I can’t even begin to talk about my love affair with Kate Bush. When I first heard her music I was immediately yearning for more! “Running Up That Hill” is undoubtedly one of my favourite songs of ALL TIME. I have loved all of Kate’s albums and was again pleasantly surprised to find via Facebook that there was a new album this year. Earlier in the year she had released Director’s Cut, which was an album of re-recorded and reconstructed songs from 2 previous albums: The Sensual World and The Red Shoes. I’m not too intimately acquainted with these albums but the reconstruction of her older material didn’t satisfy my lust for new Kate material. I was completely ecstatic to read about 50 Words for Snow.
50 Words for Snow is the second album to be released on Kate’s own record label, “Fish People” and the first all new album since 2008’s Aerial (too long!) The album received great acclaim for music critics. November 27th marked history for Kate, as the album reached #5 on the UK charts, making her the first female artist to have an album of all new material in the top five during each of the last 5 decades (go Kate!!!)
On 14 November 2011, NPR played the album in its entirety for the first time. In her accompanying review of the album, NPR music critic Ann Powers writes: “Each song on Snow grows as if from magic beans from the lush ground of the singer-songwriter’s keyboard parts. The music is immersive but spacious, jazz-tinged and lushly electronic – the 53-year-old Bush, a prime inspiration for tech-savvy young auteurs ranging from St. Vincent to hip-hop’s Big Boi, pioneered the use of digital samplers in the 1980s and is still an avid aural manipulator. This time around, drummer Steve Gadd is her most important interlocutor – the veteran studio player’s gentle but firm touch draws the frame around each of her expanding landscapes. But Bush won’t be restricted. Like Mitchell on Don Juan’s Restless Daughter [sic], she takes her time and lets her characters lead.” Powers chose 50 words for the new album, describing it as “Powdery fantasia. Contemplative. Winter matins. Playful. Opium reverie. Grounded. Ghost story. Sensual. Artistic recalibration. Unhurried. Drummer’s holiday. Quiet. Ode to the white keys. Imaginative. Exploration of the lower register. Floating. Mother-son duet. Solitary. Snowed-in erotica. Collaborative. Joni Mitchell answer record. Inimitable. Supernatural space odyssey. What we’d expect from Kate Bush.”
What else can you say?? I’ve only heard it once so far (last night!) but am definitely planning on listening to it again as soon as possible. “Misty” and the title track, “50 Words for Snow”, were among my favourite tracks. Do yourself a favour and listen to this album (and if you’ve had the horrible misfortune of not hearing her earlier albums, for the love of all that is good do so immediately!!!!!!)