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An Other Cup

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Editors’ Notes

An Other Cup may leave listeners feeling like Rip Van Winkle in reverse; 28 years after Yusuf Islam made his last pop album, it’s as if no time had passed. Islam, of course, is better known as Cat Stevens, an identity he left behind after his religious conversion and a retreat to private life and charitable works. But even during his early 70s heyday, Stevens/Islam was always a seeker, his acoustic-folk sound powered equally by a warm, lilting baritone and a yearning spiritualism. Listen with only half an ear, and it’ll seem that nothing has changed. That voice sounds no older, the rhythms are just as playful, and the appeals to love, harmony, and world peace strike the same universalist note. An Other Cup lacks the irresistible melodies that powered classics like “Moonshadow,” but there’s still much to appreciate here, from the cheery, horn-laced opener “Midday” to the lovely “Maybe There’s a World,” with its peace-train musings and gentle finger-picked guitar. While most of the religious references seem designed to include listeners rather than shut them out, “In the End” doesn’t bother to veil its apocalyptic fire: “There’ll be no time to believe—in the end.” Yet the album’s most explicitly devotional track, “The Beloved,” is also one of its most compelling, powered by the tension between its Celtic-inflected melody and the unearthly beauty of Senegalese performer Youssou N’Dour’s voice.

Customer Reviews

What were you expecting, exactly?

Yusuf Islam has done a courageous thing. Again. You remember, this is a guy who left the music business when he converted to Islam. We all know the story by now. Yep, it was 28 years ago and the young man was still "On The Road To Find Out." I think he "found out" just fine. And I think he's back to tell us just how he did it. Aren't you the least bit interested? If you are 40 to 50 something and beyond today, you, no doubt, owned copies of Tea For The Tillerman and Teaser and The Firecat and can probably still remember all the words to all the songs. Cat Stevens made peace with his demons, focused on his spiritual path and off he went on a mission to make the world a better place through his tireless work with Islamic schools and helping needy children. And now Yusuf has put himself back out there in the the very arena that he left 28 years ago. By all means, let's look for something to criticize rather than to praise in his new collection of songs on "An Other Cup." What I hear in Yusuf's voice and music, is a man who is, indeed, 28 years older. He's not lost a thing. His voice is in wonderful form. Other than James Taylor and Kenny Loggins, I can't think of another 70's pop-folk-rocker who's managed to hang on to his vocal chords. The songs on "An Other Cup" are wisely crafted, and Yusuf sings them with exceptional vocal control, perhaps with the voice of experience. For those of you who remember the way back Cat, expect a different treatment. Yusuf has matured along with the rest of us and the confidence that comes with knowing where you have been, where you are now and where you are headed are evident. Take a listen to "An Other Cup." Like I said, Yusuf has done a courageous thing. Again.

great voice/misunderstood.

first off, those people who say yusuf islam supports 9/11 are just plain wrong. this is from wikipedia: "Yusuf Islam immediately and vehemently spoke out against the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States, saying: "I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: The Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims of this sorrowful moment."[10] He appeared on videotape on a VH-1 pre-show for the October 2001 Concert for New York City condemning the attacks and singing an a cappella version of his song Peace Train for the first time in public in more than twenty years. He also donated half of his box-set royalties to the September 11 Fund for victims' families, and the other half to orphans in underdeveloped countries." SO COME OFF IT! STOP BEING A BIGGOT! JUST BECAUSE SOMEBODY IS A MUSLIM DOES NOT MEAN THEY SUPPORT MURDER! ALL OF MY MUSLIM FRIENDS ARE HORRIFIED BY VIOLENCE! SIMILARLY, JUST BECAUSE I AM A CHRISTIAN DOES NOT MEAN I SUPPORT THE MURDER OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF IRAQIS! plus yusuf has such a great voice...

Something New from the Tillerman

In what will likely be both welcome and perplexing to many fans, An Other Cup is one of the most unexpected and interesting comebacks of the year. As a Cat Stevens fan for as long as I can remember listening to music, I'm thrilled to hear this album. Is the title a reference to "Tea for the Tillerman?" The songs themselves are delicate, crystal-clear and stronger than most of Yusuf's late 70s work. Of particular note are the remake of his 1970 song "I Think I see the Light," which has been jazzed up a bit; and "Maybe There's a World," which will instantly bring the listener back to the Cat Stevens era. Also, his cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which could be a plea to everyone who's perpetuated the myths around him during the last 30 years. In all, it's a great album.


Born: July 21, 1948 in London, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the late '70s, the chart-topping singer/songwriter Cat Stevens formally became a Muslim, adopted the name Yusuf Islam, and after the release of his 11th and final Cat Stevens album (1978's Back to Earth), announced his retirement from the pop music business. Largely inactive during the 1980s and '90s, he returned in 2006 with a new studio effort, An Other Cup, under the name Yusuf. In early 2009 he collaborated with "fifth Beatle" Klaus Voormann for a cover version of George Harrison's "The Day...
Full Bio
An Other Cup, Yusuf Islam
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Nov 14, 2006

Customer Ratings