Al Stewart – Year Of The Cat
Al Stewart was born September 5, 1945 in Scotland, UK. He is a Scottish Folk-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. Year Of The Cat is his best known album and was released in 1976. It is a very beautiful and melodic pop movement with many instruments to accompany Al Stewart’s singing. Pop (the musical genre this is classified as) in the 1970’s means something very different than what pop means today. This release is very refreshing because of its classical instruments and melodies instead of the usual bass blasting from the pop blend with dubstep today. The first track “Lord Grenville” is a great way to introduce this amazing album with its happy and sad vibe blend. His singing in this song tells a story (about going to Lord Grenville) like many other songs on this release. His voice is very distinct because of his accent he has with his high pitched notes.
It is a nice change to hear a singer like this rather than hearing a lot of voices that sound the same like a couple these days. The instrumentals sound crisp, clarified and fluid. The guitars are voiced with melodic sounding acoustic/classical and the electric guitars with a blues tone. The lead guitar in some tracks have a very sweet happy blues vibe. The drums are very groovy and flourish with the singing and guitar nicely with the style of each song. According to each tracks mood, he has a tight or loose hi-hat. The keyboards sound very powerful and go with the singer nicely because they are hitting similar notes a lot. He has many diverse sounds including a classical piano which he mostly uses. There are many other instruments on Year Of The Cat including shakers, mandolin, saxophone, and bass guitar (of course). There are very notable characteristics on this release like the singing and saxophone of the album title track (Year Of The Cat). Another is the crazy tremolo (fast) picking of the mandolin on the track “Broadway Hotel”. Year Of The Cat is an amazing release with a very beautiful sound of the many characteristics it has.
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