Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mona Bone Jakon - Cat Stevens

So I've been super busy and haven't had time to do reviews. So I figured I'd do an album I could knock out pretty fast. So I picked the third studio album by beloved singer/songwriter Cat Stevens. Released on April 24th 1970, this was recorded after he almost died because he contracted TB. No really, look it up, he was in a hospital for like a year I believe, and he wrote songs there.
Also as a side note, Who Can I Be Now? [1974-1976] is fucking great.
  1. Lady d'Arbanville: This opens the album, with a completely different Cat Stevens. A much more mature and grown up version. sort of dirge, there is a Spanish feeling to the song. I really like the percussion in the track and this is one of his best. The song is very bare and it really has a close feeling, there is a driving force with the percussion that I love and the two guitars sound fucking great together. I love the organ, I wanna say, that accents the guitar later on in the song and how it progressively gets louder. I think it's a pipe organ. This really is a fucking great tune and it you just feel the feeling in it. I also dig the double tracked vocals, and it just takes you there you know.
  2. Maybe Your Right: This feels like a bit more of a busy version of say, If You Wanna Sing Out. Now I dig the piano in the track, and I think this is a solid tune none the less, it's just I feel there's a lot happening and there's stuff that can distract maybe. It's not like it adds to it though, I think it kinda is just there. I do like that piano roll though, fucking nice sounding. I do like the brushes used and I like the strings. While this is decent enough, I feel like it's a deep cut more than a stand out.
  3. Pop Star: From what I've read, this is a satire about the triviality of celebrity and what not. I can get with that, I mean fuck everyone. Now because I'm not fucking retarded, I know satire isn't usually funny and it more points out the short comings of people. Based on the lyrics, I guess I can say it's satirical. I like the song, though it kinda reminds me a bit of Six String Orchestra, especially the part where the band comes in and plays. I also wanna say, Fuck! that double bass... I love it. This is a solid tune, thought I wish maybe it was a different take. Like it doesn't feel as confident(?). There something missing from keeping this phenomenal you know, but I'm thinking it's probably the fact this is the first time they've done this.
  4. I Think I See the Light: The second this starts I go, White Stripes? This so could be a White Stripes song, you know a piano or more novelty try songs. Not to say this is a novelty song, but that's to get in your mind. I mean this is way more interesting and has a ton more going on than one of theirs would have, but it's pretty great. I also like the motif that plays as an instrumental during the choruses. I also gotta say, great organ solo. It's a solid track.
  5. Trouble: A soft song, also one of my favorite songs he's ever written. Elliott Smith did a great cover of this, but I gotta go with the original. So I guess this song is written about death, and pushing it away. I could see that, there is a very somber feeling to this track. The harmonies in the background are great, and I love they mostly guitar and vocals. The double bass and drums are there, but they aren't as prominent, I wanna say.
  6. Mona Bone Jakon: Slang for a hard on, I really like the percussion in this track. There is some type of bongo or animal skin thing being played. And there sounds like he might be hitting his guitar. This song is kinda filler, and it's a bit disorienting, but I still can dig it.
  7. I Wish, I Wish: This song is just okay, I mean it isn't anything new but there is a bit of a different feeling to it. I do think the highlight though is the solo that is either double tracked or a duel lead. It's pretty great. The piano also sound pretty great, this has a nice energy to it.
  8. Katmandu: Fun fact, that flute was played by Peter Gabriel. There is a great relaxing, sort of Moonshadow feeling to this song. That flute is really great by the way, but I think this is a pretty romantic sounding track. I think this is about the town or city, but I could just as easily see this being a love song. I also love the atmosphere. It's pretty beautiful and one of his best I think.
  9. Time: This is an introduction to the next track, and I really like the sort of Pink Floyd vibe to the track. Like maybe a slightly less progressive version of something like Dogs. Like the acoustic part or something like that. I do dig this though and I love how it's so short and sweet. Plus that ending, damn.
  10. Fill My Eyes: While I wish the chords held over into this track from the last, this is a great second part to it. Maybe it's just my copy but it didn't do that well with it. I mean it worked, but not perfect. But that aside, this is another solid tune Cats. I love when the piano comes in, thought I wish it didin't leave as quick as it came. I would have possibly rearranged the track, but that's me.
  11. Lilywhite: Closing the album is a ballad, that to be honest isn't anything you haven't heard earlier in the tracklisting. I mean the strings really work well here, but it isn't anything that crazy. But that being said, I gotta say, this still works. I love the feeling of the strings and how they play and could almost be floating. The vocals are a great and I think I'm out of things to say :D. But It's solid. The best part tough, is the ending with the string arrangement by it's self. It kinda reminds me of minimalism a bit. With the droning one.
Overall I have to give this album an 8/10. This is a solid record, and I think you should check it out. Really good singer/songwriter tunes and it's not a boring listen. It kinda moves pretty fast and has memorable songs. It's pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

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