25 March 2009

Cat Stevens

Matthew and Son, Cat Stevens' first album, is by far the least introspective of his releases. This album is full of AM-radio-oriented tracks, nearly all of which clock in at under 3 minutes. There are better Cat Stevens albums out there, but none with as much ear candy.

Some of these songs are certified hits. The album opens with the title track, which is one of the more dynamic tracks on the album. It has baroque pop written all over it, which signifies the rest of the album's style. The following track, "I Love My Dog", is a more contemplative affair. Interestingly, it features Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on bass. It was Cat Stevens' first single, though it's not as well known as "Matthew and Son" or the third track, "Here Comes My Baby". This track seemed to gain in popularity after it was featured in Wes Anderson's "Rushmore". It was also covered by professional cover band Yo La Tengo on 1990's Fakebook.

The sugary sweet keeps cruising along on the next track, "Bring Another Bottle Baby". The song is a sexy French affair, which I can't help but think shaped the Flight of the Conchords song "Foux du Fafa".

Another significant track on this record is "I've Found a Love." Anyone familiar with Panda Bear's 2007 Person Pitch will recognize the guitar strumming and tambourine-tapping right after the chorus. Somewhere in the middle of that album's epicenter, "Bros", features that sample. Record nerds!

The rest of the album features songs that aren't quite as ambitious, though decent all the same. And there's the album closer, "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun", which a bit unnerving. The title suggests exactly what the song is about, though it's no ballad. The music sounds a bit like the background for a Tom and Jerry chase. Weird stuff. Apparently it was written for a musical about Billy the Kid, but the musical was never produced. Strangely, despite not having any context, it was released as a single in the UK and never had any controversy along with it.

Cat Stevens - Matthew & Son (1967)

Yo La Tengo - Here Comes My Baby


UncleDiss said...

I absolutely love this record... So many great songs make this album one of his absolute best..

Cole said...

It's a really interesting album to listen to, just because the elements that are so prominent in just about everything else he's done- spirituality and cynicism, namely- are nowhere to be found. It's just a constant barrage of pop.

I personally consider Tea for the Tillerman his best, but this one definitely rates highly.

How's your new spot?

UncleDiss said...

The new spot is pretty nice... All I really need is some floor coverings to tie the room together...

Thanks for asking! Peace out...

Flores Hayes said...

oh I love pandas!
Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down!
I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic!