It’s funny, for me, that I cam to Kate Bush, because I seem to love just about everything she does. I find her music so compelling that I sometimes struggle to put it into words. There are things I like and clearly her particular brand of theatrical performance, interesting arrangements distinct songwriting is very much my thing.
This is a strong set of songs, some of them more catchy than others but all of them fairly catchy. Because of her, um, unique voice, I don’t know that she always gets enough credit for her lyrics, which are strong here as they always are. I suspect if she wasn’t such an unconventional singer, she’s likely get more attention for her lyrics. It’s not that they’re absolutely stellar all the time, but they are always thoughtful at the very least.
The arrangements are varied, as you might expect. The styles of the songs range more than anyone only familiar with her hits would suspect, me thinks. One particularly distinct feature of this record is the use of male choruses, occasionally drowning out her own voice. Bush is a very capable singer and also well known for doing her own backing vocals (as she does on “Blow Away” for example) so it’s interesting that she went this way. It gives the album a little more of a distinct feel.
Some people note that the production is better here than on her early records and I think that’s probably true. It’s certainly more elaborate. But, as usual, Bush manages to incorporate contemporary technology – the Fairlight in this case, one of the most ’80s sounding instruments ever – while not dating her record. She does this through her creativity but also through her combination of contemporary sounds with more traditional instruments.
Anyway, it’s great. I don’t have much to say in criticism except that it’s not The Dreaming.