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50 Words for Snow

Kate Bush

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iTunes Review

It’s a Christmas miracle that Kate Bush released two albums in 2011. However, Director’s Cut, a reinterpretation of songs from The Sensual World and The Red Shoes, inspired her to get working on new material. The fact that the music has a definitive winter solitude inspired her to complete this album before the season passed. The studio perfectionist in her ensures that each song sounds complete and sonically rewarding. The piano is deep and measured, building to dramatic heights. No track is shorter than six-plus minutes, and two roll out at more than 11 and 13 minutes. This leisurely pace lets Bush explore the mysteries and romance of a season where snow’s temporary presence reminds her of life’s own impermanence. “Misty” builds to an overwhelming crescendo, with Steve Gadd’s drums kicking the piano and strings into a new soundfield. Elton John, British actor Stephen Fry, and Bush’s 12-year-old son, Bertie, make guest appearances that increase the impact. John, in particular, sings in his lower register for a striking cameo on the daring love story “Snowed in at Wheeler Street.”

Customer Reviews

Meandering tone poems

I love Kate Bush. Or, rather, I love the Kate Bush of "The Kick Inside" to "The Red Shoes." Starting with "Aerial," her comeback double album that in my opinion tests the patience of even long-time fans, she has dramatically stripped back production and favored drawn-out piano-based music that stretches the definition of what a "song" is. Most of these tracks simply meander along a straightforward tonal path that barely develops musically or lyrically, yet they extend from 7 minutes up to more than 13! Kate, where are the *songs*? Where is the variety, the intriguing arrangements, the spark of your creative vision? For me, all are missing here. Even worse, the vocals are marred by the production, which has traded Kate's trademarked, over-compressed vocals of "The Sensual World" and "The Red Shoes" for vocals that are so heavily de-essed that it sometimes sounds like she's singing through flannel. I found parts of "Aerial" so -- much as I hate to say this -- boring that I still haven't heard entire songs on that disc. I was hoping for something more here. . . but I actually got something less. I can't imagine listening to any but one or two of these songs again. And that is both disappointing and heartbreaking for me. Because I love Kate Bush. I just don't like this.

Thanks Kate.

A new Kate Bush album is always such an exciting treat because each of her works is groundbreaking, breaking from the past, new, odd, strange at first because it's so uniquely different even from her prior work because it's so original in exploring and creating new genres. Then after a few listens the subtle beauty begins to be apparent. Each new album is a challenge because her work is complex. At first you read bad reviews based on first impressions, then the reviews get better and better as her music grows on listeners who start hearing what she's doing. She's way ahead of us.

This is what happened with Aerial, her last album. At first I didn't like it, it didn't sound like her because she had grown and matured over the years into an even better artist than before, hard to imagine but true. I now think Aerial is her best yet. I've only heard Snow once, but know the same thing will happen.

Thanks for giving so much of yourself Kate.

Excellent Music

Another great recording from a special person. Your music always moves me like no others.

Biography

Born: July 30, 1958 in Bexleyheath, Kent, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most successful and popular solo female performers to come out of England during the last several decades of the 20th century, Kate Bush was also one of the most unusual, with her keening vocals and unusually literate and complex body of songs. As a girl, Catherine Bush studied piano and violin while attending the St. Joseph's Convent Grammar School in Abbey Wood in South London. She also amused herself playing an organ in the barn behind her parents' house. By the time she was a teenager,...
Full Bio

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