“Spirits the listener away into Bush’s distinctive hyperreality”: NPR

Update: This link below also now has the full album as an NPR exclusive stream. Those waiting for the physical CD/vinyl album first-listen should avoid! 🙂

Ann Powers at NPR loves 50 Words for Snow:

It’s a fun game to mimic the task that England’s elusive empress of art rock devised for her 10th studio long-player out Nov. 21. Approaching this release from different angles, speaking of it in different metaphors, piques the imagination while creating a kind of unity of thought, just as limiting herself to stories inspired by winter weather clearly did for Bush … But the phrase that might spring first from the lips of Bush fans digging into Snow is, “Welcome home!” In seven long tracks, the album does just what the best of Bush’s work has done since she burst on the scene … It melds extravagant tales to unconventional song structures, and spirits the listener away into Bush’s distinctive hyperreality. Each song on Snow grows as if from magic beans from the lush ground of the singer-songwriter’s keyboard parts. The music is immersive but spacious, jazz-tinged and lushly electronic … But the tighter focus of Snow makes it one of Bush’s most cohesive works … Spinning variations on a theme instead of offering one long narrative, Bush reimagines the concept album as a poet would, connecting its elements with delicate thread … We who treasure her can rejoice that she cut a path so quickly … The once moderately reclusive artiste may be entering a fruitful late season. Let’s hope she continues on her elemental mission. One hundred words for starlight, maybe, Kate?

Kate Bush

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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18 Responses to “Spirits the listener away into Bush’s distinctive hyperreality”: NPR

  1. Colin Malley says:

    more importantly there’s a first listen to the entire album attached to this review…and I’m at work. Humph!

  2. giulio says:

    Here’s another eloquent review. 😉
    It’s really getting harder and harder to wait ’till the 21st of November . . .
    I really keep wondering how this new album is going to sound like . . . 😉

  3. edov says:

    Nobody’s got to w8 anymore, it’s treaming already! Just had my first total listening… cried twice, hearing Snowflake and hearing Snowed in at Wheeler street… This music is totally overwhelmingly sentimentally uberromantic! Enormous sigh…

  4. Rod says:

    I’d like to apologise to the music journalists who had difficulty putting their impressions of 50 Words for Snow into words, and heap even more praise onto those who managed to do so. In the face of such beauty, language is simply inadequate, and words like masterpiece and wonderstuff fall way short. I’m going to buy copies of this album for friends and relatives this year, to illustrate how much I miss and love them.

  5. Just remember – listening to a Kate album for the first time is a very special thing.

    I’m waiting till the end of term and my head is a bit emptier. Then I’ll put the kids to bed, open a bottle of something nice and go on a journey to what Mark Radcliffe famously called ‘Kateworld’. With a bit of luck, it might even snow…

    Don’t let your impatience and desire for immediate gratification sully what should be a very intimate experience between the listener and the music. Kate doesn’t rush this stuff, so don’t rush your (vital) involvement with her work just because you live in a world of solipsism and narcissism.

    It took me a year to get into the right frame of mind to listen to ‘Aerial’. Wait for the sound and fury of the publicity machine to fade and then listen to her voices in the air – “listen – listen – listen…” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSruSe_m8OI

  6. ReikiGlam says:

    With all due respect, ARoseGrowingOld, everyone enjoys music in their own way.

  7. Harry Horton says:

    The song snowflake reveals a jazz predominance in this album’s round of songs that seems to be a continutaion of musical style from Aerial. Snowflake is reminiscent of the Directors Cut version of Moments of Pleasure that has a New York style jazz tempo inherent within its composition. Nevertheless the songs from this newest album relate a completely different substance to her late work in nothing short of stark contrast to everything before Aerial. The sensitivity of a flight through the wintry air with an angelic spiritual embodiment is riveting in its sensitivity and swirling dancelilike fall into the grey and whitened world around it along with all the other snowflakes. A haunting exploration of the solitude of the inner soul put into motion ; with the descending snowflake being as it is, central to the song.

    Other recent news articles on the internet:
    “Music OMH Kate Bush – 50 words for snow”. Darren Harvey
    “Kate Bush Week: A guide to Kate Bush’s Albums” Anglophenia – a good synopsis of Kate Bush’s earlier works stretching back to her career’s inception in 1978. BBC America.

  8. Dreamtimetk says:

    How can you avoid to listen to the preview??? It is just in my face…. it is pending in front of me, telling me to press play. I cannot resist 🙂

  9. douglas webster says:

    The most beautiful thing I have ever heard- without doubt the best piece of work she has ever done. Beautiful, melancholic, bittersweet, romantic, haunting, even my dog stared at the computer then crept up beside me and licked away my tears. Kate is the ONLY artist to send shivers down my spine- (and my dogs for that matter!) An extremely moving thoughtscape, that gives hope with the sadness in equal measure, quite simply stunning. She slices through the everyday mundane to expose ones deep emotions to the truth of life. I cannot pick a favourite track as they do feel linked and Bertie has the same ability as his mother to emote tingles of real emotion. Kate’s voice has gotten better with age and the whole album has a very “live” feel to it, cried buckets but it certainly put me back in touch with myself. It makes you look at your life and value it, and value your relationships and not take things for granted, I kissed the dog, kissed my partner and phoned my mother to say how much I truly loved her after listening to this album- WELL DONE KATE!!! WITHOUT DOUBT YOUR MASTERPIECE!!!! XXX THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR SHARING ” YOU” WITH US! X

  10. ReikiGlam says:

    Douglas – I agree with your feedback on the album. Can’t pick a favorite, truly her crowning achievement (which says a lot since a majority of her albums are stunning, epic masterpieces). This is an unfolder for sure…every listen reveals more.

  11. Another Swede says:

    Some songs are fabulous, some very good but a few could have been maybe worked on for structure a little longer, its like its in there but not fully developed.Or maybe i need to reinvest my ears……

    Best:Misty by far

  12. Dreamtimetk says:

    C’mon Kate you got 5 to go … before the release…. IT IS SUCH AN AMAZING ALBUM, now that I heard it I cannot wait for the official release!!!!!! STRANGE, BEAUTIFUL, SAD, HAPPY, FUNNY, MELANCHOLIC, ORIGINAL, OUT OF THIS WORLD… THE DEFINITIVE MASTERPIECE FROM A GENIUS!!!!

  13. Jeff says:

    I turned down the lights, lit a candle and listened raptly –
    here’s my first impression to my initial sit down with all tracks played in order of their intent –

    Goodbye duality

    hello unity consciousness

    Kate Bush’s crowning masterwork opens up all the music of the spheres and touches Infinity

    buy extra copies of it and share it with your inner circle and loved ones
    the state of the world needs a “lifting up” just like this, right now
    Namaste

  14. Mark Wallis says:

    I’m completely blown away. We sat round the Mac and listened to the whole thing. A real Bisto moment. Among Angels is… gulp! Speechless. Will I grow to love Snowed in Wheeler Street?

  15. momentum says:

    I discovered this post last night at 12.30am, when I was getting ready for bed.

    Did I decide to await the official release of the album, and go to bed at a sensible hour so that I could work productively today?

    DID I HELL!!

    It’s absolutely wonderful. At this early stage it is hard to know how I’ll relate to the music after repeated listens, but it strikes me as by far the most melancholy music she has ever produced, with a haunting sadness to match moments like ‘This woman’s work’ and ‘A coral room’.

    Snowflake is one of the most beautiful songs she has ever written. And I can’t get it out of my head… help, anyone?

  16. aegeus says:

    over the years and i had a few (50), Kate always surprised me for the best, and once again my breath is taken away. 50 words for snow, but only 1 for masterpiece and she gave us so many, already. Far ahead, once again , like the first times, she leaves every one behind (including Peter Gabriel and Ryuchi Sakamoto) . Elton (or sir Elton) sounds better than he ever sounded in the last 30 years.
    Yes it ‘s true, what you’ve read about this album, even if you thought it was not possible. Kate is back, re-invented, and i know i won’t be able to listen to anyone else for months, emotion is in every note and silence, so be prepared to shed a tear as i did cry rivers when i first listened to it.

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