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Kate Bush - The Dreaming CD (album) cover

THE DREAMING

Kate Bush

 

Prog Related

4.05 | 187 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
5 stars Whenever I'm listening to some female vocalist with a high range without blatant R&B inflections like Kimbra or whatnot, others in hearing distance have this tendency to say "She sounds kinda like Bjork". Bjork, Bjork, Bjork. Granted, I dig her a lot, especially her Vespertine stuff, but Kate Bush was hitting unbelievable high notes without reverting to falsettos long before Bjork, and Kate wasn't exactly an 'under the radar artist'. She was big. And man did she have a voice!

She's also prog...in fact, proggy as hell during The Dreaming. It has all the credentials you could want, except for perhaps epic length tunes. Whatever, since this also boasts better lyrics than most of what the prog competition was dishing out at this time.

So, is this album a masterpiece? Yes. It's her most adventurous uncompromising vision, alternately challenging and difficult to deal with as it is beautiful and atmospheric, The Dreaming is an emotional roller coaster with her pipes providing a multitude of characters their unique voices. She coos, howls, screams, whispers and sometimes just sings really damn GOOD, often varying her styles within the same song. She never gets boring because there's just no way to tell where she's going next during the initial listen.

Then there's the tunes. Lots of interesting buggers here. Some, such as the opener, utilize seriously booming tribalistic drums, and time signatures are occasionally almost as adventurous as her voice. Musically there's a slew of various instruments popping up, but the songs never get to the point where anything is muddled. This stuff can be pretty weird, but it's always listenable, never overblown, noisy or simply irritating. There's some cool jazziness in "All The Love" and rock guitars in "Get Out Of My House", but what you won't find within this album is anything pandering to the early 80s style of commercial pop music. Her label managers must have collectively soiled their trousers when she co-produced and brought this wild collection of songs to their attention. And they're fantastic, even offering a bit of David Gilmour on the haunting "Pull Out The Pin". If I have any slightly negative thing to say about this recording, it would have to be that silly chapman stick usage. Yeah, they looked cool at the time, but wow do those things sound dated for this sort of music. It's alright though, since everything else is such a winner, and Kate is out of her mind at times on this thing...not something most singers could remotely get away with...but she does 'feral' and makes it cool.

To those who don't consider Kate Bush prog, check this album out. It may not be easy listening, but it's one interesting ride that never strays too far into weirdness. If you're not convinced after listening to its entirety, then I don't know what to say. Considering what much of the 70s greats were pumping out in the early 80s, with only a handful of those artists doing anything remotely progressive such as King Crimson, she should always be revered for keeping the creativity flag alive during those days. Nowadays she seems more acknowledged by the prog crowd than the alternative crowd, but man during her prime it was like she had hordes of various music geeks at her feet. Even if this didn't hit the popularity heights that the surrounding albums achieved, this puppy has aged well enough to become this bizarre classic that never gets old.

Prog Sothoth | 5/5 |

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