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“Incredibly dull”: Daily Texan

Robert Starr in Austin’s Daily Texan is not impressed:

Music is a fairly subjective art form. A piece that somebody may love will leave someone else cold. …  Kate Bush’s latest release 50 Words for Snow may make good background music for studying, or falling asleep to, but as music to actively listen to, it fails. Tracks drone on and on, sometimes for more than 10 minutes at a time, repeating the same piano riff ad nauseum, with abstract lyrics that may or may not actually mean anything. The title track is especially excessive — it actually lists all the Inuit words for snow … The album is well made, however, and is both atmospheric and moody …the album is pretty, but also incredibly dull and unlikely to have much appeal outside of those who appreciate the avant-garde. It is the work of a true artist who got lost in a cloud of her own expression and forgot that other people need to listen to it. Still, Bush … hasn’t lost the joy that makes her interesting. 50 Words for Snow is not a terribly good album, but it suggests that Bush is still capable of recording a great one. With a slightly increased tempo and better-paced songs, this would have been an easy recommendation. As it stands, it’s a pretentious disappointment.”


“Exquisite suite of piano-driven chamber pop”: Scotland on Sunday


Radio interviews update!


  1. Mark

    I agree with most of what he says.

  2. Neil

    On the contrary this is the opposite of background music….it demands and can only be appreciated by listening.I went intoHMV today and anything could have been in the background playing it just didnt register,but kates would have felt unerving in such an environment cos people couldnt talkand ignore it.As for the 50 words being inuuit words they are most made up by Kate ,as she states in her many interviews.She aknowledges that its a myth that eskimos have 5o words butlike the idea so made them up herself .Play it in the car it sound great and antidotes road rage brilliantly.

  3. Pip

    I really don’t think he listened to the album. Bear in mind also that the Daily Texan is a college newspaper from the University of Texas, so one must consider its target audience…twentysomethings and barely-twentysomethings: Those with an attention span of a gnat (I, by no means, wish to say that all twentysomethings have an attention span of a gnat, but please realize that I live in Austin, Texas and I am very familar with the crowd here.)

  4. It’s Texas… what do you expect. lol

  5. what can you expect, it’s Texas.

  6. giulio

    It’s not nice to read this review.
    And yet . . .
    I don’t know. 🙁
    I’ll wait for the next album.

  7. Pip

    In defense of Texans, since I am one, some of us do appreciate great music and are loyal fans of Kate. Granted, we are very few and far between, but some of us aren’t banjo-twanging hicks and that review in the Texan does not reflect everyone’s point of view. I live in Austin and it’s a unique island in a sea of conservatism where the eccentric vibe flourishes. There are quite a few of us who do understand and embrace that which exists outside of the mainstream. We have a saying here: “Keep Austin Weird.” We do revel in our weirdness, and we do love Kate’s music. Please don’t let this ONE reviewer paint an ugly picture of all Texans. Let’s just pity his ignorance.

  8. Neil

    Do they get snow in Texas?

    • Pip

      The north part of the state does, but in central and south Texas it’s very rare. Winters are very mild.

  9. Brandon

    Hahaha…”lyrics that may or may not actually mean anything” Because Kate was just singing random words, no story involved.

    “It actually lists all the Inuit words for snow”. Ummmm…yes, the Inuits call snow “robber’s veil and hunter’s dream”.

    Did this person even listen to the album? Funny though.

  10. Renaud

    “The title track is especially excessive — it actually lists all the Inuit words for snow”

    Haha, good one Rob, you don’t even know what you’re writing about…..
    But I have to agree : it is incredibly dull ! I mean your review, not the album….

  11. KiKi

    He very obviously didn’t listen to it. Or if he did, it was in the background while he immersed himself on the internet or whatever.

    I almost feel bad for this guy. This is a student newspaper, right? I hope he’s majoring in History, because with this essay on his CV, his credibility as a music critic is pretty much shot.

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