The surprising thing about this comeback album from the former Cat Stevens is just how little his music has been altered by his retreat into Islam. The sole "exotic" touch is provided by the breathy duduk flute and harmonium on the Sufi-inspired sermon "Whispers From A Spiritual Garden"; otherwise, the arrangements follow on from the early-Seventies heyday of Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat - smooth and blandly inoffensive. The lyrics, meanwhile, mine similar veins of pacifism and self-denial. But what is to be gained from reducing a spiritual quest to the bland homilies of "One Day At A Time" and "In The End"? The most interesting pieces here are Yusuf's odd, string-drenched transformation of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" into a sort of sombre chamber-pop, and the single "Heaven/Where True Love Goes", which features both the album's most adhesive hook and its creepiest conceit, the sinister notion that "heaven must have programmed you".
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