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Kate Bush - Aerial CD (album) cover

AERIAL

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

3.76 | 175 ratings

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Progosopher
3 stars This is a well-crafted pop album in a 80s kind of style, but better recorded. The songs are mostly either electronic-based or piano ballads, the latter played very nicely by Ms. Bush herself. Although much of it is intelligent, songs about numbers and washing machines I find to be trite. To be honest, I would have preferred to have seen a little more artistic care rather than artistic pretentions. The album comprises two disks, but could have easily been kept at one. The total running time is only 80:02. One less repetition of "washing machine" or a few less bars of the last track, Aerial, would have sufficed. Personally, I find the two disks to be a waste of resources. I may surmise her reason for this in the fact that both disks are different from one another. The first disk, titled A Sea of Honey, tends towards mid-tempo pop songs and slow ballads, most of which I find rather dull. However, one of my favorite tracks on the whole set is here - Bertie, which utilizes Baroque stylings and instruments. Eligio Quinteira's renaissance guitar adds a nice touch to the proceedings (along with other instruments of the period). In fact, Kate Bush brings some first rate musicians on board, not the least of which are Peter Erskine (of Weather Report fame) on drums, jazz bassist Eberhard Weber, and Gary Brooker on Hammond and backing vocals. Lol Creme also makes an appearance on the backing vox. I am not familiar with the other musicians featured, but all seem to be fine performers.

The second disk, A Sky of Honey, is the better of the two, more cohesive. The last four tracks form a continuous suite that starts gentle and ends with a driving electronic beat. The presence of the word 'honey' in the titles and lyrics indicate that Ms. Bush's theme here is one of lightness. I would also add brightness and elevation. The album title, Aerial, is a bit of a play on words, for it implies anything that rises high. Bird songs are repeated motif, and one of the best parts of the whole album is when she sings, "What kind of language is this?" as the birds chirp in the background. Her laughter at the birds to is really quite delightful, a sound not often heard in the seriousness of prog music. Besides the final suite, An Architect's Dream is also one of my favorite songs.

Kate Bush has delivered, after many years, an album that I consider overall good, but not great in any way. Being on two disks really does bug me, and there is a repetitiveness that sinks in, especially on the first disk, that really bogs the album down. I would give A Sea of Honey two stars, and three to A Sky of Honey. Overall, I will rate the album three stars, mostly because the finale raises the music above the level it sinks to on the first disk, and thus ends on a very positive note.

Progosopher | 3/5 |

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