• Record Label: Legacy
  • Release Date: Oct 28, 2014
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
Buy On
  1. Oct 28, 2014
    83
    It’s Cat Stevens singing rhythm and blues, with a combination of originals and covers that showcase attractive playing (legendary guitarist Richard Thompson helps here) and production (cue Rick Rubin). Best of all, his voice remains intact, providing a familiar and favorable sound.
  2. Oct 28, 2014
    80
    The singer-songwriter co-produces with Rick Rubin accentuating immediacy and intimacy. The originals, especially a poppy, introspective “Cat & the Dog Trap” and trenchant “Gold Digger,” are among his finest since resurfacing in 2006.
  3. Oct 27, 2014
    75
    His well-documented spiritual quest, prime fodder for his songs even when he was pop-star Cat Stevens, remains his primary subject, but there is a toughness here that we're not used to hearing from the reflective singer-songwriter.
  4. Classic Rock Magazine
    Dec 16, 2014
    70
    While we can probably do without his appropriation of You Are My Sunshine, the covers of Edgar Winter's Dying To Live and Tell 'Em I'm Gone are both moving and powerful. [Dec 2014, p.104]
  5. Uncut
    Dec 4, 2014
    70
    It's all very polite and reserved. [Jan 2015, p.79]
  6. 70
    These new songs should mesh gracefully with the classic music that rightfully made Cat Stevens a household name in the ’70s.
  7. Dec 5, 2014
    60
    This is no modest return, either. It’s produced by Rick Rubin, rock’s very own St Jude, and features Richard Thompson, Charlie Musselwhite, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Tinariwen, so it all sounds rather lovely despite the variety of styles.
  8. Mojo
    Nov 19, 2014
    60
    A tentative return at best. [Dec 2014, p.89]
  9. Oct 27, 2014
    60
    With Rick Rubin co-producing, there's a bluesy toughness to the anti-capitalist jeremiads "Big Boss Man" and "Gold Digger," while "Cat & the Dog Trap" recalls the simple folky prettiness and direct, easeful messages that made him a Seventies icon.
  10. Oct 27, 2014
    60
    The likes of Gold Digger and I Was Raised in Babylon suggesting that, almost half a century into his career, there’s plenty of life in Yusuf yet.
  11. Oct 27, 2014
    60
    It can be a little underwhelming but it is music with its heart in the right place.
  12. Oct 27, 2014
    60
    Tell 'Em I'm Gone confirms that Yusuf still has the talent and passion that made him a star as Cat Stevens, but the efforts to find a new sound for him don't quite work, and Rubin doesn't quite catch the light but emphatic touch of Yusuf's salad days; maybe a full reunion with Paul Samwell-Smith would be worthwhile for Yusuf's next album.
  13. 58
    The production and playing are beautiful throughout the album, and Yusuf’s voice remains remarkably preserved, still able to instantly spring from gentle introspection to emphatic eruptions. The record as a whole does suffer, though, from certain cover choices.

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