The New Statesman on the 7th February published an appreciative piece by Jason Cowley (a senior editor of The Observer newspaper) on Kate’s return titled The Wow Factor. “With her first single up for a Brit Award and a new album soon to be released, Kate Bush is back in a big way. It’s been a long wait, but she’s worth it” He describes Kate as a “complex and remarkable artist” who is “perhaps the most singular and talented female singer-songwriter and composer of her generation…there is no one quite like her. Without Kate Bush, there could have been no Madonna or Bjork, certainly in the guises – tough, independent, eccentric, committed, daring – that we know them…Bush occupies an ambiguous space between pop and the avant-garde, simultaneously working within and against the constraints of the pop song.” Read the full article here.
A week after the Cowley article appeared perhaps the inevitable happened. The backlash to all the expectant Kate coverage of late had to crop up somewhere, so enter David Stubbs on February 19th, who wrote a scathing analysis of Kate’s “comeback” in The Guardian newspaper, clearly relishing descriptions such as Kate having a “featherheaded fanbase” and calling her “first, foremost, essentially, incorrigibly, a show-off.” Well, it’s his opinion. Read the full article here…in their “Heating up 2005 – Top albums to watch for” section, MP3.com writes: “Though Kate Bush hasn’t released an album since 1993s “Red Shoes,” she’s suddenly been swept back up into the zeitgeist. There’s the blazing cover of her “Hounds of Love” by band-of-the-moment The Futureheads. There are constant shout-outs from Big Boi of OutKast. There’s a new satirical novel/biography, “Waiting for Kate Bush.” And at some point this year, there’s supposed to be a new Bush album. If the music even partially justifies the build up, 2005 is likely to be for Bush what 2004 was for Morrissey.’
Wuthering Heights was eventually beaten in the Brits 25 Song award by Robbie Williams, which provoked a lot of debate on the BBC website and elsewhere. The Sun newspaper felt that the voters had gotten it wrong and launched their own online poll after the Brits ceremony – Kate came third in this one (Robbie was 4th). In the tabloid’s “Bizarre” column on Feb 11th Victoria Newton wrote: “Angels is an above average anthem which is good to sing along to when you’re feeling misty-eyed in the pub. But it’s hardly changed the face of music like Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.” (thanks to JT Black)…Kate is currently Artist Of The Week at this BBC Radio 2 show here (vote for your favourite track to be played).