“Fantasies, personifications, ghosts, mysteries, angels, immortals”: Pitchfork

8.5/10 “Best New Music” from Ryan Dombal at Pitchfork Media:

Bush continues to infuse her narratives with a beguiling complexity while retaining some old-school directness. Because while most of this album’s songs can be easily summarized … they contain wondrous multitudes thanks to the singer’s still-expressive voice and knack for uncanny arrangements. And mood. There’s an appealing creepiness that runs through this album, one that recalls the atmospheric and conceptual back half of her 1985 masterpiece Hounds of Love. Indeed, when considering this singular artist in 2011, it’s difficult to think of worthy points of reference aside from Bush herself … In an interview earlier this year, the 53-year-old Bush told me she doesn’t listen to much new music, and after listening to the stunningly subtle and understated sounds on Snow, it’s easy to believe her … This is an album about trying, oftentimes futilely, to find connections– between Bush and her characters, reality and surreality, love and death … While much of 50 Words for Snow conjures a whited-out, dream-like state of disbelief, it’s important to note that Bush does everything in her power to make all the shadowy phantoms here feel real. Her best music, this album included, has the effect of putting one in the kind of treasured, child-like space– not so much innocent as open to imagination– that never gets old … Snow isn’t a blissful retreat to simpler times, though. It’s fraught with endings, loss, quiet– adult things. This is more than pure fantasy.”

About Peter

My Kate CV: Kate fan since 1978. Saw Tour of Life at the London Palladium 1979. Went to first KBC Convention 1980. Founded Homeground with Dave 1982. Worked on 1985, 1990, and 1994 Kate Bush Conventions, and the 1986 Video Party with Dave, Lisa of KBC and Krys. Appeared in videos for The Big Sky and Experiment IV. Wrote Introduction, Chronology and Discography for EMI Music Publishing's 1987 "Kate Bush Complete". Wrote the sleeve note for the remastered 1998 reissue of "Hounds of Love". Invited to write sleeve notes for other reissues which never happened. My other CV: born 1955 in Bermondsey London, educated at Galleywall Primary, Walworth Comprehensive, and London School of Economics BSc(Econ)(Hon) 1976. Currently an Officer of the Crown Court determining legal costs in crminal cases. Met Krys in 1982 through Homeground, we were engaged on Glastonbury Tor on Kate's birthday in 1983, and married in November 1984.
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5 Responses to “Fantasies, personifications, ghosts, mysteries, angels, immortals”: Pitchfork

  1. “There’s an appealing creepiness that runs through this album, one that recalls the atmospheric and conceptual back half of her 1985 masterpiece Hounds of Love. ”

    I really hope so. But The Ninth Wave and Sky of Honey were conceptual in that each track followed into the next as a narrative. Is 50 Words like that? Or are they more like a themed collection of songs, as Kate described ‘The Sensual World’?

    We’ve had ‘the Irish Wolfhounds of Love’ so is this ‘the Tenth Wave’?

  2. edov says:

    Hmmm, a good review from Pitchfork. Unexpected. They rated Aerial pretty low… 6.4.
    Another critic this time knows how to appreciate Kate. Good, I was afraid that Pitchfork was going te be shallow and almost concidered them ‘hasbeens’ after the Aerial review.

  3. Rod says:

    Oh there really is “an appealing creepiness” running through it. Listening all the way through is an incredible experience. It has everything; foreboding passages, gorgeous playful light-fingered intervals, pauses, dissonance to signal danger, lyrics like “dead leaves” and “twisted” and “crushed” repeated and foregrounded, and made beautiful, all adding to a bewitching mix. Even the playful ’50 Words for Snow’ has a hint of menace, with KB’s throaty demands and drumming reminicent of the driving power of the Stones Sympathy…And, oh, the images it conjures up, the blood-stained (Powell-red) snow in Misty, the ghost rising from Lake Tahoe, like the Lady of the Lake, and the burning of Rome. This album will be talked about for decades.

  4. Karen Newcombe says:

    The very last line of this review is something that none of the other critics have picked up on: snow can be just as dangerous as it is beautiful. Lake Tahoe is one of those places where people blithely go out to ski for an afternoon, step off the trail for a moment, and their bones are found 20 years later in a nearby gulley. The Sierra Nevada are unforgiving to the careless, and full of ghosts.

  5. Neil says:

    Just bought the CD. It was the first one hmv sold in 2 days! They weren’t allowed toplay it in store….prob because its music that requires listening to and not background musac.It sounds great in the car..has a calming soothing effect when drivng and you are completely enveloped in kates world.

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