christine lavin

A l... S t e w a r t

sometimes mother knows best

Al Stewart
Sparks of Ancient Light



“British talent Al Stewart has always been obsessed with romantic literature and history, marking him as the most incongruous of folk-flavored "pop" singers. ‘Year of the Cat’ delivered Al a fluke hit – once. And the man is still going his own merry way on Sparks of Ancient Light (A-), citing the likes of Greek mythology, former president William McKinley, an Elvis sighting and ‘(A Child's View of) The Eisenhower Years.’ But the guy sings and writes as well as he ever did, and in his quirky, bemused and literate way he's delivered one of the finest albums of his career.”                                – Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News


“Why bother with Cliff Notes when Stewart gives you a quick summation of the last 2,500 years in 12 songs? For those that like their pop way out in left field with something to say, clearly, this set isn’t for everyone, but it’s for anyone that ever got into collecting Classics Illustrated. It’s a long way from ‘Year of the Cat’ and Britney won’t be using any of these songs for her comeback, but grown ups need something to listen to also. NPR to the max."                                                                               – Chris Spector, Midwest Record


“The music heard on Sparks of Ancient Light is actually better than that heard on his top selling works like Year of the Cat, making this album a deeper, richer experience. . . . A masterpiece all its own . . . Classic Al Stewart in the best sense. Rich in stories and the inimitable Al Stewart style of song . . . A must have acquisition. (4½ stars)”      – Matt  Rowe, MusicTap


“. . . It's great to see him [Al Stewart] in such fine form, doing what he really does best on his new album . . . That something he does so well is weave these wonderful historical references into his songs. Literate as they are, Al Stewart's songs have this weird and wonderful way touching a personal nerve. Not only that, they can also be downright catchy. As a lyricist who has a unique way of wrapping an engaging narrative around an equally compelling melody, I'd actually put Al Stewart just a notch under people like Dylan and Neil Young. He also has that rare gift of being able to turn a phrase in the sort of cinematic, universal way that his songs become personalized in a manner that, subject matter aside, nearly anyone can relate to. On Sparks of Ancient Light, Al Stewart is back in peak historical, literate, and most importantly, lyrical form.” – Glen Boyd,


“. . . the fluent mix of material on Sparks Of Ancient Light simply works like a dream.”

– Arthur Wood, Folkwax 

“Scotland’s enigmatic and melodic singer-songwriter continues to embrace faraway locations, characters and stories on a dozen panoramic tunes.”

– Mario Tarradell, Dallas News