The artist now known as Yusuf/Cat Stevens reunited with the producer and acoustic guitarist who worked on his hits from the 1970s, resulting in a new album that sounds like old Cat Stevens.
Fifty years after Cat Stevens’ debut album, “The Laughing Heart” blends reimagined songs from 1967 with new compositions and newly completed 50-year-old unfinished tracks.
The 11 songs sound like a cohesive set of tunes that always belonged together, and carry through themes of so much of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ music: love and the joy of childhood.
Two new tracks stand out. “See What Love Did to Me” extols the life-changing power of love. It also boasts the most rocking bridge on the album.
“You Can Do (Whatever)!” is reminiscent of “Wild World,” in tone. “You can ride a tiger or walk the dog,” he sings. “Anything you wish can be true.”
The 69-year-old grandfather also updated a song that appeared on his 2000 greatest hits anthology. “Grandsons,” about the delights a grandfather gets from grandkids, is like a bookend to his 1970 hit “Father and Son.”