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Kate Bush - The Dreaming CD (album) cover


Kate Bush


Crossover Prog

4.12 | 293 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Now that's what I call progressive! I cannot think of another album that is as forward-pushing as The Dreaming. Each and every song contained within could have been fleshed out into it's own double LP concept album. Even a quarter century after it's release, nobody else has even come close to releasing anything as utterly uncompromising or, frankly, as brilliant.

'Sat In Your Lap' is a swirling concoction of philosophy and religion with radically unorthodox percussion that's sounds like she has all the moons in the universe on ropes that she is swirling around (sometimes you feel you might need to duck from something exploding from the speakers!) - the planets are being used like tennis balls on the Creator's tympani - every once in a while you even get an unexpected slap from a shooting star. It's extraordinary it it's vision and humbling in it's expression. You've never heard anything like it and never will again. Then, with almost whiplash force, you're thrown into a very British bank job circa 1940 with 'There Goes A Tenner', a very propulsive track frought with excitement and danger, it rolls along so nervously that it makes you feel you're actually an accessory to the crime. It's almost hard to believe an artist can be this imaginative, but the proof is in the waveform.

Next we're thrown into the Viet Cong for 'Pull Out The Pin', it's a do or die situation, kill or be killed and David Gilmour keeps suggesting that you pull the pin from the grenade. This track also contains an interesting early example of sampling from other works of art, in this case Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' and the helicopter sound (this would not be the last inventive use of this particular Wall sample in her work either). Musically, like every song on this album, it's about painting with sound, nothing is conventional, there are no rules or limits. 'Suspended In Gaffa' has a unique intimacy that draws me into it's sticky web - I cannot put my finger on why this track fascinates me the way it does, and on an album full of mystery and intrigue, it may be the most mysterious. The first side closes with 'Leave It Open' which features one of the coolest mixes ever put on tape - from an engineering aspect, it's amazing, I doubt it could be replicated with 'pro-tools'. Side two opens with the title track, 'The Dreaming', from the point of view of an indigenous Australian, really taking the listener to the other side of the world. This segues into what I think is the best song on the album, 'Night Of The Swallow', this time with a very Celtic sound, and with a melody that is one of the most captivating and moving pieces of music I've ever heard. I cannot say enough about how beautiful and powerful this song is, there are times when I put this on repeat and listen to just this one song for hours on end. It also contains a drum fill that's utterly unbelievable, truly breathtaking. Kate is obviously an amazing vocalist with skill and prowess that is unequaled, but her vocals on this track in particular are so deeply passionate and sincere that I sometimes have trouble containing myself when I hear them.

All The Love explores themes of isolation and depression, and the tone of the song is appropriately somber yet still full of the tension and danger that flows throughout this whole album. This song also contains a guest vocal appearance from choirboy Richard Thornton which colors the song with just the right stroke of sadness as do the many voices that stream from an answering machine. From this morose starkness we're thrown into a spooky seance situation, trying to summon the spirit of 'Houdini' - Eberhard Weber's fretless bass is sublime, and the pain and torment Kate imbues into certain lines will knock you off your feet. I cannot think of a vocalist that has been this free and truly treats her voice as another instrument. All too soon, the album closes with an incredibly heavy piece of horror, 'Get Out Of My House', and it's way scarier than both the book and movie of 'The Shining' put together.

I'll go ahead and say it, this is my favorite album of all-time, bar none. A lot of people feel it's a very disjointed album, a bunch of very unique and different songs thrown together in a haphazard manner, as an experiment - I beg to differ - there is a common thread that ties this whole album together and that thread is called discomfort. Every song deals with this emotion of being uncomfortable, unsettled and disturbed - so in that sense, it is indeed a 'concept album' in my opinion. It is progressive in every sense of the word.

classicalgasp | 5/5 |


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