Album: Kate Bush – “Aerial: A Sea of Honey” (2005)

The end is in sight now, with a 2-part season finale in the shape of much-delayed Aerial. As I mentioned earlier I am dealing with this in two chunks, the first of which being “A Sea of Honey”. So what did I think? Well I’m sure this will be a sacred cow to the Bushettes among you, but I’m not going to lie, it didn’t do a LOT for me. This disc at least IS very sparse, and to be honest I didn’t really have much to cling into. It wasn’t a total disaster though, let me just get on with it.

08 King of the mountain: Sole single from the album, and I can sort of get that. She needs to enunciate though, we are heading towards Tori-esque levels of mumblings. It’s quite a cold clunky track but it has grown on me, and gives a sense of Bush in seclusion in some spooky remote house (though apparently this is far from the truth). The chorus just about saves the day, a bit of fire in … well, a sea of honey.

07 Pi: Oh now I really come and go with this. I quite like the instrumentation and her voice on it, the sort of thing I wish was a bit more prevalent on this disc. But on the other hand I get quite annoyed at it, just reading out pi to several dozen decimal places… it’s a bit too “concept album “and IMO doesn’t really mean anything. It’s like she just got bored and ran out of ideas, she might as well be reading out a pizza menu. I get embarassed a lot because I feel like I don’t understand the songs and everyone else does, but here I don’t think there IS anything to get, and I can imagine all those smug muso types nodding their heads smugly whilst listening to this. THAT SAID, if it was in a foreign language and I couldn’t understand what this was, musically I quite like it. Reminds me of the little Charlotte Gainsbourg I’ve heard.

05 Bertie: The moral, never have kids. For someone who has come up with some magnificent lyrics, now it’s like she’s this spent husk who can only string together the most basic song as a tribute to her kid, even Des’ree would have got bored of this. I’m sorry but even as the shortest song here, it goes on too long.

10 Mrs Bartolozzi: OMG now this is the shit. The best housewife ballad since Where Have All The Cowboys Gone. Heartbreaking piano as she recounts a rather everyday scene but somehow completely describes this poor wife’s existence. It’s easy to scoff at the “Washing machiiiine” refrain (even I add “lives longer with Calgon” in my mind). Finding some sensuality whilst watching the laundry getting saucy like I imagine she never does, it’s just so sad and amazing. Then the shirt on the washing line *sigh* … I don’t really get why but it always gives me shivers and makes me a bit EMOTIONAL. Get that dirty shirty clean bitch. OMG I am going to end up being Mrs Bartolozzi aren’t I? 😦

06 How to be invisible: Back to normal now, and feels thankfully like a more substantial, conventional song. It’s not doing a great deal for me, just a load of nonsense. Musically it’s pretty alright but a bit MOR. I’ve struggling to find much more to say about it.

07 Joanni: Is this about Joan of Arc? I can pick up a few key phrases, and obviously the title too. I like the music too, she seems to have worked out how to get this whole ethereal vibe without being totally insubstantial. But again it outstays its welcome, there just doesn’t seem to be enough to pad out five minutes. There is a bit of French in there though, love that. Not so sure about the Miss Piggy backing vox at the 4-minute mark though.

07 A Coral Room: OK I know this won’t go down well. I was already flamed for saying it didn’t do anything for me. I mean I completely understand that sometimes less is more (unless it’s Girls Aloud), but there’s a balance. There’s nothing I dislike about it but I don’t know. I mean we open on this idea of a desolate deserted town, I’m not sure what she’s saying about it because then she’s onto her dead mother. I had no choice but to look up the lyrics, and while I can now finally hear what she is saying, it doesn’t really do much to me. I guess people have different emotional triggers (see Mrs B). But for a song about losing someone, Moments of Pleasure does it for me much more effectively.

So there we have it. Not a disaster but I just miss Kate with a bit more fire. I Just ended up feeling like it’s a woman who hasn’t got anything left to say, or she would rather be doing something else that music these days (I mean taking 12 years off between albums is an alarm bell). Still, I have one amazing song from it all, so it hasn’t been a waste of time or anything. I just hope “A Sky of Honey” is little more beefy…

Keepers for the iPod: King of the mountain, Mrs Bartolozzi

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