Monday, 24 December 2012

Albums for Life: 77: Kate Bush: 50 Words for Snow

A bit of a lazy choice this; it's the most seasonal album on my list so seems timely. I've never been truly smitten with Kate until now. Sure 'This Woman's Work' was gorgeous and I liked the sound of 'Hounds of Love' but I could never grasp what moved her and therefore had trouble relating to the warbling. Her concept here is so simple and so perfectly realised that you cannot help but to fall for it. Wintry tone poems are shaped by piano, double bass and Steve Gadd's subtle drumming to provide the perfect backdrop for the musing. Her son appears as a snowflake (I am light, I am sky) and Kate somehow makes this into a moving pean on the transience of life (or childhood) and the importance of care, (the world is so loud, keep falling, I'll find you). The most laudable element is the space; Kate takes her time, and the songs reveal themselves in their own sweet time, most of them clocking in at over 7 minutes. I'm not sure that this makes it 'radio friendly' but I love it all the more for that. 
Even an off kilter guest appearance by Elton John can't break the spell as the icy beauty washes over you. Bonkers, bold and beautiful.


  1. Still haven't decided which Kate album will make my list but will have to give this a listen as I sort of let it slip by. I love Ariel and this sounds along a similar vein. Also love Sensual World and Hounds and...
    The lady is unsurpassable.

  2. thts a bold choice - I loved it but hounds of love everytime for me purely on the basis of the the 9th wave side .. that and cloudbursting (although the 2nd disc of ariel pushes it close)

    I EJ appearance did spoil it a tad for me just didnt think his voice fitted well with KBs and the mood of the lp (unlike PGs on his own Dont Give Up)