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Kate Bush - Lionheart CD (album) cover

LIONHEART

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

3.30 | 151 ratings

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Matti
3 stars Kate Bush's second album Lionheart was made in very unfavourable circumstances: EMI had given only a short time to finish it, and 20-year old Kate had been taken for a rollercoaster ride of celebrity perhaps too soon (I believe her reluctance for publicity is rooted in that headspinning 1st year as a pop star). Most songs date before the debut release, and one could say they were more or less 'leftovers'. That all said, it is surprising how Lionheart still manages to have a mature character different from the Kick Inside, and sound as good as it sounds. She really showed strength with this challenge, though naturally it doesn't have a chance of being among her best works.

The whole album has a romantic and nostalgic feeling that was inspired by the world of theatre, cinema and old musicals. 'Wow' deals with actors, child-focused 'In Search of Peter Pan' is a very theatre-like song which cites 'When You Wish Upon a Star', 'Coffee Homeground' is a comically paranoic story with a circus and musical flavour and 'Hammer Horror' refers, as you guess, to the notorious film company. Apart from the naiively fantastic 'Wow', these mentioned song are not my favourites on the album. I like the overall feeling of Lionheart: relaxed, sensual and intimate.

This is also the most openly sexual KB album. Charming opener 'Symphony in Blue' has the line "the more I think about sex the better it gets". 'In the Warm Room' was written for men's sex dreams of a beautiful girl ready for love making. It's like even more intimate twin to 'Feel It' in the debut. 'Kashka From Baghdad', musically perhaps the finest track, tells about homosexuals hiding in their house: "they know the way to be happy".

'Oh England My Lionheart' collects all the cliches of English nostalgia and Kate said afterwards she felt regret for its inclusion, but it is like the heart of the album, and due to the medieval-like instrumentation it doesn't quite cross the line of being TOO sweet. 'Fullhouse' has an over-repeated half-rocking chorus but is otherwise a very fine moody song about inner struggles.

With only ten songs of standard legth the album is shortish, and some songs are perhaps a bit half baked (too many choruses for example). If it had been given more time, it would stand proud in her discography. As a cruelly deadlined successor to a sensational debut it is very gratifying.

Matti | 3/5 |

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