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Kate Bush - Hounds of Love CD (album) cover

HOUNDS OF LOVE

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

4.10 | 269 ratings

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Raff
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Hounds of Love" features in many 'best-ever album' lists published by music magazines or websites. Unreliable as such lists are, in this particular case there's no hype involved, as Kate Bush's fifth album is an undisputed musical masterpiece, an almost perfect album that still sounds fresh today as it did on its release, over twenty years ago.

The music here is by turns ethereal, romantic, wistful, sometimes even aggressive and disturbing. "Running Up That Hill" opens the record with a strong, almost disco-ish electronic beat, on whose background Kate's dramatic voice soars and emotes. Heavy percussion also features prominently in "The Big Sky" and, though a bit more sedately, in the title-track. The poignant "Mother Stands for Comfort" leads the way for the epic "Cloudbusting", whose video (featuring Donald Sutherland) is as deeply moving and beautiful as the song itself.

Side Two is entirely taken up by "The Ninth Wave" (the title is taken from a poem by Lord Tennyson), a suite in seven separate movements based on a fascinating concept: the last hours of a woman trapped under ice, her thoughts and memories before death. It may sound macabre, but Kate deals with this disturbing subject with her usual lightness of touch. Musically it is as mesmerising as the story behind it, with Kate's vocals sounding heart-wrenchingly sweet in the opening "And Dream of Sheep" and in "Hello Earth", menacing in the sinister "Waking the Witch" and in the traditional Irish tune "Jig of Life", wistful in "Watching You Without Me".

As in its predecessor, 1982's "The Dreaming", ethnic instruments blend with violins and the omnipresent piano and Fairlight played by Kate herself to create a musical mixture that is at the same time adventurous and soothing to the ear. A classic album to be treasured by every lover of high-quality music.

Raff | 5/5 |

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