Friday, May 15, 2009

Cat's Tale

Yusuf aka Cat Stevens sounds like he did when he recorded as Cat Stevens. In other words, his voice hasn't changed much since the 70's. His 2nd album, Roadsinger, has pleasant memories. Its melodies are pure Stevens, but the lyrics are also pure Stevens, which means these songs don't offer anything new.
Do people care when an artists voice no longer sounds like it did when they were popular. I give you name like James Taylor who pretty much hasn't changed. But then there's Aretha Franklin, who doesn't sound the same anymore (and take it from an Elvis fan, when you're overweight your voice shows it). Or will nostalgia save the day.
We can't expect our heroes to sing the same notes like they used to, even though their greatest moments are a part of our musical brain.
Art Garfunkel can hit most of the notes at the end of "Bridge Over Troubled Water", but he'll never sing it like he did in 1970.
Elton John's voice has gotten huskier as his age and weight have gone up. He gave up trying to sing those high notes of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" years ago.
Still, do we care? It's one of those subjects that always gets my attention when a singer like Cat Stevens puts out a new record.
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