Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Catch Bull at Four
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Celebrated and adored for his sanguine lyrics and irresistible hooks, Cat Stevens was one of the rare singer-songwriters capable of composing genuinely optimistic songs that didn't leave a sappy residue in listeners' ears.... more »
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Celebrated and adored for his sanguine lyrics and irresistible hooks, Cat Stevens was one of the rare singer-songwriters capable of composing genuinely optimistic songs that didn't leave a sappy residue in listeners' ears. However, even a cursory listen to 1972's Catch Bull at Four proves that the Cat had seen darkness, too, and that those darker elements had become more pronounced than they'd been in the past. His vocal style shifts from the cool croon that made Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat top sellers to a harsher, almost growling delivery. The album's standouts--the wistful reverie "Sitting" and the delightfully infectious "Can't Keep It In"--are resolute in lyric and melody. Rambling, mystical odes such as "The Boy with a Moon & Star on His Head," "Angelsea," and "Sweet Scarlet" offer quaintly romantic imagery and lavishly undulating melodies. But it's the mercurial dynamics and driving melody of "18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)" and the bitter conviction of "Ruins" that give the album a backbone and a sense of balance. --Sally Weinbach
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One of the best.
William Hoffknecht | Fernley, NV | 06/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not my favorite Cat album, but one of his best by far. Cat's lyrical quality and great folk music ability shine brilliantly on this album almost better than any other.
Check it out if you are a new Cat Stevens or Yusef fan, and if you are an old school fan, then you must own this album."
Taking the Bull by The Horns
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 02/21/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the massive success of his albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat, Cat Stevens began to show the mental strains of stardom though the music on Catch Bull at Four. He started off with his usual meditative style with the Top 40 single "Sitting" and letting out a joyful cry with "Can't Keep It In," but the second half found him wishing he could get aboard a UFO and get away from everything in "Freezing Steel." Finally, as he sings in the war-torn walk through "Ruins," Stevens cries for the lost paradise of Eden and wonders where we all went wrong.
In the old side one and two days of vinyl, the happy was side one, the sad was side two. Stevens seemed to intentionally break these emotions into half here, walking you into his dilemmas after hooking you with his typical sounds one the first side. The lovely fairy tale that is "The Boy With The Moon and Stars on His Head" would be disillusioned by the deeply sad woman of "Sweet Scarlet." "Ah, but the song carries on," Stevens sings to Scarlet, even though he sounds more pained than ever before.
The music is still beautiful, despite the anguish that has begun to creep in. The urgency of some of the songs (like "Ruins") pushes Stevens more than he had done before, which means there are no peacemakers like "Morning Has Broken" to be found here. And by the next Cat Stevens album, Foreigner, it was obvious Stevens felt he could no longer relate to what he was doing and that he believed himself to be turning more and more into an outsider. "Catch Bull at Four" is the album that shows Cat as he started trying to navigate that space."