.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/71fb1cb9c4ae1b4bd20010dc682e422296d7d814.jpg Izitso

Cat Stevens

Izitso

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
July 28, 1977

Izitso is good proof that behind Cat Stevens' sentimental and somewhat naive persona there exists a musician and composer more far-reaching than the wistful but cloying singer/songwriter who relies largely on soft acoustic instrumentation. Touching several bases, often in apparent opposition to each other, Stevens displays both the diversity and the maturity to match this seeming incongruity.

Stevens and Jean Roussel enhance much of the arranging with their keyboards — synthesizers especially. "Life" melds six different keyboards within its cathedralesque seriousness and reserve. Yet on the same song Stevens cleverly fits in a lively, quickly delivered bouzouki interlude, and no seams show. "Kypros," where Stevens plays all the instruments, takes the tack further; here, the machinery (in tones much like Walter Carlos' in his electronic adaptations of Bach) joins with more folk-derived bouzouki phrases. Between these two cuts Izitso offers a slice of the Muscle Shoals session battery, an unexpected and wholly successful foray into harder rock.

Weaknesses do surface, though not from any overreaching. "Sweet Jamaica" and "(I Never Wanted) To Be a Star" are rather precious, and the electronics on "Was Dog a Doughnut" are a bit too robotlike. More than one song contains the obvious lyric: "We're getting older as time goes by/A little older with everyday/We were the children of yesterday." The production — Stevens with Dave Kershenbaum — preens some of the bite (twice, Chick Corea gets smothered in mixes); nevertheless, this is a spirited and varied outing.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Vans”

    The Pack | 2006

    Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com