not feeling it gushing out.I love all songs in an other cup bunch. I find it hard to prefer one rose from the other from the same bundle. Thank you Yusuf for your legendry love for all humanity. Our world is really something with your presence I pray for you a long life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
By all means buy this CD if you want to help fund Hezbollah and Hamas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes his music is new and revised for the time but it is hard to get past the hypocrisy. Here is a man that walked away from his career and has sinced protested against capitalism and the U.S. and now wants Americans to buy his records. Not now not ever! Ask yourself When he gets the profits from the record will he use it to harm people. Yusuf can answer this!