måndag 28 november 2022

Kate Bush - The Red Shoes (1993)

Don’t want your bullshit

Inspired by the movie “The red shoes” by British masters Powell & Pressburger this album was the last in many years to come. After this album Kate took a 12 years long siesta. She also raised her son Bertie during this break. 

So, was "The red shoes" big enough to fill the long hiatus for us fans? Well, I think the album is quite nice, sort of “okeyish”, but it lack her distinct signature mark from the first five albums. 

Instead I unfortunately get the same feeling from this album as from “The sensual world”, something that is over-produced like many albums were in the eighties. Sure, Kate is playing with different types of instruments and vocals, and that may be fun for some, but it feels too stuffed to me.

Considering what she actually did with the “Director’s cut” album eighteen years later (in 2011) when she re-recorded and updated song from this one and the previous “The sensual world”, I am obviously not alone in thinking that these two albums are burdened by an overly eager production. “The red shoes” is better overall than its predecessor at least.

Moment of pleasure” is one of the songs that are graciously stripped down with focus on Kate’s voice and a piano. Unfortunately, it is padded with strings, which I think is unnecessary.

“The song of Solomon” is also great, a slow and dreamy song where Kate’s voice is outstanding. The backing vocals by Trio Bulgarka is ok I guess. The structure of the music in the song is interesting. I prefer complex songs over simpler songs that try to compensate with an overstuffed production. I also like "Lily", a song that really grew into a great intro-song at her live shows in 2014.

Top of the city” is great and kind of interesting. Kate is giving her all with the singing. Is the song about suicide? If so, it is a dark song. I can hear both despair and sorrow in her voice, but also something else. I guess she decided to live in the end.

Constellation of the Heart” is a very odd song coming from Kate Bush. It is not a great production. It’s boring mainstream radio, borrowed from the worst sides of Peter Gabriel, Level 42 or Phil Collins. I guess there are fans of the song out there somewhere.

Of course the song “Why should I love you?” is remarkable. She worked with Prince on the song, the arrangement. Prince is playing instruments, most notably the guitar and singing in the chorus. The song has a perfectly fine “Prince” feel. Almost a little touch of R&B. It’s not my favourite, but it is memorable. Kate's demo before Prince's additions via the link above.

On the subject of collaborations Eric Clapton’s guitar work on the second song “And so is love” is also worth mentioning.

And just when you thought that this album is a little boring Kate surprises you with a power ballad of broken hearts! The closing song “You’re the one” is beautiful, a picture-perfect description of a break up. Been there, done that.

My rating: 6/10

Side A:
1. Rubberband girl
2. And so is love
3. Eat the music

Side B;
1. Moments of pleasure
2. The song of Solomon
3. Lily

Side 2:
1. The red shoes
2. Top of the city
3. Constellation of the heart

Side D:
1. Big stripey lie
2. Why should I love you?
3. You’re the one

Best songs: “Moment of pleasure”, “The song of Solomon”, “Top of the city”, “Lily” and “You’re the one”.

Produced by: Kate Bush

Released: November 2, 1993

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

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