Eddy McManus’ sensuous retelling of Al Stewart’s romantic vision in “Year Of The Cat” is truly a masterpiece. From the first notes of the song, McManus transports the listener to a world of exotic mystery and adventure, evoking the feeling of a classic Hollywood film with the line “On a morning from a Bogart movie.” The use of imagery continues as the protagonist, a tourist, is drawn into the spell of a silk-clad woman who takes him away on a romantic journey.  The song tells the story of a tourist who is taken away on a romantic adventure by a mysterious woman in a silk dress. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of this exotic encounter, with the woman appearing like a character out of a Bogart movie and the setting being an exotic market where time seems to stand still. McManus captures the mood of the original song perfectly, with his smooth vocals and the gauzy instrumentation creating a dreamy atmosphere.

But it is not just the lyric styling that make McManus’ version of “Year Of The Cat” so captivating. His smooth, rich voice perfectly captures the gauzy, dreamlike quality of the song, enveloping the listener in a world of sensual pleasure in a land of incense and patchouli adding to the song’s atmosphere of otherworldly allure.

But it is the final verse of the song that truly showcases McManus’ talent. As the tourist realizes that he has lost his ticket and must stay with the mysterious woman, McManus’ voice takes on a sense of pleased resignation and acceptance. The lyrics, “You know sometime you’re bound to leave her / But for now you’re going to stay / In the year of the cat,” are delivered with a sense of longing and regret, perfectly capturing the bittersweet nature of the protagonist’s situation.

Eddy McManus’ version of “Year Of The Cat” is a stunning tribute to Al Stewart’s original. From its evocative lyrics to its sensuous instrumentation and McManus’ captivating vocals, this cover is a true masterpiece and a must-listen for any fan of romantic, dreamy music.