2017 album. A mixture of old and new songs.
Yusuf aka Cat Stevens returns for his fourth ‘pop’ album since he re-emerged in the music scene in the early noughties. The title track of his new record is a new version of a song from his second album ‘New Masters’ from 1967. “Many of my earlier recordings were overcooked with big band arrangements,” he explained in a press release of his decision to revisit this material. “They crowded the song out a lot of times.” Among the old songs that he has revisited for The Laughing Apple are ‘Mighty Peace’ and ‘Mary and the Little Lamb’, neither of which ever made it onto an album. ‘You Can Do (Whatever)’ was originally intended for the Harold and Maude soundtrack but was left unfinished at the time.
The rest of the album is made up of new songs including the first song to preview the album, ‘See What Love Did To Me’, a charming update on the breezy, singalong-friendly sound that Yusuf / Cat Stevens helped to pioneer on classic albums such as ‘Tea for the Tillerman’. Over a simple acoustic-guitar-driven arrangement, he praises love’s transformative powers, comparing it to forces of nature. “Just like the wind, my heart’s rushing fast/A piece of dust too high to catch,” he sings. The song’s lyric video features animations of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ own drawings, made especially for the album. The artist himself turns up for a cameo near the end of the clip.