Saturday, 12 November 2011
REVIEW: KATE BUSH-50 WORDS FOR SNOW
A legend returns this fall.
Kate Bush is back...officially. The legendary, iconic British singer returns and it's only fitting she does in the same year Björk comes back. The music industry right now needs the refreshment of two unique, one in a million artists with their one of a kind styles. This is Kate Bush's first full-length album in six years. Sure she released the delightful 'Directors Cut' this year, but that was a reinvention album of sorts of her best work from the classics 'The Sensual World' and 'The Red Shoes'. With '50 Words For Snow'. This 7 track album goes beyond E.P. status to become her second album released off her label 'Fish People' and her first time releasing two albums in one year since 1978. It's clear Kate is back and here to stay.
'50 Words For Snow' is a perfectly themed album for this coming fall but this is no Christmas album, it's much more than that. Bush describes this album as "set against a backdrop of falling snow" and her vocal and backdrop make for a deep, romantic album about love. With this great album Kate Bush slips back on 'The Red Shoes' and shows she's still producing her best work. You can tell this album is something big as Elton John and Stephen Fry are added to the playlist. Things don't get much more legendary or British than this...and we're talking about Kate.
These tracks are epic. The shortest one is only just less than 7 minutes long. This makes this 7-track album run into the hour territory of most full albums, meaning this L.P. stand next to the rest in quantity. In terms of quality however it stands apart in it's own incredibly, unique experimental league. The album begins with the beautiful fall of a song called 'Snowflake', before getting operatic, strange and even more sublime with 'Lake Tahoe' which is as deep and decedent as the place itself, it's that kind of picturesque music.
'Misty' is a another deep and epic track which is atmospheric and draws in the feeling of a Winter's night perfectly. Then the lead single 'Wild Man' tells the story of sightings of the Yeti in the wilds of the Himalayas and is signature, traditional Kate. Even when it gets more peculiar it just feels all the more Kate. It sounds like it was lifted straight from her 80's period. Even today Bush can still record with the best. That's why Elton comes in for 'Snowed In at Wheeler St' that makes for the best British duet in decades and a song that's even better than Kate's classic cover of John's 'Rocket Man'. As the two sing "I don't want to lose you" in unison this is the record fans have been waiting for for years. Finally together on record these two English, worldwide icons show just how good they are together.
Another British icon joins the warm, fall party as actor Stephen Fry lends his words to the album-titled '50 Words For Snow'. Trust this isn't weird, it fits perfectly and Kate once had comedian Lenny Henry lend some awesome vocals to 'Why Should I Love You' off 'The Red Shoes'. This great album closes with the spirited piano of 'Among Angels', a closer as beautiful as the album opener. This all bookends '50 Words Of Snow', a concise, cohesive classic feeling album that brings Bush back into the mainstream music world in which she belongs. We could give you 50 or more reasons why the industry has been missing her sound, but we'd rather give you '50 Words For Snow'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.