Monday, 10 September 2012

On The Road To Find Out

That earlier post about Sad Lisa got me wondering why I hadn't dealt with Cat Stevens before. Ultra strange, 'cause I love his music.

He was popular at a time when Folk music was enjoying a resurgence, and the acoustic guitar dominates his work, but his range was just too broad for that little cubby hole.

You've got your folky singer-songwriter stuff like If I Laugh, and your folky protest songs like But I Might Die Tonight, but you also have pop singer-songwriter tunes like Can't Keep It In. You've got your Mediterranean-influenced "folk" like Ruby Love, but you've got your Pop-Rock songs like Ready and Bitter Blue, which could have been played by The Who or Led Zeppelin.

Which brings me to the rhythm and percussion. Most of his songs are filled with rhythmic hooks, layers of percussion, and drummers going nuts. Even songs that begin as seemingly simple folk tunes end up building relentlessly into something more like Rock. Check out Longer Boats and Where Do The Children Play?

It's maybe telling that the only song I could find on my iPod that was just Cat and his guitar, The Wind, is also the shortest.

For a folky, the Cat sure could dance.

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