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Kate Bush - Hounds of Love CD (album) cover

HOUNDS OF LOVE

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

4.10 | 270 ratings

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Frankie Flowers
5 stars "Hounds of Love" is a mature, very unique, emotional and original album. The first half of the album actually had four hit singles. The opener is the haunting, atmospheric "Running up that Hill" a song about swapping places with someone to share their pain. I really like its driving warlike drums. It was very well known but a pretty unusual song that should grow on the listener. The title track follows and it's a wonderfully celebratory song about how helpless love makes you. It too has an urgent rhythm which underpins the song's theme. "The Big Sky" is Kate at her trippiest best, looking up at the sky and giggling at clouds that look like Ireland, a fact subtly complemented by the folk-like refrain chanted in the background. The video is really great too.

"Cloudbusting" must be my personal favourite. It's described as "majestic" and rightly so. It is a sweeping paean to a lost parent and is based on the story of a boy whose father was taken away because he had invented a machine which made it rain. Such incredible imagination here. Its chugging rhythm, beautifully arranged strings and even the use of a steam engine perfectly capture the almost menacing feel of clouds gathering and scudding across the sky. You have to hear it to know what I mean. The video - starring the intense Donald Sutherland - did what music videos should do: it told the story of the song, thus adding an extra visual dimension and helping us to enjoy this great piece of songwriting even more.

The second half of the album passes from the sublime to the otherwordly telling the story of The Ninth Wave. "And Dream of Sheep" opens the suite and it's quite gentle with a sparse use of piano before things turn more sinister on "Under Ice". Though "Waking the Witch" is the most frightening of all. It begins in a dreamlike state before exploding into a nightmarish, babbling soundscape.

"Jig of Life" is a nod to Bush's Irish roots and celebrates the wisdom of an old gypsy lady. It is a stomping folk song with a fantastic set of string and drum arrangements. "Hello Earth" then sees her as an astronaut sleepily looking down on a stormy, wet planet Earth and lulls us deliberately to sleep with its Nosferatu-like chants and dragging cello before we awaken joyfully for the last song "Morning Fog". This is a very upbeat love song and a satisfying and uplifting conclusion to a deep and beautiful, inspiring album that can bring a lot of things into your life. No-one should compare Bush to any other female singer/songwriter. This is most definitely essential Kate Bush.

Frankie Flowers | 5/5 |

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