Elvis' Babe, That's OK. There's room for all tastes in music.
Kate is an aquired taste. like Beethoven's sublime late Quartets we have to work at understanding where the composer is coming from:-)
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/04a9a682-49b3- ... e2340.html
From the "Financial Times"
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Kate Bush, Aerial (EMI)
By Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
Published: October 31 2005 02:00 | Last updated: October 31 2005 02:00
Kate Bush's new album, her first since 1993's The Red Shoes, does her reputation as one of pop's great eccentrics no harm. On one song she recites pi to the 114th decimal place. Another track hinges on her repeatedly singing the words "washing machine". Elsewhere she duets with birds, communes with Joan of Arc and invents a spell for invisibility. Oh, and Rolf Harris performs a guest turn as an artist whose painting is ruined by rain.
This is indeed a strange brew. But we do Bush's music a disservice if we simply revel in its unusualness. Ever since she imprinted herself on the public mind as a leotard- wearing teenager singing "Wuthering Heights", it has been easy to exoticise her as otherworldly and enigmatic: a child-woman with an uncanny voice and curious aversion to celebrity. Her reclusive nature (she rarely gives interviews and gave up playing live after her first tour in 1979) and the long hiatus since her last album encourage us to imagine her as an obsessive, lonely genius, as does the mystique surrounding Aerial, whose appearance has been the subject of much hearsay and anticipation.
The true circumstances of its making appear more mundane. Bush's retirement from music after The Red Shoes was partly due to motherhood: her new songs are enraptured with themes of domesticity and family life. Also, The Red Shoes wasn't terribly good: for the first time in her career Bush sounded dated, like someone stranded in the 1980s. Perhaps she needed time to rediscover her talent for making music that was ambitious, literary, sensual and deeply singular. Or was that talent irrevocably lost, as so many pop stars discover in middle age?
Thankfully Aerial proves otherwise. At first listen - which was all I was allowed as pre-release exposure to the album has been strictly rationed - it comes across as richly satisfying and brilliantly conceived.
Split into two sections, the first, "A Sea of Honey", opens with a song cautioning against the cult of celebrity, "King of the Mountain", in which Bush sings about Elvis Presley. "How To Be Invisible", the closest the album gets to straightforward rock, makes explicit her distaste for fame, though a desire for privacy hasn't inhibited her from writing songs about her personal life. "Bertie" is a faux-Elizabethan ditty in praise of her son: a curio, but touching. "A Coral Room" refers to her mother's death.
The centrepiece of Aerial's first section is "Mrs Bartolozzi", a song about washing clothes whose lyrics move with astonishing deftness between domesticity, intimacy and eroticism. Piano-led, it pushes to the fore the 47-year-old's voice, which sounds as fluidly distinctive as ever. Her vocals may have lost some of their old wildness (and with it the air of melodrama that used to hover over her music), but they have also become fuller, more mature. The music, too, is contemplative: piano and vivid string arrangements predominate.
"A Sky of Honey", the album's second suite of songs, opens with dawn birdsong and young Bertie piping up to tell his parents that the birds sound like they're speaking. The following tracks develop this theme of nature and culture (this is when Rolf, the painter with the rainy canvas, appears), set within the context of the passing of a day. The music ebbs and flows; the mood of the lyrics is celebratory.
Having begun with her son speaking, it ends with a track welcoming sunrise. Thumping beats, hazy guitars and joyous singing, including peals of laughter, make this Aerial's most upbeat song. It is an album about renewal: the daily renewal of the sun and her own renewal by her son.
'Aerial' will be released on November 7