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Kate Bush - Aerial CD (album) cover


Kate Bush


Crossover Prog

3.82 | 253 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's about time I reviewed this album, so here goes! After a break of over decade Kate Bush returns with a superb album. For me, this ranks up there with 'Hounds of Love' and 'Never Forever'

Aerial consists of two discs, 'A sea of Honey' and 'A sky of Honey' The first is more, what you might choose to call 'straight forward' Kate Bush; a collection of good songs - some better than others - with a few great stand out moments and few misses too. The opener 'King of the Mountain' is a funky and atmospheric offering, all about the apparent immortality of the Elvis Presley phenomenon. Not my favourite subject matter, I have to say, but a great song nonetheless. The second track 'Pi' (denoted by the symbol on the album sleeve) is my favourite on the first disc, and tells of a man autistically obsessed with numbers. Classic Bush quirkiness is complimented here by the way the song hangs in the air with a sense of teasing tension and expectation. I wonder if this song was inspired by the disturbing Darren Aronofsky film of the same name. The rest of the first disc is relativly weak IMO. The music for 'Bertie' is pleasantly folky, but the lyrics are a little sickly. I quite like the eccentric and silly 'Mrs Bartolozzi' complete with washing machine impressions.

Aerial really takes off on the secod disc, 'A Sky of Honey' This lengthy suite, with some kind of loose concept gluing it together, is Bush genius at its best. The beautiful opening three tracks set a very tranquil and rather melancholic scene. This is not the first time KB has worked with Rolf Harris, and his contribution to Aerial is as bizzare, but strangely appropriate and effective as it is on 'The Dreaming' 'An Architects Dream' and 'The Painters Link' ooze a mournful beauty, few artists can capture as well as Kate Bush. Next we have 'Sunset' an absolute gem of a track, which escalates from its gentle beginnings into a fine Flamenco, marking the first significant increase in tempo in the suite. Backing vocals come from Gary Brooker of Procul Harum on this piece. His voice contrasts Kates brilliantly, adding to the tension the flamenco rhythim brings to the song. 'Somewhere in between' bobs and glides along on a gentle 'Drum 'n' Bass' rhythim, whilst maintaining the tranquil atmosphere that 'A Sky of Honey' is built around. 'Nocturn' is hypnotic and is the beggining of the build up to the end of 'Aerial' The album closes with the title track, and the tension builds here thanks to a thumping, though quite slow house beat under the layers of rock guitar, pulsing keyboards and Kates vocals. A guitar solo builds upon this beat as what sounds like a Lute being strummed (?) joins in. Excellent ideas and a superb atmosphere surface in this closer, although it is arguably a little too long. The guitar and vocal parts get more tense, and finally give way to the birdsong, which seems a central theme to a 'Sky of Honey'

On the whole this album is indeed 'An excellent addition to any prog music collection' and is in my top three KB albums. The second disc is nothing short of masterpiece, and the first a pleasant enough listen. It comes highly reccomended by me, all I advise is that 'A sky of Honey' is always listend to in its entirity for optimum effect.

Good to have you back Kate!

Blacksword | 4/5 |


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