After two albums of colourful pop and a serious illness, Cat Stevens returned in a much-changed guise. Gone was the fashionable, fresh-faced man about town, and in was the t-shirted, chisel-featured, hirsute troubadour. How much influence his illness had on this music I don't know because the lyrics tend to be vague. The concept of time, however, recurs frequently on this album, especially the shortage of it. In some ways, this is a more interesting album than its more illustrious successors, as it has more twists and turns. 'Lady D'Arbanville' is a macabre tale in folk ballad mode, featuring a beguiling melody. 'Maybe You're Right' is rooted in the present, a resigned reflection on failed love. 'I Think I See The Light' is a brisk, piano-dominated slice of realisation and optimism, a track that sounds like a product of late 1960s revolution. 'Katmandu' follows other musicians into Eastern mysticism, though it's done without sitar or tabla. Instead ghostly traces of flute, courtesy of a young Peter Gabriel weave a beautiful melody with Stevens's guitar. 'Lillywhite' has an obscure lyric, two minutes of song and almost as much again of string-driven whimsy. All of the songs are wonderful, with the exception of 'Pop Star.' Stevens certainly gets his message across on this one, not with the plain lyric, nor with the slightly shambolic, standard blues picking, but with the wry, laconic vocal delivery. For me, this isn't enough. It's simply a poor song with an attitude, though it sounds like a deliberate act of sabotage. The brief title track has a similar element of darkness. 'Mona Bone Jakon' the album is, however, Stevens's biggest musical leap and well worth hearing.