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Kate Bush - Aerial CD (album) cover


Kate Bush


Crossover Prog

3.86 | 262 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars A lesson in style by the cool aunt of prog music.

Kate Bush truly has the soul of a true artist. Even her singles which feature frequently on both MTV and on the radio have an air about them which is completely unique. A lot of it, of course, has to do with her voice, which has the ability to be both beautiful and slightly stirring at the same time. It is not always pretty, but sometimes art is not supposed to be pretty. It is always very dynamic, however, and when the first disc of Aerial begins with King of the Mountain, we are instantly reminded of that.

Could you see the aisles of women? Bush sings, with a voice which sounds like it is afraid of touching the floor, as if floating on clouds, until it finally takes off in the refrain. A great song, even if i had a hard time accepting the vocals for a while.

The first cd of the two, also known as A Sea Of Honey is, very much like the first side of Hounds of love, a collection of songs without any real connection to one another, but of a very consistent quality, the best of these being Bertie, Bush's song to her son, 7 years old by the time of the album's release, and A Coral Room, a slow and beautiful song driven entirely by vocals and piano. How to be Invisible is also really great, and carries a bit more of a groove than the others.

The second disc, however, A Sky of Honey, is the most interesting for us who are into prog, as it is, again, like the second part of Hounds of love, a conceptual piece of music which plays like a true soundtrack to summer itself.

The feel of the second disc especially, but also the whole album itself, is very mellow and warm, Bush's piano gently caressing your skin like hot water, or a cloud in a sky of honey, until Nocturn picks up the tempo and with its steady beat drags you through the milky, silky water of the summer night for an intense journey and then you are welcomed to the other side by the last song of the album, the title track Aerial. It is even more intense than the one before it, except for a break in which Kate Bush's singing laughter is intertwined with the song of what i assume is a blackbird, both sounds which must be considered two of the most beautiful in the world.

There is great variation musically on the album, even though it mostly stirs in the softer end of the spectrum with a lot of piano. Bush has a very fine taste for melody, and her vocals are always exciting and unpredictable. The whole album is very tastefully done and balanced, there is no cluttering of sounds anywhere, and the production, as far as i can tell, is perfect.

Of course, no album is perfect, but i do believe that Kate Bush accomplished all she set out to do on Aerial, and i do think it is a very solid work of a high quality. If i have to pick a least favourite song, though, it may be Ms. Bartolozzi from the first disc, only because it is not a song i think i would listen to much out of context due to its slow tempo, but it is followed by the up-tempo How to be invisible, another highlight of cd1, at the exact poing you think it's going to fall apart completely, so it really fits in perfectly the context.

My personal favourite songs on the album are Nocturn and Aerial, because they really feel like they release all of the songs before it, and stay congruent to the concept while differing musically, if that makes any sense at all.

I do not hesitate to pull out the five star rating to this gem, because everything about Aerial communicates a feeling of warmth and emotion, and while it is not the Van Der Graaf Generator style of emotional with the bombastic blasts of sax and screams, there is an ethereal beauty which isn't as obvious but which can move you on a very deep level.

Recommended for all, but be in a mellow mood, this, as so much prog, isn't appreciated best while talking on the phone or when you're stressed out.

Evans | 5/5 |


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