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Kate Bush - The Sensual World CD (album) cover


Kate Bush


Crossover Prog

3.52 | 176 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars I'm a bit in two minds about this album. If I could, I'd give it 3.50 stars: as a matter of fact, I listen to it quite often, and some of the songs on it are among my all-time favourites in Kate Bush's whole output. However, I can't avoid feeling something is not quite there, especially if compared to its two marvellous predecessors, "The Dreaming" and "Hounds of Love".

In any case, the good tracks are really excellent. The title track, inspired by Molly Bloom's monologue at the end of Joyce's "Ulysses", is positively erotic, with Kate's vocal delivery at is most breathy and suggestive. "The Fog", introduced by Kate's father voice, is probably the highlight of the album, with fantastic playing by celebrated violinist Nigel Kennedy emphasising the wistful, autumnal tones of the song.

Most of the tracks on Side Two feature Trio Bulgarka, a Bulgarian vocal ensemble who, along with the presence of numerous ethnic instruments, add a touch of intriguing exoticism to the music. "Deeper Understanding" is at the same time moving and disturbing, with lyrics dealing with the burning issue of people taking refuge from loneliness and alienation in the virtual world of computers - Kate was once again ahead of her times. "This Woman's Work" is another highly-praised song featuring Kate's piano and Michael Kamen's orchestra.

This album sees the collaboration of a number of titled guests, such as the already- mentioned Nigel Kennedy, David Gilmour, Japan's Mick Karn and Celtic harpist Alan Stivell. It is undoubtedly a more intimate, low-key affair than its two predecessors, similar in this to 1980's "Never for Ever", though somewhat more contrived and less innovative.

Raff | 3/5 |


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