Review Summary: Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, re-enters the singer-songwriter realm after a 30 year hiatus and reminds us all of why we love him.Without that title: --- Romeo, doff thy name;And for thy name, which is no part of thee,He was born Steven Demetre Georgiou. In 1978, after converting to the Islamic faith, he changed his name to Yusuf Islam. In 2004, he was prevented from entering the US as his name had mistakenly been added to the no-fly list – it seems they had confused him with suspected terrorist Youssef Islam.
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.
In 1966 an 18-year-old Cat Stevens - born Steven Georgiou - recorded one of the era's most evocative kitchen-sink hits in Matthew and Son, with its anxious line, "A five-minute break and that's all you take, for a cup of cold coffee and a piece of cake. " After 40 years, another name change, a conversion to Islam and two musical makeovers (pop to folk to devotional), An Other Cup brings him back to the folk-pop idiom and a real shot at his first million-seller since the 1970s. Islam has long abandoned his youth's crisp poetic detail for touchy-feely homily which occasionally breaks into exasperated finger-wagging (In the End is his equivalent of Dylan's Gotta Serve Somebody).