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Kate Bush - Never For Ever CD (album) cover

NEVER FOR EVER

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

3.96 | 172 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Uncanny how she, Reminds him of his little lady, Capacity to give him all he needs, Just like his wife before she freezed on him...

"Never For Ever" is Kate Bush's third studio release that eventually made an impact on the charts after a slow start, hitting the UK number one, the first for a female artist at the time. It begins with the mighty 'Babooshka' that is wonderful to hear and even more wonderful eye candy on the film clip. The Kate seen on the 'Babooshka' clip was the goddess, Kate at her sexiest in Amazon Warrior attire, strangling cellos, and wielding a mighty sword in a glowing light; images that are indelible to the Australian conscious on rock shows such as "Countdown". The song itself is a real oddity for the charts, concerning a woman who wanted to test her husband, sending him letters signed Babooshka; "Uncanny how she, Reminds him of his little lady, Capacity to give him all he needs, Just like his wife before she freezed on him..."

Other songs on the album pale in comparison to the singles on the album, as always, but at least on "Never For Ever" there is a consistent quality and innovative experimental approach; 'Delius (Song Of Summer)' is a weird piece with progressive structure, based on the English classical composer, 'Blow Away (For Bill)' is a piano power ballad with delicate vocals that build heavier (a song dedicated to the late Bill Duffield, killed on a tour, and his death is linked to the demise of music icons Minnie Riperton, Keith Moon, Sandy Denny, Sid Vicious and Buddy Holly), and 'All We Ever Look For' has a jaunty rhythm and odd vocal theatrical style. It ends with a footsteps effect and weird sounds like someone opening a series of doors concealing secrets.

'Egypt' has an unusual chiming musical accompaniment and lyrics about pharaohs, Egyptian artifacts, and how she is in love with Egypt. It has an effective dramatic finale, building with bizarre sounds and menace, until a final keyboard solo. 'Wedding List', inspired by "The Bride Wore Black" movie, overstays its welcome but has some of Kate's oddest vocals and truly ominous musical style. Violins permeate the album but definitely are a component of 'Violin', with some more theatrical vox, with Kate squeaking, snarling and crooning as the mood hits her. She sounds a bit like Lene Lovich here moreso than most of her compositions. 'Infant Kiss' is a song inspired by the movie "The Innocents", the story of a governess frightened by her feelings for a young man possessed by the spirit of an adult. 'Night Scented stock' is a very short thing less than a minute, that almost feels like part of the previous track. It is basically a cappella vocal intonations multi layered and harmonious.

'Army Dreamers' is another killer single, hitting number 6 in UK, with a weird waltz style unlike anything on the charts at the time. Kate uses her famous chromatic vocals, sliding effortlessly up the music scale, following her own melody as the music bounces along. The lyrics are based on how war effects those embroiled in it, taken from the perspective of the mother who grieves for her son, killed but not in action, rather in the senseless practice of military manoeuvres. She is overcome by guilt over whether she had the power to prevent it. The film clip is memorable with Kate in army gear and camouflage makeup, culminating in soldiers being blown away by grenades.

'Breathing' is a great way to close the album as it was another single, hitting UK number 6, and one of my favourite vocal performances from Kate. The fretless bass and piano holds a disjointed time sig. The lyrics are potent from the perspective of a foetus recoiling from her mother's smoking that is slowly killing it. Also it focusses on the awareness of the foetus, who becomes alarmed by the nuclear fallout of a nuclear holocaust. We hear the voices of some personnel that enhances this theme, and the mood is bleak and questions is there something to breathe when the air is polluted. The film clip is one of Kate's best showing her rolling encased in a bubble, a symbolic foetus ready to emerge.

It ends this album with a dynamic track, and overall this is one of Kate's most consistent albums after two decent studio releases. I believe this was the beginning of greatness for Kate who was showing that she was not just a singles artist. The other songs on this album are also creative and worth a listen. 4 stars is a fair rating, and after this Kate was on the cusp of releasing her very best proggiest albums with "The Dreaming" and "Hounds of Love".

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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