TSK Laboratory. Home encyclopedia of music collections.

Aerial

Kate Bush

℗ 2005

Kate Bush • 2005 • Aerial

It's often said that a musician's debut represents the culmination of a lifetime's worth of experiences, but their sophomore effort is usually derived from just the intervening year. By waiting 12 years between The Red Shoes and her new double CD, Aerial, Kate Bush has tried to regain that lifetime. It's a remarkably coherent recording, reflecting the unique world of sound and spirit Bush has inhabited since her debut. The first disc, subtitled A Sea of Honey, is a suite of personal reveries. It ranges from "King of the Mountain," a contemplation of unbridled celebrity and its isolation that references Elvis and Citizen Kane, to the piano-and-voice study "Mrs. Bartolozzi," an ode to household chores whose chorus is "Sloshy sloshy sloshy sloshy, get that dirty shirty clean." With its Depeche Mode-influenced synth pads, electro pulses, and lyric cadences, "King of the Mountain" is vintage Bush pop. But many of the songs attain more epic proportions, like the dynamic "Joanni," a hymn to Joan of Arc. It's the second disc — a suite called A Sky of Honey — on which Bush really comes into her own. Using metaphors of the turning of the day and the flight of birds, she orchestrates a meditation on the cycles of life. Musically expansive, she weaves her compositions out of birdsong, subtle orchestrations, and jazz trios, showing herself at her experimental best. Embracing her relatively new motherhood, as well as the death of her mother, Aerial is a deeply personal album, and a welcome return from one of pop music's true icons and vocal wonders. — John Diliberto.