And a diamond sky
Damn, what a relief! Already the first song and I feel calm. The opening song “King of the mountain” is majestic, and I feel it in my bones that this album is superior to the last two efforts. The feeling is totally different. Twelve years of waiting, the previous studio album “The red shoes” came out in 1993, but now Kate is back in more ways than one.
“Pi” gives me large smile on my face, maybe because I’m a mathematician. And the third song “Bertie” continues to amaze me. It is so beautiful, and the love heard in Kate’s voice is so sweet. However “Mrs. Bartolozzi” doesn’t do it for me at all. It has somewhat bizarre lyrics. I do love the piano play though. The second side of the first LP is dominated by “How to be invisible”, a song about Kate’s need for privacy, I would guess.
Now to the interesting stuff. The album “Aerial” is the first double album to date from Kate. It has a structure like “Hounds of Love” but doubled up. The first record has the stand-alone songs, some great, some passable. The second LP is like a full concept album hidden within “Aerial”. It’s called “A sky of honey”. For the classic album “Hounds of love” from 1985 it was one side each, here we get one LP each. The concept album tells the story of two lovers who spend one day and night out in nature. It is very, very good.
Kate’s music covers many styles, and it is often close to classical music. This is especially true for this album with renaissance-influenced songs like “A coral room” and “Bertie”. And like with classical music the listener gets rewarded for listening to a full album. The music is like the ocean and comes in waves. Some slower or softer parts, some bridges or intermezzos, and when we finally get to the musical “pay off” all is glorious.
Pink Floyd is well known to master the concept album perfectly, and many other progressive rock bands from the 70’s and 80’s have also done it. Some favourites of mine are old Genesis and old Marillion. Kate brings her own sensitivity and style to the table. Her concept albums are even more about the emotions, the singing and the lyrics. For the bands mentioned above, the long instrumental parts and the performances of playing the instruments are more important, even though the personal touch of the lyrics from Roger Waters and Fish cannot be overstated.
“Sunset” i a fascinating song where she mix a piano ballad with modern jazz and spanish guitars. “Nocturn” is majestical, the ocean swells are flowing with rythms and breaks, maybe her best song ever!
Kate Bush’s first double album is stellar. One of her best work clearly.
My rating: 8/10
- King of the mountain
- How to be invisible
- A coral room
- An architect’s dream
- The painter’s link
- Areial Tal
- Somewhere in between
Best songs: “King of the mountain”, “How to be invisible”, “A sky of honey” with the highlights “Sunset” and “Nocturn”.
Produced by: Kate Bush
Released: November 7, 2005