Kate Bush – The red shoes (1993)

Don’t want your bullshit

Inspired by the movie “The red shoes” by British masters Powell & Pressburger this album was the last in many years to come. The album is quite nice, sort of “okeyish”, but it lack her distinct signature mark from the first four albums. I get the same feeling from this album as from “The sensual world”, something that is over-produced and “too polished”. Sure, Kate is playing with different types of instruments and vocals, and that may be fun for some, but it feels too stuffed to me.

Considering what she actually did eighteen years later in 2011 with the “Director’s cut” album, I am obviously not alone in thinking that these two albums are burdened by technology and an overly eager production. “The red shoes” is better overall than its predecessor at least.

“Moment of pleasure” is one of the songs that are graciously stripped down with focus on Kate’s voice and a piano. Unfortunately, it is padded with strings in the end, which I think is unnecessary.

“The song of Solomon” is also great, a slow and dreamy song where Kate’s voice is outstanding. The backing vocals by Trio Bulgarka is ok I assume. The structure of the music in the song is interesting. I prefer complex songs over simpler songs with complex and overstuffed production.

“Top of the city” is interesting. Kate is giving her all with the singing. Is the song about suicide? If so, it is a dark song. I can hear both despair and sorrow in her voice, but also something else. I guess she decided to live in the end.

“Constellation of the Heart” is a very odd song coming from Kate Bush. It is not a great production. It’s boring mainstream radio, borrowed from the worst sides of Peter Gabriel, Level 42 or Phil Collins.

Of course the song “Why should I love you?” is remarkable. She does a duet, triplet, with Prince and Lenny Henry. Prince is playing instruments, most notably the guitar and singing in the chorus. The song has a perfectly fine “Prince” feel. Almost a little touch of R&B. It’s not my favourite, but it is memorable.

And just when you thought that this album is a little boring Kate surprises you with a power ballad of broken hearts! The closing song “You’re the one” is beautiful, a picture-perfect description of a break up. Been there, done that.

My rating: 5/10

Side A:

  1. Rubberband girl
  2. And so is love
  3. Eat the music
  4. Moments of pleasure
  5. The song of Solomon
  6. Lily

Side B:

  1. The red shoes
  2. Top of the city
  3. Constellation of the heart
  4. Big stripey lie
  5. Why should I love you?
  6. You’re the one

Best songs: “Moment of pleasure”, “The song of Solomon” and “Top of the city”

Produced by: Kate Bush

Media: Remastered 180 gram 2 x vinyl, gatefold, reissued in 2018 (part of Remastered In Vinyl II)

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