Monday, 25 January 2010

Al Stewart rides again

Although I have a good collection of Al Stewart albums already, in November I acquired two more, A piece of yesterday (double-CD compilation, 2006) and Sparks of ancient light (new material, 2008).

I'm pleased with both. I had most of the songs on the compilation already, but it's the best result of remastering I've heard so far: the improvement in sound quality is really worthwhile, even through iTunes and mid-fi loudspeakers.

I now discover belatedly that there's a five-CD compilation called Just yesterday that maybe I should have chosen, had I known about it.

Sparks of ancient light is a minor album that won't convert anyone into an Al Stewart fan, but if you like him already this is superior to some of his other later albums (Down in the cellar is also worth trying). It's a pleasant and lively album on which he sounds younger than 62. As usual, the songs mostly have historical themes; there's even one about Hanno the Navigator.

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