Kate Bush Song Reviews
The Kick Inside
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This song gets things moving in this album on a high note, although it begins with strange elephant sounds! (Hey, I like elephants.) Or maybe they're whales. Or maybe they're the Prince of Wales. Then, Kate starts singing like a total angel an extremely pretty song. It's based on a piano and the melody goes all over the place just like Bush's untamed voice. There is a lot of character in her voice (which seems to be the whole point of the album) and the lucid melody of the song is alluring. This song is enchanting, engaging, and unlike any other song I've ever heard. Everybody loves Kate Bush.
The Saxophone Song 9/10
More whales!!!! (Bush might have a fetish for large mammals or something). Anyway, the song is another enchanting theatric song. As the song's title suggests, there is saxophone in this, and it plays crazy notes! The tone of this is more lower-key this time, and the melody isn't quite as fantastic, but it's still pretty fantastic. Again, the song is more about theatrics and character than anything, and it has a lot of character! Oh, the atmosphere is magic.
Strange Phenomena 9/10
This sounds like the pixies wrote this and Kate Bush, the queen of the pixies, sang it! This song is so strange, because it doesn't appear to be based on any real melodic model that I'm familiar with. There really aren't any vocal hooks in here either (which is something that I constantly complain about in pop albums), but I really don't care. The song is so odd and enchanting. It proves when your mind is in weird but interesting places, you can still make great songs. Kate Bush rules!
This is another peculiar song that appears to be based on a new wave groove that was flipped on its ear. Again, the theatrics and odd personality of this song is what makes it great; not necessarily the melody. This song is so weird and appealing that I don't see how anyone cannot be convinced that Kate Bush is a unique pop treasure. It's strange that she was popular.
The Man With the Child In His Eyes 9.5/10
This is a rather straightforward, dramatic song that sounds like something we might find (normally) on a Broadway theater. There are a few vocal hooks in here, which is certainly nice. Bush's sweet voice and the enchanting instrumentation keeps this moving along very well.
Wuthering Heights 10/10
This is the song that became a surprise hit in England. There's nothing about this song that suggests that it had any real hit-potential other than it's simply a great song. Bush's squeaky vocal performance is as unusual and pixie-like as ever, and the instrumentation again is fantastic. The hooks in the melody are probably the album's strongest. The overall feel of the song is rather majestic and, again, the theatrics of the song take precedence over anything else. Anyway, this just proves that the British invariably have better taste than Americans.
James and the Cold Gun 9/10
ANOTHER GREAT SONG!!!! This is based on a bouncy piano loop and some electric guitars even come in and start playing! (Oh yeah, this stuff was made during the rock era, wasn't it.) This is a fairly uncharacteristically rocking song from the album. It's still wholly unusual and delightful! The melody is based on some weird type of system that none of us are familiar with. It's another breath of fresh air, and I can't get enough.
Feel It 8.5/10
This one contains a slow and fairly disjointed piano loop, Bush singing very pretty notes! Compared to the other songs, this is more minimalistic. While there's nothing fundamentally wrong with minimal music, this doesn't captivate me nearly like the other songs, and that's undoubtedly because of the lack of instrumentation! (No! I don't dislike simple music! Perish that thought.)
Oh to Be in Love 9/10
Oh man! This song produces yet another fantastically engaging atmosphere. The melody is very nice and the theatrics rule! Bush's vocal performance is wild and manical. This is yet another magic song from the Queen pixie.
L'Amour Looks Something Like You 9.5/10
This song is so unusual that it's even more awesome. Bush overdubs herself in this album, and it continually makes me believe that I've entered a really weird fairy land. Hey, this whole album makes me feel like that, but this one in particular!
Them Heavy People 10/10
This brilliant song features an enchanting piano loop at its beginning and then it transforms into something that sounds like a reggae-pop of Fairy Land. Anyone else who would try something like this would fail at it miserably, but Kate Bush's unique and steadfast approach to music makes this not only listenable, but treasurable!
Room For the Life 8.5/10
This track is one of the lengthiest songs of the album and unfortunately one of the least engaging! I won't claim that it isn't a good song, however. The song is still heavily theatric and it's still way too unique for me to ever dislike. Bush's squealy vocal performance continues to be strong! I especially like the strange chorus, which sounds like the tribal, traditional chant of Fairy Land.
The Kick Inside 9/10
Well, Kate Bush opts for the more modest of album closers with the quiet and non-sweeping "The Kick Inside." Oh, but it is so sweet and enchanting. Really, I wish every singer and/or songwriter just had a touch of Kate Bush in them. The world of music would be so universally awesome then!!!!
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Symphony in Blue 9.5/10
This highly pleasant song starts the album in an incredibly good note! The song is lucidly produced (making it very aesthetically pleasant). The melody is also very well written! Plus (and the real reason this song is so great) is Kate Bush's wild, high-pitched vocal performance. This song is both weird and wonderful.
In Search of Peter Pan 10/10
This song is an incredibly pretty and low-key song! For the first minute of it, the song has a calm and quiet atmosphere (with utterly gorgeous instrumentation). Oh, how pretty this part is! And then the song adapts a rhythm section for awhile and turns into something thundrous. This part is breif but it makes an impact. Then the song basically repeats itself. This is such a gorgeous song that few songs ever come close to matching. Kate Bush is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WOWOWOWOWOWOOWOWO is probably the most well-known song of the album. (Well, for some reason, it managed to appear on a soundtrack of 'Grand Theft Auto.') The song starts out with an incredibly enchanting atmosphere. When Kate starts singing, her squeaky voice manages to make it even more enchanting! The chorus reminds me of chorus to Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (which I happen to think is one of the Grand Doodahs of all art-rock songs, so I don't make such comparisons lightly). The instrumentation throughout the song is just perfect. All I can do is utter this song's title! Gorgeoussssss.
Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbreak 9.5/10
Even when she's doing something she probably shouldn't, necessarily, with the glammy chorus of she still manages to rule over all in the fairy kingdom! The chorus puts a lot of glam artists to shame and the song's just gorgeous throughout it. The melody is awesome, and I totally dig those vocals. (Man, so few singers are able to have so much unique personality in a voice than Kate Bush.)
Oh England My Lionheart 9/10
This song is very British sounding with an almost hymnal like quality. (I would want to say Medieval, but that can be misleading!) The instrumentation is very sweet (most notably consisting of recorders, a clavinet and a piano). Clearly, this isn't the best song on here only because it is uncharacteristically straightforward, but it's still fan-bloody-tastic.
More of that unusualness ensues! Oh heck, this song really is crazy (even adopting a reggae groove in the middle of it reminiscent of "Them Heavy People" from her debut). This also isn't one of the strongest songs of the album, because it's not that engaging, but it's really awesome anyway. Kate Bush is like that.
In the Warm Room 9.5/10
Oh, man! Those pixie-queen vocals singing a lounge-jazz song is a sound to behold! It features those irresistably squeaky Kate Bush vocals amidst some relatively straight-forward piano. Less daring and unusual than the stuff that was on her debut album, definitely, but this is still fantastic. It's dramatic and, most importantly, extremely engaging.
Kashka From Baghdad 7/10
I hate to say it, but Kate loses me for the first time here. The song has some nice trinkets of instrumentation in it and, as always, the piano is lovely. But the exclamations throughout it rub me in the wrong direction. They're almost like screeching fingernails on chalkboards. Those moments only consist of about 30 seconds of this four-minute song, but it doesn't accent it. Otherwise, the song is another lovely (but not the greatest) Kate Bush creation.
Coffee Homeground 7.5/10
Ah, Bush makes references to 'Arsenic and Old Lace' with this song, which is one of my favorite films of all time. is an interesting song even though it sounds like an overblown Broadway song! (Oh, the wonders of Kate Bush's overblown Broadway songs!) This is certainly a revisit of her 'drama within the song,' which ran rampant through her debut album, but this truly isn't that effective. It's nicely done overall, though.
Hammer Horror 9.5/10
This song begins with an accented orchestral passage that's rather gorgeous. Everything quiets as they let Kate's vocals take over. Parts of this song is relatively straightforward, but the general upbeatness of this makes it one of the more actually accessible albums on here. But, wow, this is such a strange song! It's fantastic, of course.
Never For Ever
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Musically and lyrically tied to Russia, proved to be one of Kate Bush's most durable hits. (It charted at #5 in the UK, but nothing in the US.) The song is marvellously and flawlessly produced. It's appropriately thoughtful and it's upbeat for its chorus. The melody is surely among Kate's best and hookiest. Yes, this is a good song, and a fantastic way to open the album!
Delius (Song of Summer) 10/10
This doesn't have single potential quality, but it's a perfect album song. The song has a nice, steady beat and a thickly produced atmosphere. It consists of a chorus of men singing something in not-English. The instrumentation is mostly piano, a sitar, and an occasional synthesizer. Kate's singing (especially toward the end) sounds like what I'd imagine the sirens sing in Homer's The Odyssey. It's a more low-profile song, but it's gorgeous!
Blow Away (For Bill) 9/10
(Nothing to do with Quentin Tarentino.) This is closer to the extreme theatricality that was rampant in her debut album. It's lovely, of course, but it's not nearly as gorgeous as the stellar two opening tracks. The instrumentation plays more on its dramatics than for sheer aesthetic value. It's still extremely aesthetically pleasing, though. Bush's literate, smart music is, as always, appealing here.
All We Ever Look For 9.5/10
This song contains a potentially annoying whistle-synthesizer in it, but it turns out to have been awesome anyway. It gives the song an interesting character! The rest of the song is even better as it contains loudly-mixed pizzacato strings and a harpsichord (or something like that). The song is tremendously dramatic, but it is also extremely hook-filled and was brilliantly inspired but not wholly based on Eastern music. Its primary purpose is not supposed to be aesthetically mediative or (in particular) pleasant, but it manges to be that and more. This is why, o world, Kate Bush is such a brilliant musician.
As the title would suggest, this about Egypt and has very strong Middle East leanings. This song, in particular, happens to be incredibly beautiful and remarkably engaging. The instrumentation is very dazzling but it doesn't fall into its own glitz and glamour. The melody is perfect. This song is both unique and freakishly mesmerizing. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Kate Bush rules.
Wedding List 9.5/10
Another wholly unique song, this seems to draw closer to her English background than any sort of world music tie! (Although, I can never be sure what influences this song drew from, which is one of the major reasons I'm so entranced with Kate Bush.) The melody is one of Kate Bush's catchiest. The instrumentation is bold, and Bush gives one of her more lively and upbeat vocal performances. The ending of this is particularly memorable! The song suddenly dies and she gives a light shriek!
Hey! This song contains a brilliant violin! The overall song is about as heavy metal as we'll ever get from Kate Bush. (Although, seriously, if only heavy metal musicians could make music like this!!) Bush's vocal performance consists of a lot of crazy shrieks (could be annoying for some listeners, but I happen to like it). The feeling of the song is very violent (and includes a very awesome electric guitar solo), it manages to keep Bush's pixie-like personality and it's produced marvellously well.
Infant Kiss 9/10
This is boring compared to "Violin," so it's easy for me to give it the cold shoulder, but how can I dislike a song such as this? Drawing from classical music of the Romantic Era, this three-minute song is deep, profound and dramatic. The melody isn't hookfilled, but it's wholly appropriate (this is a song that captures your attention predominantly through its dramatics and not vocal hooks) and the instrumentation again is thickly layered and fantastic.
Night Scented Kiss 9.5/10
This is less than one minute long and is an a cappella vocal piece comprised of Bush's alluring voice! Amazing that she proves to be alluring without using the thick instrumentation.
Army Dreamers 10/10
Whoah! This is an enchanted waltz! It's not even three minutes long, and I want it to last forever. The melody is gorgeous, the instrumentation is incredibly dazzling (expertly combining Baroque era instrumentals with modern synthesized instruments) and, naturally, Bush's high-pitched voice provides the perfect singing for it!
So thundering and effective, this track brings the album to a breath-taking closer. The melody is a primary component of the song (which, yes, makes this an incredibly accessible song). It sounds like it could have found a place on the radio, but it was probably too dramatic and bizarre for it! Just the same, whoah, what a fantastic album closer! Even the eerie part in the middle of it consisting of spooky instrumentals and some dialogue in the background sounded perfect for the song. It's not aesthetically pleasant, but it sure is affecting.
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Sat in Your Lap 10plus/10
The album begins with this totally mad track which features an insane vocal performance from Kate Bush (which ranges from half-screaming-half singing to half-talking-half-screaming). Kate's voice is the main attraction with this song. She's definitely performing instead of singing, and it's very appealing. The music is played more for its rhythm (with a tribal-like drum beat and crazed accented chords) than its melody, but she's managed to find room to insert plenty of hooks in the album. Instrumentally, the song consists of a piano, drums, and a lot of synthesizers. It's one of the most unique, fresh and delightful songs of not only Kate Bush's career, but within the whole music biz in general.
There Goes a Tenner 10/10
Kate's half-talking-half-singing here, and she reminds me that she's British! (This is almost a cockney accent.) This song is always amazing for me to listen to, because it fascinates me more than "Sat in Your Lap" does! Musically, however, this is rather simple. It's an upbeat little song based on rather simple hooks (but they're deathly hooks). It starts out simply and then other instruments start joining in the madness. There's an engaging synth-filled instrumental interlude that happens twice in this song. Again, this is more delightful Kate Bush awesomeness!!!
Pull Out the Pin 10plus/10
This one strikes me as being a more "normal sounding" Bush song, which I'm never opposed to! She sings in her normal (i.e. not really that normal) voice, but with the occasional scream of "I love life!" (Wow, those screams of "I love life" makes this one of the most extremely resonant songs in all of Kate Bush's career). The hooks run rampant in this melody and the instrumentation is very engaging (and is notable by containing a wood-block-type synthesizer). This is a lower-key song in the album, but I can't help but be fascinated with her resonant screaming in here. It's another classic song, man.
Suspended in Gaffa 10/10
The best way to describe this song might be a wayward waltz. She sings in two voices. One, a low-register singing and, two, a crazed-high pitch singing! The instrumentation almost sounds classical with a few crazy modern touches. The real kicker about this song is that the melody is incredibly catchy! (Sweet!) I like that percussion rapping that goes throughout the song. That was nicely done in particular.
Leave it Open 9.5/10
This one finds Kate Bush being really spooky! Her voice almost sounds like a Demonic killer, sliding words off her tounge like a snake. This is a fascinating song but not quite as fascinating as any of the previous songs. The overall feeling of it is extremely dark (which works very very well). The chanting that comes up occasionally in this song increase that demonic feel of it as well as the occasional spooky "squeal-singing" from Bush. The song becomes more enjoyable when the loud drums pick up. (Hey this was the 80s!) Fantastic song.
The Dreaming 10/10
Featuring the Australian didjeridoo! Also featuring a tribal melody and rhythm section, and it still finds room to even have some hooks in it. (Am I just imaging these hooks? ... Eh, hooks in general are probably are imaginary when you think about it.) The fake whistles are really awesome, too. This is another entry in Kate's world music efforts (most of them were featured in Never For Ever). Like the other songs in this album, this song sounds mad and unorganized, but it rules. One of these days I'm going to sit down and really study this song to find out why she inserted sound-bytes of car tires screeching and something that sounds like a roaring crowd! Closing the song is a bit of bagpipe. I'll have to figure that one out, too.
Night of the Swallow 10/10
I guess I'm so weirded out now, I think is weird too, even though this is a relatively straight forward Kate Bush song. The melody and the feel of the song is similar to the theatricality present in The Kick Inside, except this song features lusher instrumentation. Bush gives a heart-wrenching (relatively normal) vocal performance. The song has hooks in it, but the song is supposed to be dramatic instead of hooky in the pop sense. There's bag pipes in this song, too (or at least a bagpipe-type synth), and it's well used. I especially like the occasional vocal hums that we hear in the background (resembling something like the coo of a whale).
All the Love 10/10
Clucking Bell! This is yet another song that totally fascinates me. The core of the song is relatively straight-forward. Kate gives a vocal performance played for the dramatics (but it's buried under rather thick instrumentation). I really dig the rhythm section that features a cool bass with a lot of distain and modest drums with the occasional but completely awesome "rapping" noise. The song on several occasions breaks into very quiet coral parts that sound absolutely magical. (I ask you, how many people can do something like this). This really isn't among the best songs of the album, but I'd be lying to myself if I didn't call this song basically perfect.
Based on classical music this one is relatively straightforward and lovely! Her singing through most of this song has that pixie-quality that Bush's voice is so well apt for (that she hasn't been utilizing a whole lot in this album ... probably because she didn't need to). There are several moments in here where Kate seems to lose her mind and starts screaming like a testosterone-filled murderer (and she sounds believable)! Yeah, this is more of a piece of drama than a song, and in usual Kate-Bush-like fashion, she succeeds in both respects!
Get Out of My House 10/10
Kate Bush ends with this horrific song (in tone, not quality)! Perhaps Kate Bush's interpretation of a horror movie, it features incredibly eerie background instruments. However, what really makes this song spooky is Kate Bush's blood curdling screams of "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE" that constantly repeats throughout the song! And, naturally, it works perfectly well, and this is one of the utterly scariest songs I've ever listened to. (She turns into a donkey at one point, I think!) Again, the song doesn't have hooks in it, but it's played for the drama than the hooks. The singing in it is so bizarre and fascinating that I don't actually want any vocal hooks in here that would distract me. KATE BUSH IS AWESOME. The end. Of the track reviews.
The Hounds of Love
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Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) 10/10
This one starts up with a nice, steady programmed beat ... and it's obvious right away that Kate was going mainstream! However, she went mainstream without giving up the art. The build-up of this song is classic and so rarely topped. The energy! The spirit! The passion! ... It'll lift you up along with it! The end of this song is so The synthesizers Bush used throughout the song are great ... she's a real genius with technology. This is all not to mention the melody, which is very catchy. What an excellent album opener. (This is a great song to blast really loudly out of your car stereo ... it's crap for your hearing in the long run, but ... at least you enjoyed it!)
Hounds of Love 9.5/10
Bush continues to bring on the compelling songs, although this isn't her best. A minor complaint! This song is mid-tempoed this time and contains a rather odd (but delightful) drum line. Notably, it features Kate giving me the best idea of why someone would want to sing like a barking dog! This song features a nice melody, and a lot of compelling violin tracks. Most importantly, however, it contains a very spirited vocal performance! (Isn't that why we all listen to Kate Bush, anyway?)
The Big Sky 10/10
This is another great song to hear blasting out of your stereo. This song is related to "Running Up That Hill," except the melody isn't quite as catchy and the instrumentation is much busier. As it goes along, it gets busier and even more excited. It eventurally gets so dang excited that we hear Kate resort to SCREAMING. And, what do you know, it works!
Mother Stands For Comfort 9/10
Unfortunately, this isn't so great, but this remains an excellent art-rock song! This track contains many pretty compelling sound-effects and synthesizers even though it's not as inherently great as so many Kate Bush songs have been in her recent past. I really enjoy those squeaky synths! The bass instrument plays some very good lines throughout this piece as well. This song is only three minutes. It needn't have been longer and it needn't have been shorter. The lyrics are interesting, but ... all Kate Bush lyrics are interesting!
PEOPLESSSSSSSSSSSSS... this song is BRUUDDY EXCELLENT ... This song prominently features some of the brooding, bouncy violins (I suppose they're not synthesizers)! The melody is great. The harmony is great, too. ... Bush's vocal performance is great as always ... And this might just be her best mainstream song EVER. Yeah ... one of those songs that could get radioplay or whatever. Anyway, everybody loves this song, so ... you'd better, too.
And Dream of Sheep 10/10
This song marks the start of "The Ninth Wave" ... sort of a concept that only appears on the second half of the album. (I guess the first half was supposed to be the pop songs, and the second half is to see if we are paying attention.) Even when Kate Bush is singing boring ballads, she manages to sound warm and precious. The melody is utterly fantastic, of course. The instrumentation is sparse this time, but just as she is excellent with lushly arranged songs, she's excellent with non-lushly arranged songs. Besides, we just get to concentrate on her very nice (and normal) singing voice.
Under Ice 9/10
Meant to be more of a moody piece. It's great, naturally ... (Holy crap, do I have to go through great detail to why I am scoring a Kate Bush song the "low" grade of a 9? This is a high score, dang it!) It features some violent, pounding violins and (until the very end) an appropriately restrained vocal performance.
Waking the Witch 10/10
This song scared someone at my workplace! (I should really learn my lesson about playing Kate Bush albums at work ... some people just can't take 'em, I guess.) Anyway, I have no idea if that's actually Bush doing those demon growls, but ... it is pretty frightening. There's not actually a melody here, but there's a sort of demented groove and an '80s drum beat that keeps things going nicely. This song features a really evil trial of demons of some sort. Anyway, it's really great and nothing like I've heard before.
Watching You Without Me 9/10
This track features a pretty light (but rather mystical-sounding) groove and Bush signing sometimes in the foreground. The song strikes up into something even more strange and alarming (with some great vocals by Bush). And she experiments a bit with tapes, it looks like, because her voice does some serious breaking up at the end of this! This song is a pretty good meditative piece even though it might not be overtly enjoyable.
Jig of Life 10/10
She threatened to do a traditional, pagen-era British song in The Dreaming at the end of "Night of the Swallow," but she goes all out here. The beginning of this track features some very Celtic violin tracks and Bush essentially sing-chanting the lyrics. (She really knows how to do these vocalizations ... I can't imagine how singing a song like this could actually be done better.) The end of this song is a jig. It's something for the ancient British people to dance to. (In fact, there was a song exactly like this featured in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice.) The song stops and Bush whispers a little bit, and then some dude with a funny accent starts saying stuff.
Hello Earth 9.5/10
This is one of the longer tracks (more than six minutes) and it's VERY nice. As always the melody fantastic and the mood through the song extremely well done. The harmonies fantastic here ... how can you say no to that sweet Celtic-ridden violin that pops up the background? Twice, the song stops for a bunch of coral singing (i.e. sounding like Medieval monks). The build-up in the middle of this song was FANTASTIC. The final few minutes of the song consists of very quiet chants. Sure it's fine, but ... not like The Dreaming, where I was intensly into every second of every song. The very last minute is still quiet, but it's utterly spooky, too. (Eeeeeek!)
The Morning Fog 9.5/10
This is such a sweet song, and a lovely album closer. It features a bright acoustic guitar and a nicely-chosen drum tappings. The musical arrangements here were fantastically done. They don't go overboard, but it lends the song an earthly quality that is seldomly surpassed. But the main attraction of the song, naturally, is the singing performance!
The Sensual World
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The Sensual World 10/10
An atmospheric classic, this is another masterpiece. The appeal of the song is the otherworldly textures that are nearly indescribable. Thatís accented by some brilliant violin lines that have a rich Celtic flavor. All of this, and Bush lets the lyrics creep sensually from her lips. An unforgettable song, I can listen to it everyday for the rest of my life.
Love and Anger 9/10
This is a more thunderous song although donít expect it to have quite the same effect as ďRunning Up That Hill (A Deal With God).Ē Always one to have a knack for good instrumentation and catchy melodies, Bush seals this song with a spirited vocal performance. Itís duly noted that you can tell Kate is losing her edge here. This song isnít particularly artistic nor unabashedly fabulous, but itís still 100 percent enjoyable.
The Fog 9.5/10 This is slower and more atmospheric. Bush was always a good drum programmer, and these bongo drums lend the song a nice exotic flavor. Not that the world music flutes didnít help with that, either. This song would have been boring if nearly any other artist handled it, but Bush ended up turning it into one of the most inspired songs of the album. Itís pretty and rather reminds one of looking over a majestic cliff. Thereís not too many songs that can claim such a feeling.
Reaching Out 10/10
This is an oft-neglected song and one of my favorites of Bushís entire discography. (Although, I have probably said that about half of her songs!) Bush gives a highly spirited song that she sings toward the heavens. I find myself wishing for a singing voice with more range so that I could sing along with her. I rarely mention the lyrics of a song, because I normally think theyíre inconsequential to the music, but I must single these ones out. These philosophical words Bush crafted are particularly profound and really quite moving.
Heads Were Dancing 9/10
This track begins with a strange and disjointed groove, which is rather characteristic of Bushís work. Then, the song grows more excited and thunderous. We know this isnít her best work, but this sure does sound inspired and great nonetheless. The songís arrangements are impeccable.
Deeper Understanding 9.5/10
Iíve heard complaints that "Deeper Understanding," which is about a personís love for their home computer, was dated. Itís true that the operating functions Bush outlines in the lyrics are no longer applicable to home computers, but people are even more so addicted to their computers than they were back in 1989. You probably are one of them! (I know I am.)
Between a Man and Woman 8/10
This is probably the worst song of the album, and it does show that Bush is running out of steam unfortunately. The song arrangements are still good and the song is kept above water because of the weird atmosphere she pulls off. However, the melody doesnít do much for me. This also doesnít seem to project the same amount of weird brilliance that I gathered from her other works. This is still leaps ahead of her peers.
Never Be Mine 9/10
This marks a full recovery. The melody is better this time, and the world-music-inspired instrumentation helps make the song endearing. This is an excellent, atmospheric song, but only average in terms of this album.
Rocket's Tail 9.5/10
This song begins with a section in which the back up instruments comprise only of Bushís vocals. This is a good example of her vocal capabilities! Plus, itís a well-written section. And then hard rock instrumentals pick up at the perfect times. This is another fun, passionate song from Bush.
This Woman's Work 9.5/10
I love this great piano ballad! Many seem to praise it for being Bushís finest song, although I always found it slightly too boring for such distinction. (Well, the music video is boring even though it features Percy from Blackadder.) Nonetheless, this song has an enormously well written melody, and one of Bushís most desperate vocal performances. This song was played during that horrible movie ďSheís Having a Baby.Ē
Walk Straight Down the Middle 8.5/10
This is such a low-key song to end the album with. Itís lushly orchestrated and the melody has plenty of hooks, but itís not as exciting or atmospheric as I have come to expect. Itís a good song, but clearly not one of the best.
The Red Shoes
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Rubberband Girl 9.5/10
This is Kate Bush's most dance-poppy track. "Running Up That Hill" was a big hit on the club scene, but this one seems even more danceable. However, this is far from a cheap track. The groove is fairly off-kilter but still danceable --- in that way it's comparable to a Roxy Music song. She has enough taste to have a nice rhythmic saxophone, xylophones, awesome guitar solos, her brand of freaky singing (including a bit of 'play acting' ... dialog and even some goofy "rubber band" vocals) ... All of this PLUS a melody that's catchier than anything... There's really quite a lot in this song, and you'll have fun hearing it multiple times I'm sure.
And So Is Love 9/10
This is a little bit more of what we're used to from Kate, and she still makes this stuff seem fresh. It begins rather quietly with Kate singing over a backdrop of pan flutes and a programmed beat. A guitarist delivers a few nice licks ...... Very subtly, the song picks up steam and it gets more interesting and ear catching. It's very nearly glorious by the end! Bush was always one who knew how to develop her songs...
Eat the Music 8.5/10
This is interesting though hard to digest at first. She seemed to be sticking with some of the ideas she discovered when covering Elton John's "Rocket Man," which is also hard to digest. It grows on you certainly, but I can't say she was on top of her game as far as ideas go. This is a festive track, and there's certainly some value in that. But it's a little too much like a marengue (or some such) track that you would hear at a bourgeois cruise ship party where the women wear flowery skirts and the men wear white pants... That's certainly quite different than those unearthly pixie queen things her fans fondly remember of her. At the same time, it's still pretty odd ....... if I actually heard this at a party, I'd be amused and even delighted 'cos it's pretty good for that kind of music. There's still something crazy about it even if it's subtle.
Moments of Pleasure 10/10
Ah, there's a 'return to form' already. Maybe an apology to the fans? Well, here is a pretty song that rings of the lovely ballads of her past. She's singing to a piano and violins go from quiet to dramatic as Kate's voice does. She absolutely nails this dramatic mood and the instrumentation. We never doubted that she would. ... As it would have it, this was a deeply personal song for her as she laments the loss of some of her dear friends over the recent years.
The Song of Solomon 9/10
Also back to familiar territory "The Song of Solomon" begins with a quiet, sweet and unusual groove. We hear Bush singing in the background as lead-vocals Bush sings just a little bit out-of-this-world. I take slight issue with this chorus that, for some really bad reason, reminds me too much of a generic adult contemporary chorus. Nothing about this song is *bad* but ....... oh god, it reminds me of the mainstream. Oh, but the melody is lovely! She's thickly layers on her vocals at the end (similarly to what she did frequently in her previous albums), and it always sounds great.
This track starts with some dialog that's definitely not Kate Bush. It sounds like it might be Miranda Richardson (she's associated with this album somehow), but that's difficult to determine. But after that bit, a thoroughly craaaaaaaazy Kate Bush song starts to play. An off-kilter groove gives it a nice dancey feel, and Bush gives a highly dramatic vocal performance with a melody that's very catchy. The real kicker is that extremely odd rubbery synth that we hear in the chorus. This is enormously enjoyable.
The Red Shoes 10/10
Quite an intensely interesting track and another one of her performance songs. This sounds like a cross between "The Jig of Life" from Hounds of Love and "Eat the Music." It's strange and very fun to listen to for analysis. The combination of those ukulele sounds and the Irish flutes is something I doubt has ever been done. Bush gives an intoxicating musical performance that's borderline spooky... Very nice work.
Top of the City 8.5/10
What a nice song from Bush although the melody doesn't do wonders for me. Her mood changes seem a little more sudden and less soulful that what I'm used to. I love the orchestral quality of this (those light strings in the background were very nicely arranged). The chorus is off-kilter (yes, this is Kate Bush) it just doesn't give me quite the same sort of emotions.
Constellation of the Heart 8/10
This is a fun adult-contemporary dance track that suffers from an interesting condition that never plagued a Kate Bush track. She's totally faceless! I like her vocal performances, but she's sounding like she's being too dominated by the production. She does a few interesting things here and there, which keeps far from becoming banal. All in all this is probably comparable to Peter Gabriel's song "Big Time." This song is fun as hell, but it's not too special.
Big Stripey Lie 9.5/10
This is another track that could be considered quite '80s with that huge drum sound, but Bush keeps it interesting making the mood sound so dang menacing! The instrumentation must be one of the lusher examples with those very odd orchestral build-ups she's fond of in here. Bush perform-sings this song very well, and she puts her guitarist to good use. The groove is nice, which she brings in a xylophone for part of that duty. I love it!
Why Should I Love You? 7/10
For my money this is the album's weakest link. The song not only has a bad habit of sounding too much like a normal adult contemporary song, but it's just not that interesting. Why does this remind me so much of that freaking Paula Abdul album that I listened to because I like to torture myself? I mean, this is better than most Paula Abdul songs, but ... Yeesh....... This is Kate Bush's worst song of her career. But ..... this is still alright, so take that statement as a compliment. After all *something* has to be your worst song.
You're the One 8/10
This one is much nicer ... it's one of Bush's more lower key tracks. I think it's pretty nice, and Bush gives a very good performance. The melody is good, and she uses a few good synthesizers. There's some good licks of the electric guitar here... This track might remind one of Pink Floyd except a little bit sloppier. I like what she was going for here (it does sound like an epic track that would make for an optimal album closer) but it's just not so intrinsically interesting to me. You can see why she went on a 12-year hiatus ..... wait until those ideas are fresh again! (I also have the feeling that Bush is a bit of a procrastinator..... That could explain another half of it.)
Read the full review:
DISC ONE: A SEA OF HONEY
King of the Mountain A
Yeah, I did buy this on iTunes when it first came out! It was at my computer at work, and I wouldn't stop playing it. In fact, I think I was bugging everybody with it. Anyway, this is my review and I can give it a glowing review if I want to! What's so nice about this song is pretty much everything. The melody is catchy proving early on that Kate didn't lose an ounce of her melodic sense. Though she's not using nearly the same range that she used to, her performance is breezy and somehow powerful. The production is as excellent as you might expect. She's still doing all of that herself! She's bringing in crunchy guitars and a brilliant drum player to give it a genuine rock 'n' roll feel, but there are also windy, wispy sound effects to make us feel like we're in some sort inner-dimensional void or something. (I should use the term "inner dimensional void" more often ........ er, or maybe I shouldn't.)
Wonderful! Now we have a theme song for 3/14. (Though I guess in Britain it would be 14/3 and therefore Pi day is impossible there. Pity!) Although the geeks of the world like to point out that somehow 20 digits of pi was omitted from it, but certainly it's intriguing enough hearing a song with lyrics that incorporates numbers. (Surely it was edited out in the final cut... This song is more than six minutes long!) Well, this song sure is hypnotic as Kate delivers quite a story-line about a man who's obsessed with calculating pi. (The perfect lyrics in the chorus go "Oh he love, he love, he love / He does love his numbers / And they run, they run, they run him / In a great big circle / In a circle of infinity") I never point out lyrics, but I had to here 'cos they're so great. A chord progression is introduced at the very beginning of this played by a pulsating electric organ and programmed drums that are more subtle than "Running Up That Hill" but just as well done. This chord progression is wonderful and plays a huge role to why this song is so hypnotic. It's kept even more ear engaging, because she changes around the textures wonderfully. She manages to sing the digits of pi as if she were the one actually obsessed with it. So this is another one of her brilliant story-songs, and everybody should love it.
"Bertie" is Bush's son, who I think was four when this song was written. It's done in a Renaissance style. The instrumentals contain plucked-at acoustic guitar and a genuine cello. One thing about this song is that it never captivated me much, but it did grow on me thanks with time. The melody is pretty good, and it's nice to hear what's been keeping her so content over the years.
Ms. Bartolozzi B+
This song and the previous one do constitute the low points of the album although that's just a testament to how good this album is! This one is just Bush singing along with a piano. The lyrics pertain to doing housework. She spent those 12 years living a normal life, and it's been dutifully recorded in this track! I like the melody Bush is singing with her piano though it's no "And Dream of Sheep." My biggest complaint is the chorus consisting of her repeating "washing machine" three times might have been a little more interesting. Nonetheless, this song is so organic, personal and done with sheer class! And you have to appreciate that. And it's still enjoyable overall.
How to Be Invisible A
Back to the heavily produced stuff, and I say that's good news! This track has a deep running bassline throughout and a remarkably catchy groove. Bush sings a fairly interesting melody along with a convicting though strictly reserved vocal performance. Occassionally, the song breaks into a more atmospheric though somehow minimal section. Its structured very similarly to "There Goes a Tenner" except is much more scaled-back. It's just as charming though.
How the heck is she always able to do this?? If there's anything Kate Bush albums are always good for it's a high number of A+ level songs! This one in particular is captivating and intoxicating as heck! She's sounding especially modern here with '00s style instruments proving that she was sort of paying attention to pop culture. The melody is beautiful and so is the wonderful production that features string synthesizers that tend to flow peacefully right through me! This one draws me in from the beginning as I'm left to experience the spicey variety of sounds she has in store. This one is a particular gem.
A Coral Room A
Similarly to "Mrs. Bartolozzi" this track consists of Kate Bush just singin' to a piano. However, this one seems much more contemplative musically, and Bush is picking at the piano in a very beautiful and almost jazz-like way. Her lyrics center around the death of her mother (which happened years previous to this), and she's taking the opportunity to spill her heart onto this track. This is a special sort of song that, even though it's "uneventful" as such, it's beautiful and resonant. It's even tuneful, and you wouldn't have expected anything less! Though not quite as infectious, this is quite a bit more affecting than even "And Dream of Sheep." Quite nice. Oh, onto Disc Two now.
DISC TWO: A SKY OF HONEY
Even though Disc One was awesome, Disc Two is the real masterpiece. This is an extremely tranquil, minute and a half introduction featuring bird noises as the background, a gorgeous and twinkly piano along with what sounds like Kate Bush's voice twisted to sound like a pigeon. Meanwhile a child reads a poem!
The bird synthscape bleeds onto the beginning of this track and a dark synthesizer is wobbling. Kate comes in with some piano chords and starts to sing such a sweet melody! It starts sounding pretty dang magical around the three minute mark as Bush delivers some incredibly pretty vocals and she introduces some excellent string tracks and some sound effect embellishments. My only complaint that it takes a bit too long for it to adopt this magical tone and it's a tad boring coming up to that point. Well, the tone here is to be more reserved so the magical moments seem to be perfect for anyone willing to wait for them... OK, I'm impatient! ! ! ! Well it's still an A-level song. Just barely though.
An Architecht's Dream A+
Freaking excellent. This one's magic from start to finish, thank goodness. It starts with a man talking who is a painter! Bush's chord progression is so excellent here that it's much of the reason this song is so engaging. (Don't you see how important harmonies are in art-rock? Here is a lesson for all you aspiring songwriters.) Also helping matters immensely is her beautiful instrumentation. A reserved bongo-drum pattern plays throughout as some simple though utterly gorgeous string synths provide the background texture. Some guitar sythesizers pop in to compliment Bush's gorgeous vocal melody. Her singing is sweet and delicious here!
The Painter's Link A+
Geez, this song is only a minute and a half long, but it leaves QUITE an impression. It starts out with the male singer (who probably provided the dialogue at the beginning of the previous track) singing that it's raining and his painting is ruined. Bush comes in with some reverb to her vocals singing "So all the colors run!" This is such a bold and beautiful moment, though ... GEEZ. This song is a mini-treat!
Never one to let up on the beauty or the well-written songs halfway though the album, Bush delivers this reserved and somewhat jazzy tune with another catchy tune. It's not complicated, but it has very nice flow and it doesn't get old for its entire six minute running length. The melody and the mood is rather easy to fall in love with.
Aerial Tal A-
This is another one-minute "link" of sorts featuring a hypnotizing loop, and what sounds like Bush imitating bird noises. This is strange!!
Somewhere in Between A+
Ah, now here's why we all got up this morning. This track runs for five minutes, and it never lets up its excellence! This is one of the more upbeat tunes meaning that it's still pretty reserved and laid back, but it has a faster drumbeat and an utterly intoxicating, laid-back groove. The melody is incredibly catchy here, and the instrumental embellishments Bush inserts throughout were perfectly chosen. This is another perfect song to sit back and soak up!! Bush delivers a particularly beautiful vocal performance here. Lovely!!
Bush starts this sprawling eight-minute beauty with some slowly sung notes that make her sound like some sort of ghoul. Then some spaced-out chords starts to play, and Bush sings in her more normal voice! Then, perhaps the least-mellow bass riff of the whole album begins to play. This is another example of an extra-long song that doesn't change its general groove throughout and never fails to sound fresh thanks to the instrumental and texture changes that keep popping up. The last two minutes in particular feature some very striking and almost threatening vocals performances.
This is another eight-minute track. It begins with almost the same hypnotizing loop that was present in "Aerial Tal." Then a very thunderous groove starts playing that even features some electric guitars in the mix (and you might not almost believe that). Then this groove stops playing (but the loop's still there) and Bush starts to giggle like she's high while a bird is whistling. It's nice to know that she's still loony. Then that thunderous beat starts to play again, and Bush sings like she means it! A nice electric guitar solo starts to play! There's some structured "ha-ha-ha-ha-ha's," which seem to have had a hand in ending the mayhem, and the song fades out with another bird synthscape. This track is so utterly hypnotizing and remarkably engaging that I hardly get sick of it! How excellent...
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