“Otherworldly and disarmingly, invitingly human”: Varsity

Another five stars from Rory Williamson at the Cambridge Varsity:

50 Words for Snow – the very idea is excessive, superfluous, even ridiculous, but this is precisely the kind of material from which only Kate Bush can create a masterpiece. As seven songs slowly unfurl for over an hour on the topic, the listener is left only with a strengthened sense of Bush’s uncanny ability to form an inhabitable world in an album … a welcome reminder of the songwriter’s lauded ability to juggle the sublime and the ridiculous … Lyrical playfulness is second nature for Bush, but 50 Words for Snow achieves cohesiveness across its seven tracks between even the most disparate ideas. It is a landscape populated by lost figures: the “lonely” Yeti of ‘Wild Man,’ the vanishing snowman of ‘Misty,’ the woman’s spirit crying out for her dog on ‘Lake Tahoe.’ For all of its light-heartedness, the title track’s endless synonyms point to the ephemeral fragility of snow that the record explores throughout: nothing here can be pinned down, as lovers have to separate, the animated snowman melts and the snowflake given voice on the opener proves impossible to find. The frozen landscape, for all its beauty, is harsh; it separates, confounds and ultimately disappears as quietly as it came … the work of a consummate artist who can simultaneously engage with her inherent whimsy and divorce herself from it, producing something both otherworldly and disarmingly, invitingly human.”

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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1 Response to “Otherworldly and disarmingly, invitingly human”: Varsity

  1. God, Varsity’s a lot better written than 25 years ago (so says former Varsity film reviewer)

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