Album of the week from Tom at Stereogum, a new convert and not the first we’ve heard of since Kate’s new work has been released:
“To this point, I’ve lived a full and happy life without ever much considering the works of Ms. Kate Bush. I knew the singles, sure, and I had a general understanding of her influence on later art-pop spell-weavers … But the singles, with their twisty helium squeals and their non-Euclidean melodies, never convinced me to dig much further. For the most part, Bush has been, for me, one of those canonical blind spots that everyone has. But her new 50 Words For Snow is the sort of album that convinces skeptics like me to go back and reconsider. At first glance, 50 Words For Snow comes waving plenty of red flags of pretentiousness. There’s the butt-ugly cover art. There are the virtually-nonexistent song-structures and the sprawling running times; not a single track dips under six minutes, and most go way longer. There are the loony concepts … But when you actually give into the album’s seductive calm, all these weaknesses (except maybe the cover art) become strengths. Musically, 50 Words For Snow is a spare and delicate album, one that can unfold hazily in the background without demanding your full attention. Instrumentally, it’s arranged to flutter and waft, with its brushstroke drums and its impressionistic splashes of piano and its unobtrusive electronic ripples. Bush’s formidable voice remains in whisper-coo range most of the time, and her simple phrasings are enough to get under your skin. And with her lyrics so deliberately paced-out, it’s easy to forget how specific and absurd those story-songs can be … And once the album sinks in, which it will, even the most far-out ideas start to raise goosebumps. … the theme of ephemeral love slipping away is even more prevalent … Once you let the album in, it’s powerful stuff.“
I totally agree with this reviewer’s opinion of the cover and the artwork associated with this album. I think it is a major let down. Particularly as we have seen alternative images from the promotional campaign which are far more evocative and eye-catching.