Sunday, November 27, 2011


I can't figure out whether she's bonkers or brilliant.  I'm leaning, as always, towards the latter, but maybe it's a bit of both, in a good way.  She's certainly uncompromising, that's for sure.  Here you get seven songs, the shortest just under seven minutes, the rest running up to thirteen-and-a-half.   She's one of the most critically-acclaimed female singers of the last three decades, but for much of the album she employs male singers.  And when she writes a song called 50 Words For Snow, it's exactly that, a singer listing 50 words for snow.  Even stranger though, is that some of those 50 words are actually phrases, some of which make little sense, and some seem to be from a completely made-up language.  Freaky.

These are odd things, and perhaps not what we want from favourite artists.  But Bush has grown and changed since Wuthering Heights and Cloudbusting and Hounds Of Love, and we might as well go along for the ride, because she's not going to make anything so easily digestible.  After all, this is somebody who composed and integrated part of James Joyce's Ulysses into one album.

So, we get a duet with Elton John, probably the most popular single artist of the rock era not named Elvis, and it's this incredible wordy number that's more like theater dialogue than a song.  Elsewhere, these dense, circular numbers start to hypnotize you.   At times you get lulled into enjoying them, and other times completely enthralled, wrapped up in where she's taking you.  I don't understand a blasted thing about this album's lyrics, I mean not a clue.  I haven't read any interviews with her in preparation, and certainly now I don't want to know, so I'm avoiding it.  At some point I'm sure my curiosity will get the better of me, but right now I'm happy letting it be some kind of mysterious, totally foreign work, because it's so cool.

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