tisdag 29 november 2022

Kate Bush - Aerial (2005)

A Sea of Honey

Damn, what a relief! Already the first song and I feel calm. The opening song “King of the mountain” is majestic, and I feel it in my bones that this album is superior to the last two efforts. The overall feeling is totally different. Twelve years of waiting, the previous studio album “The red shoes” came out in 1993, but now Kate is back in more ways than one.

“Pi” gives me large smile on my face, maybe because I’m a mathematician. And the third song “Bertie” continues to amaze me. It is so beautiful, and the love heard in Kate’s voice is so sweet. However “Mrs. Bartolozzi” doesn’t do it for me at all. It has somewhat bizarre lyrics. I do love the piano play though. 

The second side of the first LP is dominated by “How to be invisible”, a song about Kate’s need for privacy, one would guess, and if so Kate's favourite past time hobby. You can hear Kate herself in her voice singing the song, it seems to me to be a very personal song and the performance mirrors that. Kate is as we all know very careful with her personal life. She's actually almost invisible to the fans, tabloids and tv shows.

"I found a book on how to be invisible
Take a pinch of keyhole
And fold yourself up
You cut along a dotted line
You think inside out
And you're invisible

Isn't this a damned great song or what?

A Sky of Honey

Now to the even more interesting stuff. The album “Aerial” is the first double studio album to date from Kate. It has a structure like “Hounds of Love” but doubled up. The first record has the stand-alone songs, some great, some passable. The second LP is like a full concept album hidden within “Aerial”. It’s called “A sky of honey”. For the classic album “Hounds of love” from 1985 it was one side each, here we get one LP each. The concept album tells the story of two lovers who spend one day and night out in nature. It is very, very good.

Kate’s music covers many styles, and it is often close to classical music. This is especially true for this album with renaissance-influenced songs like “A coral room” and “Bertie”. And like with classical music the listener gets rewarded for listening to a full album. The music is like the ocean that comes in waves. Some slower or softer parts, some bridges or intermezzos, and when we finally get to the musical “pay off” it’s all out glorious.

Pink Floyd is well known to master the concept album perfectly, and many other progressive rock bands from the 70’s and 80’s have also done it. Some favourites of mine are old Genesis and old Marillion. Kate brings her own sensitivity and style to the table. Her concept albums are more about the emotions, the singing and the lyrics. For the bands mentioned above, the long instrumental parts and the performances of playing the instruments are more important, even though the personal touch of the lyrics from Roger Waters and Fish cannot be overstated.

Sunset” is a fascinating song where she mix a piano ballad with modern jazz and Spanish guitars. It builds and builds and builds. Getting better end better until the glorious end. Fantastic, mature Kate of the highest standard. "In a sea of honey. A sky of honey.

Feel free to listen to the song all the way through.

"Oh, sing of summer and a sunset
And sing for us, so that we may remember
The day writes the words right across the sky
They go all the way up to the top of the night

Nocturn” is majestical, the ocean swells are flowing with rhythms and breaks. Again a song showing us a mature Kate, her voice is hypnotic. 

"In a sea of honey, a sky of honey
A sea of honey, a sky of honey

Look at the light
At all the time it's a changing
Look at the light
Climbing up the aerial

Bright, white coming alive jumping off the aerial
All the time it's a changing like now
All the time it's a changing like then again
All the time it's a changing
And all the dreamers are waking

The song is simple yet complex, I find no words to describe it. And it may be a candidate for her best song ever! Haha, well, ok, but almost!

Kate Bush’s first double album is stellar. One of her best work clearly.

My rating: 9/10

Side A:
1. King of the mountain
2. Pi
3. Bertie
4. Bartolozzi

Side B:
1. How to be invisible
2. Joanni
3. A coral room

Side C:
1. Prelude
2. Prologue
3. An architect’s dream
4. The painter’s link
5. Sunset
6. Areial Tal

Side D:
1. Somewhere in between
2. Nocturn
3. Aerial

Best songs: “King of the mountain”, “How to be invisible”, “A sky of honey” with the highlights “Sunset” and “Nocturn”.

Produced by: Kate Bush

Released: November 7, 2005

Media: Remastered 180 gram 2 X Vinyl, gatefold, reissued in 2018 (part of Remastered In Vinyl III)

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