“A perfect isle of seclusion”: The Tune

4/5 from Alex Hall at The Tune:

For an artist who has recorded for over 30 years, simply staying relevant is no slight feat. For Kate Bush relevancy is not an issue, because 50 Words for Snow molds her body of work just as effectively as some of her great ’80s albums. … and while she plays with the concept more subtly in some songs it is still always present. Snow is what unites this album when it threatens to dismantle itself … 50 Words for Snow finds the measure of its success in how well it can sustain that atmosphere … my appreciation of the album had less to do with the songwriting and more to do with its artistic situation. The listener cannot always be enveloped in a perfect world of falling snow, but for the times when nature would seem to beckon him to imagine it … this record transports him completely. The contrast between Bush’s dark, rich vocals and virginal snow is immense. To emphasize it more these recordings include young, high-range male voices, including Bush’s son Albert, who sings with the beauty only something as transitory as snow could represent … Piano dominates this album, which not only makes it a more gentle work but also helps Bush extend her “art rock” persona to jazz and classical music … That’s another thing: none of these tracks could exist by themselves, both because of the similarity of their content and their length. It’s a treat when an artist releases something so cohesive, because the listener’s only option is to sit down with the record and play it from top to bottom … In my mind 50 Words for Snow was an imagined concert after a long spell of looking out my window to see snow depopulating the streets and sidewalks … Something like this is so perfect now, because an album about snow translates well when there’s actual snow around. In passing time, when months get warmer and drier, I fear that this record may not mean as much. However, it could be that whatever the weather, 50 Words for Snow stands a perfect isle of seclusion, where one can always retreat to when the air gets too sticky or the music too loud.”

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.
This entry was posted in 50 Words for Snow, Kate Bush news, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “A perfect isle of seclusion”: The Tune

  1. Neil says:

    Listening to the spaces adds to the reward of the music.So much quietness interwoven here that it evokes winter beautifully.

  2. Harry Horton says:

    A week after ’50 words for snow’s release the reviews keep coming in with some internet news magazines having written two or more artciles on the album. As of November 28, 2011 these are some newer web articles from the internet:

    “Pretty normal” Kate Bush turns prolific with two albums this year.”
    “Music Review: Kate Bush’s winter wonderland – 50 words for snow” Blogscritics
    “Watch the new Kate Bush video for Misty” Pitchfork
    “Kate Bush” The buffalo News
    “CD reviews 11/27: Nickelback and Kate Bush”
    “What our critics are listening to: ” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Nov 25.
    “Essential links” metacritic Nov 21 12:44 a.m.

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