Thoughts on Kate Bush

I first heard of Kate Bush after she sang with Peter Gabriel on his song, “Don’t Give Up,” in 1986, something like that. I don’t much listen to Peter Gabriel anymore, though I still think his instrumental Passion album holds up better than anything he’s done. I’d probably still listen to him if he continued to put out albums in that vein instead of, well, whatever version of pop music is does these days. Anyway, I thought highly of Kate Bush because I thought highly of Peter Gabriel. But then I read a review in Rolling Stone where her voice was described as a mixture of Patti Smith and a Hoover vacuum cleaner. I don’t know a thing about Patti Smith, but the vacuum cleaner quality of her voice made sense to me somehow, and I gradually came to feel like her voice was full of hot air and helium. Silly overly dramatic singing. Whatever appreciation I had for Kate Bush’s voice and her artistry disappeared. The one song of hers that kind of worked for me was called “Deeper Understanding,” a song about technology cutting a person off from the world. So I was mildly interested recently when I heard that she re-recorded the song on her latest album, supposedly transforming it, along with some other older songs, into a more mature and purer take on what she originally intended. Or something. So I thought, okay, maybe she’s grown out of the melodrama I couldn’t stand in her music before, and if she sings like a normal person, maybe it’s not that bad. So I gave it a whirl…

…and brother was I wrong. What the hell’s going on here, Bob? Conceptually, I see what she’s going for, and it almost works. But I don’t know man… Autotune kills it for me. Maybe I need to listen more carefully. I do like the harmonica part near the end, though. She be jammin’.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

4 Replies to “Thoughts on Kate Bush”

  1. That one always gets to me because of the circumstances of my daughters birth. Due to some complications I had about an hour where I was basically planning at least one funeral and perhaps two. Making the call to my wife’s mom who was all excited about the birth of their first grandchild and having to explain that she should come to the hospital immediately due to her daughters precarious health situation makes almost everything in my life since seem kinda easy to deal with. (the cavet being my sons almost fatal bout with ecoli but that is another story and it has a similar result. Whenever I think I am having a bad day thoughts of those two events put a calming perspective on things)

  2. jesus I could not even get through the post above without getting weepy….sniff, sniff…. I am going to go eat some raw meat, and pick a fight with the first person I see outside….frig hope the military is not in town today…

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