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Kate Bush - Lionheart CD (album) cover

LIONHEART

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

3.30 | 147 ratings

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orange man
4 stars I do think it's evident that Lionheart is inferior to The Kick Inside.There's nothing I can say to change that. But, if compared with works by other artists, all of whom I feel are inferior to Kate Bush, Lionheart stands out as a masterpiece. I would give this album 5 stars if it were one of my favorite albums by her. But since I've heard her do better......

Just in case the gravity of the sentence above slipped by, let me EMPHASIZE. I BELIEVE KATE BUSH IS THE GREATEST MUSICAL ARTIST OF OUR TIME!!! If my opinion were more important that would be high praise, but since this small girl from Welling, Kent was able to reach across the Atlantic, the Appalachian Mountains, and into the heartland of rural Kentucky to fire my imagination and sensory awakening in a way that still amazes me twenty years later, I figure she must be pretty good.

Though her music may not strictly meet the definition of progressive, I feel she is the ultimate progressive music artist as well. She took music some where it had never been: a place I can only call The Land of Kate, for I don't know how else to describe it. Her arrangements are unique, but those early chord progressions even stunned her studio musicians. No one could have listened to The Kick Inside or Lionheart for the first time and have any idea where it was going next. And she did it by following her muse, not by contriving a clever musical bridge that ends up sounding contrived. Kate's music is a life force in and of itself.

Ah yes, Lionheart. I'll just highlight my favorite moments.

First, I love In Search of Peter Pan and the sentiment it portrays. And the ending tag of When You Wish Upon A Star segued into Wow with a beautiful string arrangement is breathtaking. I once heard this song suddenly coming from a driving video game my grandchildren were playing, Wow that is, and my heart leapt. It was like a young love had reappeared. Wow also has a combination of wisdom and naivete that I find intriguing. On the one hand she's singing Wowowowowow!!!! Unbelievable!!!....then she's singing about an actor who'd be better if he'd pay more attention to his craft, "but he's too busy hitting the vaseline." Whoa!! Where did that come from?

Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake is actually my favorite song on the album. I like songs with pretty keyboard work, that then drive into another gear. And this is the highest gear she would hit so far in her early career, as she lets it all fly on vocals.

Some might think Oh England, My Lionheart is sappy. I think it's poetry. Beautiful tone, beautiful imagery....it makes you proud to be from England, even if you're an American!

The second side of the LP was slightly less impressive than the first side. The best songs on the remainder are Fullhouse and Hammer Horror. But the other three songs-- Kashka From Baghdad, In the Warm Room, and Coffee Homeground---are some of her most peculiar musical stylings and really keep you on your toes with a plethora of literary and cultural allusions, as well as thinly disguised sexual innuendo.

I believe she wrote most of these songs after the first album was recorded, but I wouldn't swear to it. There may have been a few that were still too rough at the time The Kick Inside was recorded, but I don't think they had rounded into their final form yet. (There is a web site called Paradise Place that has links to her early demos if you would like to hear them.)

I listen to the stuff this teenage girl churned out in a short period of time, on the heels of a major debut album which she'd had her whole previous life to write songs for, and I find it to be an amazing effort. Because it didn't have the shock impact of her first album, and was recorded just before a period of amitious experimentation, Lionheart tends to be forgotten. But if you can remember to listen to it, it will give you part 2 of a One-of-a-kind experience which is the young, free-wheeling, pre-studio marm Kate Bush. And it's delightful!

orange man | 4/5 |

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